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Improving Discoverability of Drexel University's Scholarly Communications

April 6, 2017

The Drexel University Libraries has taken an important step forward toward improving the discoverability of the University's unique scholarly research outputs by joining the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI PMH).

The OAI PMH is a protocol developed by the Open Archives Initiative to ensure interoperability between digital repositories. The initiative, led by the Data & Digital Stewardship division staff, makes it easy to harvest (or collect) and share metadata descriptions (information about other information) through different websites.

A screenshot of the iDEA home page

By participating in the OAI PMH, the Libraries can now ensure that the metadata in iDEA, Drexel's digital repository, can easily be discovered by researchers and institutions around the world. Information about Drexel's repository has also been entered into several open access registries, making many of the documents stored in iDEA discoverable via numerous search engines.

The Data & Digital Stewardship division is also using OAI PMH to push structured iDEA metadata to other discovery systems, starting with Summon, the Libraries' primary search and discovery tool. Other possible destinations include WorldCat's OAIster Database, the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations' (NDLTD) open-access database and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

These strategies will improve discoverability of and access to the digital content archived in iDEA, including Drexel University's research and scholarly outputs (e.g. theses, dissertations, articles, presentations and select student work); Drexel University history (e.g. finding aids for University Archive materials and University electronic records); and select digital collections.

To view the information stored in iDEA that is now globally available to other libraries via Summon, visit