Enhancing metadata to support preservation in a repository system
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Currently, the WSU Libraries is implementing an institutional repository system, WSU Research Exchange, designed to host the scholarly output of WSU faculty and other member of the university community. As one step in supporting digital preservation in the repository, support is being developed to enable mirroring (or direct copying) of Research Exchange content by trusted repositories. To support this capability, the metadata (or information describing the archived, digital objects) must be robust enough to enable efficient and complete mirroring of content. Implementing a more inclusive metadata format in WSU repositories, such as DSpace’s MPEG-21 DIDL, provides a more comprehensive content mirroring solution. This standard facilitates ongoing, recursive metadata harvesting that supersedes metadata harvesting initiated as a discrete, repeatable act that may or may not gather accurate data depending on whether items and the resources they identify have both been modified. The MPEG-21 DIDL standard provides for consistent modification of all OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative-Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) elements, thus eliminating the need to modify separate OAI-PMH elements to facilitate the harvesting of accurate content. This standardization of metadata modification also enables trusted digital repositories to synchronize automatically with originating data repositories and preserve data transferred from repository to another with minimal point-to-point interference.