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Liberal Arts Databases

All of Kettering's Liberal Studies Databases in one place

The Open Archives Initiative

Using the Open Archives Initiative

OAIster is a database that gathers together information about freely available electronic documents and resources. It scans the internet to find freely available items that conform to a particular Open Archives Initiative (OAI) protocol.

OAIster can harvest key bibliographic information from these freely available resources and then use this information to point you towards the resources when you do a search on OAIster.

What will you find on OAIster?

  • Theses
  • Journal articles
  • Preprints
  • Book chapters
  • Conference proceedings

Where does OAIster find these items?

OAIster captures information from institutional repositories and from open access journals.

Take note: Some items are peer-reviewed, while others are not.


The records of the open access digital resources available via OAIster lead to a wide range of materials and include:

  • Digitized (scanned) books, journal articles, newspapers, manuscripts and more
  • Digital text
  • Audio files (wav, mp3)
  • Video files (mp4, QuickTime)
  • Photographic images (jpeg, tiff, gif)
  • Data sets (downloadable statistical information)
  • Theses and research papers


OAIster began at the University of Michigan in 2002 funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and with the purpose of establishing a retrieval service for publicly available digital library resources provided by the research library community. During its tenure at the University of Michigan, OAIster grew to become one of the largest aggregations of records pointing to open access collections in the world.

In 2009, OCLC formed a partnership with the University of Michigan to provide continued access to open access collections aggregated in OAIster. Since OCLC began managing OAIster, it has grown to include over 30 million records contributed by over 1,500 organizations. OCLC is evolving OAIster to a model of self-service contribution for all open access digital repositories to ensure the long-term sustainability of this rich collection of open access materials.

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