ORE will develop specifications that allow distributed repositories to exchange information about their constituent digital objects. These specifications will include approaches for representing digital objects and repository services that facilitate access and ingest of these representations. The specifications will enable a new generation of cross-repository services that leverage the intrinsic value of digital objects beyond the borders of hosting repositories. [Open Archives Initiative Protocol – Object Exchange and Reuse]
This report usefully lays out some of the technical issues that the project is addressing. It discusses an ORE model based on resources and relationships between them. Relationships may be internal to the resource. A resource may be an aggregate resource, with relationships between its constituent parts. And each resource may have one or more representations, where a representation may be a different format (pdf, HTML, for example) or a metadata representation of it. Relationships may also be external, as in citation for example.
This is another reminder of the importance of identity and defined relationships in a digital environment.
Update: Tony Hammond has an interesting note on the impulse behind this work: “Web architecture as generally practiced does not provide ready mechanisms to aggregate (and compartmentalize) related documents and datasets”.