The hunting of the OER. “As internet resources are being moved, they can no longer be traced.”
I read in a press release from Knowledge Exchange. This struck me as important for OERs since part of their “openness” is the licence to copy them, and I have recently been on something of an OER hunt, which highlights the importance of using identifiers correctly and of “curatorial responsibility”. The OER I was hunting was an “Interactive timeline on Anglo-Dutch relations (50 BC to 1830)” from the UKOER Open Dutch project. It was recommended at a year or so ago as great output which pretty much anyone could see the utility of that used the MIT SIMILE timeline software to create a really engaging interface. I liked it, but more importantly for what I’m considering now I used it as an example when investigating whether putting resources into a repository enhanced their visibility on Google (in this case it did). Well, that was a year+ ago. Finding descriptions of a resource isn’t really helpful to many people. Resource discovery revisited...
...revisited for me that is!
Last week I attended an invite-only meeting at the JISC offices in London, notionally entitled a "JISC IE Technical Review" but in reality a kind of technical advisory group for the JISC and RLUK Resource Discovery Taskforce Vision [PDF], about which the background blurb says: The JISC and RLUK Resource Discovery Taskforce was formed to focus on defining the requirements for the provision of a shared UK resource discovery infrastructure to support research and learning, to which libraries, archives, museums and other resource providers can contribute open metadata for access and reuse.
The morning session felt slightly weird (to me), a strange time-warp back to the kinds of discussions we had a lot of as the UK moved from the eLib Programme, thru the DNER (briefly) into what became known (in the UK) as the JISC Information Environment - discussions about collections and aggregations and metadata harvesting and ... well, you get the idea. Xpert labs. Xpert contains metadata and resources for almost 150,000 learning objects from over 8000 providers.
DiscoverEd: DiscoverEd is a search prototype developed by Creative Commons to explore metadata enhanced search, specifically for OER.
While most search engines rely solely on algorithmic analyses of resources, DiscoverEd can incorporate data provided by the resource publisher or curator. DiscoverEd supports several common metadata formats, including OAI-PMH and RDFa. The use of these formats allows otherwise unrelated educational projects,legal, and repositories to express facts about their resources in the a way that tools (like DiscoverEd) can use for purposes like search and discovery. DiscoverEd is a project that allows us to explore ways to improve search for OER, and simultaneously demonstrate the utility of structured data. DiscoverEd is built on Nutch. General Documentation FAQGlossary Gloassary of DiscoverEd-related terms. Software Documentation Developer Documentation Additional Information.