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Valuing the text online in electronic publishing: formats and protocols

Amazon_Kindle_4To enhance the online text, several strategies are used. In particular, we work on typography and accessibility. We must also work on data exchange protocols (interoperability) as the OAI-PMH on data exchange formats, such as OPDS (Bookserver), Dublin Core, ONIX. Interoperability, accessibility, sustainability of documents … must meet specific standards to the Web and to be standardized. This is the W3C task.


OAI-PMH allows exchanging resource records through online stores. The specifications are public.

The interrogation of deposits uses HTTP and the results are displayed in XML. The following list shows the various usable verbs and arguments, as well as some examples

  • Verb >>> Role >>> Arguments
  • GetRecord >>> Recovery of a given record >>> identifier, metadataPrefix
  • Identify >>> Information on the data warehouse >>> none
  • ListIdentifiers >>> Get the list of available identifiers >>> from: start date, until: end date, metadataPrefix, set, resumptionToken
  • ListMetadataFormats >>> Request a list of available metadata formats. Without parameters all available formats for at least one item is returned. With the parameter identifier are returned only available formats for the item concerned >>> identifier
  • ListRecords >>> Returns a list of records corresponding to the various requested parameters (dates, together). >>> from: start date, until: end date, metadataPrefix, set, resumptionToken
  • ListSets >>> Request the list of packages available on a warehouse. The answer may be on multiple pages. >>> resumptionToken

This standard makes it possible to centralize the resource records but not their content, making its limits, in relation to the OPDS.


Internet Archive has developed an open system that allows you to search, through an index engine, books that are available from a multitude of sources. This way it allows them to interconnect a number of book actors: booksellers, libraries, search engines and readers. The bookserver catalogs are presented via the OPDS format. Bookserver can create catalogs and make them available to those who wish for a free or paid distribution.

This free and open format is described on Google code:

Software compatible with the OPDS format.

  • Lexcycle Stanza on the iPhone, iPod and iPad
  • Aldiko on Android.
  • Mantano Reader on Android.
  • FBReader and Ibis Reader, multiplatform

Dublin Core

The format is a simple Dublin Core standard describing bibliographic resources. The difficulty of describing unambiguously complex documents is large. These descriptions are primarily intended to be interpreted by machines, and much less by humans. This involves using lists of authorities and encoding known schemes. This is why it is necessary to resort as often as possible to a declaration of “scheme”.


Unicode is a central character set in the field of electronic publishing. It is a character coding system for different alphabets in the world, assigning each a unique numeric identifier, regardless of the language used. This encoding standard tends to universality, its objective being to establish itself as replacing standard encodings systems previously applied in different languages and countries. This standardization of the code aims to enable the exchange of electronic documents in the world, and thus adapts the electronic edition at this scale.


The World Wide Web Consortium is an expert body that standardizes and develops the most important data formats for writing Web pages.

Translated from Wikipedia

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