Educational repository standards

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The following is a (doubtless incomplete) list of educational technology specifications and standards directly relevant to the SIG's work in repositories. No attempt has been made to include all generic metadata or library specifications and standards that may also be relevant to the SIG.

Last updated June 2008.



Update (June 2008): Continuation funding has been provided to look at requirements for SWORD2. Ideas can be listed on the Brainstorming wiki page

SWORD (Simple Web service Offering Repository Deposit) is a JISC-funded project, led by UKOLN, which will see a prototype 'smart deposit' tool developed to facilitate easier and more effective population of repositories. The project's duration was from March 2007 to October 2007 and information is available from the SWORD Project website. In January 2008, v1.2 of the SWORD Profile of the Atom Publishing Protocol was released.


Update (June 2008): OAI-ORE beta version released - press release here The Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange project will develop specifications to allow repositories to exchange information about objects within them. More information is available at the OAI-ORE website.


A project group of IMS members is currently writing a charter for work on Learning Object Discovery and Exchange (LODE). Charter writing is the first step of the IMS specification process, which essentially involves setting out the scope of a proposed specification activity. The draft charter is a private IMS document until it is approved, but there is a little information on the IMS LODE website.

OASIS Search Web Services

An OASIS technical committee was formed to define web services for search and retrieval based on standards such as SRU and Simple Query Interface (SQI). Profiles are envisaged for applications such as bibliographic and geospatial metadata. More information is available at OASIS Search Web Services Technical Committee website.


Content Object Repository Discovery and Registration/Resolution Architecture (CORDRA) is an open, standards-based model, coordinated by ADL, for software systems that support resource discovery, sharing and reuse. More information can be found on the CORDRA website.


IMS Digital Repository Interoperability (DRI) v1.0 provides recommendations for the interoperation of the most common repository functions.

A joint white paper from IMS Global Learning Consortium and the Coalition for Networked Information is also available, entitled Interoperability between Information and Learning Environments - Bridging the Gaps.


The Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) defines open interface service definitions (OSIDs), many of which are relevant to repository interoperability.


Simple Query Interface ( SQI) is a nascent specification for passing queries between learning object repositories and is being developed under the CEN/ISSS Learning Technology Workshop.

Z39.50 and ZING

The Z39.50 Maintenance Agency homepage provides links to the ZING (Z39.50 International: Next Generation) initiative, including the SRW/U (Search and Retrieve Web/URL) and CQL (Common Query Language) specifications. For additional information, see JISC Standards Catalogue: Z39.50.

JISC IE Architecture Standards Framework

A list of the key standards and protocols used by the JISC Information Environment (IE), key to interoperability of information systems in UK Further and Higher Education, can be found at JISC Information Environment Architecture - Technical Standards.


A resource list is a collection of resources that may be provided for educational purposes, for example a course reading list. The IMS Resource List Interoparibility (RLI) specification provides: a data model for describing the resources and the collection, with an XML binding; a set of behaviours for resource list management, with a web service binding expressed in WSDL; and a best practice and implementation guide.

LTSO Metadata Overview

Learning Technology Standards Observatory (LTSO): information on metadata standards, the activities of the organisations producing them and their relationship to other standards from the EU-funded LTSO project. Includes information on LOM, ARIADNE, IMS, ADL, Dublin Core, GEM and EdNA metadata.