OAIster is a union catalog of digital resources.It provides access to these digital resources by ""harvesting"" their descriptive metadata (records) using OAI-PMH (the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). The Open Archives Initiative is not the same thing as the Open Access movement.
These resources, often hidden from search engine users behind web scripts, are known as the "deep web." The owners of these resources share them with the world using OAI-PMH.
OAIster reveals these digital resources in an easy-to-use, searchable interface.
In addition, it aims to:
* Provide one-stop ""shopping"" for users interested in useful, academically-oriented digital resources.It gathers all potential digital resources out there in an effort to build a comprehensive digital union catalog.
* Eliminate dead ends. Users retrieve not only descriptions (metadata) about resources, they have access to the real digital resources. For instance, instead of just the catalog records of a slide collection of Van Gogh's works, users are able to view images of the actual works.