NSDL Documentation Wiki

Announcement: The operation of NSDL has been transferred to ISKME's OER Commons (effective December, 2014) - Read the news release.

This documentation describes the policies, procedures, and services that existed while NSDL was operated by UCAR.

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  • OAI Data Provider

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XML from the NSDL repository may be harvested using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), which is a standardized protocol for transferring and sharing metadata across open repository systems.



How to Harvest From NSDL

Access to the NSDL OAI data provider:

The NSDL OAI data provider has the following characteristics:

  • The NSDL repository contains collections of educational resources, annotations, paradata (use data), and a collection of collection metadata (metadata about the collections). Each collection in the NSDL repository is made available as an OAI set.
    • Sets/collections are added and removed from the repository occasionally (a few each quarter or so).
    • Collections of educational resource metadata make up the majority of the repository. All educational resource metadata sets/collections are available in nsdl_dc and oai_dc formats and some are also available in lar format.
    • The contents of some sets/collections change frequently (approximately monthly), while others remain relatively static.
    • No deduping is performed in the data provider. It is common to see multiple metadata records that describe the same resource URL, especially across different sets/collections.
    • View the list of available OAI sets/collections using the OAI ListSets request.
  • XML formats that are available from the repository include:

Tools for Harvesting

A number of open source tools are available for working with OAI-PMH:

  • The jOAI tool may be used to harvest metadata to a file system.
  • The OAI tools page lists additional tools that are available.

OAI-PMH Documentation

To learn about the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, see the following:


For questions and more information, please send your inquiry to NSDL via the contact form