You need Macromedia Flash Player version 8 or higher to see the website.

Online Access to Consolidated Information on Serials for the Middle East (OACIS)

What is OACIS?
Initiated by Yale University Library, OACIS creates a publicly and freely available electronic union list of serials and journals from or about the Middle East. The mission of OACIS is to improve access to Middle Eastern serials in libraries in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, and to make scholarly literature from, and about, the Middle East widely and easily available to scholars around the world.

The OACIS system ( was launched in November 2003 and currently comprises 19 partners (including 14 American, one German, one Jordanian, one Syrian, one Lebanese and Bibliotheca Alexandrina), 42 languages (with the top collections in Arabic, Persian and Turkish) and over 38,500 unique title records.

BA's role
BA has been acting as a major Middle East partner in OACIS since August 2004. BA catalog records have been incorporated in the OACIS catalog with quarterly updates since January 2005. A number of digitized documents have been integrated into the OACIS system through a Digital Viewer. BA also directed a digitization discovery project which has helped significantly in planning for future online delivery of journal article content through OACIS. Scanning, processing and OCRing of BA and Yale University Library copyright-free journal volumes (Arabic, English and French) has also been taking place.

In January 2005, a mirror site of the system was launched at BA. The mirror site enhances access to the OACIS database in the Middle East region and serves as a backup to the original. Designing and implementing an Arabic web interface for the collection has also been completed.

Technical details
In late April 2005, two software engineers from BA joined Yale as interns for one month each, during which:

  • Input forms for two Middle Eastern libraries, partners in the project, were implemented. The libraries did not own Library Information Systems (LIS). Therefore, the forms helped them add or update their records to the OACIS database, and helped them understand and work with Marc 21 format.
  • Additional input forms were implemented in the aforementioned libraries for metadata of digitized journals, for which automatic updating was implemented as well.
  • The Digital Viewer was enhanced for better display of digitized books and navigation. Searching within the contents of the digitized books was also implemented.

The project ended September 2005 with a commitment from all partners to regularly update the database on a quarterly basis. The project’s sequel is the Arabic and Middle Eastern Electronic Library (AMEEL) project, which commenced at the end of 2005.



Last updated on 29 Nov 2012