Overview of the BEN Project

Our Goal:
To collect decentralized metadata for learning objects, located at various collections, in a central “portal” database.

Understanding the Goal:

Our goal has three major components:

  1. Decentralized metadata in various collections (your collection)
  2. A central “portal” database (the BEN portal)
  3. Data collection – also known as Harvesting (this needs to be set up)

We have set up the portal. You have either already set up or are about to set up your collection. So, all that
needs to be done is to set up a way to do the data collection. And here is how we decided to do the data collection:

  1. The portal will send out a request to your collection for the metadata
  2. You collection will generate and send the metadata to the portal
  3. The portal will take your metadata and store it to the central database

But how does the portal know how your metadata is structured so that it can store it appropriately? How can we ensure
the quality of metadata provided by all different collections?

The answers to these questions led to the following requirements for the metadata you provide to the portal:

BEN Compatible Metadata Requirements:

  • Portal and Collections must agree upon the metadata format. i.e. the BEN Metadata Specification (BEN LOM)
  • Collections must provide metadata which adheres to Portal’s specifications, i.e., is of sufficient quality, includes all required fields, etc.
  • Portal and Collections must agree upon a protocol (communication procedure), i.e., the Protocol for Metadata Harvesting – OAI PMH

In Summary:

This means you have to come up with a way to provide BEN-LOM compatible Metadata to the portal and you need to provide
it in an OAI-PMH XML format. You also need to make sure that the metadata you provide for each learning object includes
all fields that are required by the BEN-LOM.

But don’t get scared by all this, it’s easier than it sounds! And we are going to give you step by step instructions on
what you need to do and what documents you need to look at.

Getting Started:

  1. Set up your collection using IsoveraDL available here.
  2. Set up a new digital library other than IsoveraDL
  3. Add components to your existing digital library that are able to generate metadata in required format.