There is a growing consensus for the need to store and archive digital data, particularly for publicly funded research. Long-term preservation of that data generally requires some form of institutional archive, such as those directed to particular scientific communities of practice. Given that data is often of use to multiple communities of practice, which may have differing norms for data and metadata structure and semantics, effective standards for data and metadata exchange are important factors for users to be able to find and retrieve data. Toolsets that provide a coherent presentation of information across multiple standards are important for data search and access. One such toolset, Mercury, is a open-source metadata harvesting, data discovery, and access system, built for researchers to search for, share and obtain spatiotemporal data used across a range of climate and ecological sciences. Mercury is used across multiple projects to provide a coherent search interface for spatiotemporal data described in any of several metadata formats. Mercury has recently been extended to enable harvesting and distribution of metadata using the Open Archive Initiative Protocol for Metadata Handling (OAI-PMH). In this paper we describe Mercury’s capabilities with multiple metadata formats, in general, and, more specifically, the results of our OAI-PMH implementations and the lessons learned.
Mercury search systemScientific data searchOAI-PMHjOAIData sharingMetadataEcological informaticsClimate changeEnvironmental informaticsSpatiotemporal data