oai4courts layer two: approach and what you'll find here

Overview

oai4courts layer two is intended to be a "working" schema adequate to represent most caselaw metadata using OAI-PMH.  The approaches taken will also be useful to other caselaw-metadata efforts (for example, metadata that is embedded in case files themselves).  Its place in the overall plan for developing the oai4courts metadata standard is documented here.

How the layer two development process works

Documentation of the standard is evolving here, and has three components, any one of which may be more or less complete for a given class of elements at any given moment.  A series of overview articles discusses representation problems and (generically) how elements map to real-world entities and problems.  A series of worked examples shows how these ideas can be translated into actual XML.  Finally, there will be detailed element descriptions and schemas that will serve to document the finished standard.

This approach may seem ponderous but it does offer the possibility of understandable documentation for the standard (as opposed to the usual tactic of developing an XML schema and then declaring it to be 'self documenting').  The idea is to discuss the worked examples in light of the overview documents, refine them, and then build the approaches taken into a final schema.

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