In the UK we have a pilot service that provides a registry for
OpenURL resolvers, and also a "routing" service, hence the name
Institutions can register their OpenURL resolvers - base URL,
preferred button image and "alt" text, and various identifiers (IP
address range and authentication scheme IDs).
Service providers can then perform a lookup on the registry. For
instance, a user from Edinburgh University is likely to access most
services with the "Athens" authentication system (which associates
them with the institutional identifier "edu"); the service provider
can perform a lookup with this HTTP request:
The XML response details the resolver (try it, the XML is readable).
The EDINA BIOSIS service uses this technique to provide OpenURL links
to whatever resolver the institution has entered in the registry. No
librarians ever have to inform EDINA about their OpenURL Resolver,
and EDINA does not have to hold tables mapping customers to OpenURL
Resolvers: as soon as a resolver is entered into the OpenURL Router
registry, links automatically appear in EDINA services.
The OpenURL Router can also provide a redirection service, which
allows people to offer an OpenURL like:
When an end user clicks on that link, the OpenURL Router figures out
their institution from their IP address and redirects the browser to
their local resolver. If their IP address is unrecognised there are
tricks using Athens that may identify them; if absolutely necessary,
they are asked to pick from a list of institutions. The last resort
if no matching institution with a resolver can be found is to provide
them with a choice of free access resolvers.
Apart from the obvious gain that it could save librarians informing
all their different service providers about their resolver, the
OpenURL Router enables OpenURL Links from services that have no login
procedures. Suppose you have an open access bibliographic portal;
anyone can use the service, so you are unlikely to keep big tables of
IP address ranges to identify users (it takes time, costs money, why
would you?) You could add OpenURL links to your service, except you
cannot tell what resolver to address them to. The OpenURL Router
fixes this; either you can do a registry lookup using the end users'
IP address, or just create a link with openurl.ac.uk as the base
The OpenURL Router is funded by JISC (http://www.jisc.ac.uk/). There
is no charge for using the service, and access is not restricted,
though because the funding is derived from the Higher/Further
Education sector in the UK it cannot really be extended to cover
resolvers outwith the UK. Full details at http://openurl.ac.uk/doc/.
On Tue, 07 December, 2004 20:44, Hickey,Thom wrote:
> Forwarding a message from the OpenWorldCat team:
> As part of the Open WorldCat program, OCLC will be piloting a registry
> of OpenURL resolvers. We plan to investigate building on the more than
1200 OpenURL resolvers currently registered within our administrative
> systems. We are in the early design stages and would welcome
> recommendations. Feel free to email directly to:
> Mike Teets, Exec. Dir. Product Architecture & Development, OCLC
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
> It looks like we'll be prototyping that here in Research, so we might
> have some data for Dan to play with.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
> Daniel Chudnov
> Sent: Monday, December 06, 2004 6:55 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CODE4LIB] resolver list.
> For some stuff I'd like to try, and maybe for browser extension authors,
> among others, it would be helpful to have at least one public list of
> some public openurl resolvers. If you like, if you might kindly add
> your resolver to the just-started list here:
> ...it would be very helpful.
> Or, if there's already a list like this elsewhere, please let me know.
> Thanks, -Dan
Ben Soares tel: +44 (0)131-651 1238
EDINA, Edinburgh University Data Library fax: +44 (0)131-650 3308
Main Library Building, George Square email: [log in to unmask]
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ, Scotland, UK www: http://edina.ac.uk/
"Hmmm, that makes no sense to me...
But then you are very small, perhaps you're right." -- Treebeard