Given that the burden of creating these links is entirely on RefWorks
& Telstar, OpenURL seems as good a choice as anything (since anything
would require some other service, anyway). As long as the profs
aren't expected to mess with it, I'm not sure that *how* you do the
indirection matters all that much and, as you say, there are added
bonuses to keeping it within SFX.
It seems to me, though, that your rft_id should be a URI to the db
you're using to store their references, so your CTX would look
# not url encoded because I have, you know, a life.
I can't remember if you can include both metadata-by-reference keys
and metadata-by-value, but you could have by-reference
(&rft_ref=http://telstar.open.ac.uk/1234&rft_ref_fmt=RIS or something)
point at your citation db to return a formatted citation.
This way your citations are unique -- somebody pointing at today's
London Times frontpage isn't the same as somebody else's on a
While I'm shocked that I agree with using OpenURL for this, it seems
as reasonable as any other solution. That being said, unless you can
definitely offer some other service besides linking to the resource,
I'd avoid the resolver menu completely.
On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 11:17 AM, O.Stephens <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Ross - no you didn't miss it,
> There are 3 ways that references might be added to the learning environment:
> An author (or realistically a proxy on behalf of the author) can insert a reference into a structured Word document from an RIS file. This structured document (XML) then goes through a 'publication' process which pushes the content to the learning environment (Moodle), including rendering the references from RIS format into a specified style, with links.
> An author/librarian/other can import references to a 'resources' area in our learning environment (Moodle) from a RIS file
> An author/librarian/other can subscribe to an RSS feed from a RefWorks 'RefShare' folder within the 'resources' area of the learning environment
> In general the project is focussing on the use of RefWorks - so although the RIS files could be created by any suitable s/w, we are looking specifically at RefWorks.
> How you get the reference into RefWorks is something we are looking at currently. The best approach varies depending on the type of material you are looking at:
> For websites it looks like the 'RefGrab-it' bookmarklet/browser plugin (depending on your browser) is the easiest way of capturing website details.
> For books, probably a Union catalogue search from within RefWorks
> For journal articles, probably a Federated search engine (SS 360 is what we've got)
> Any of these could be entered by hand of course, as could several other kinds of reference
> Entering the references into RefWorks could be done by an author, but it more likely to be done by a member of clerical staff or a librarian/library assistant
> Owen Stephens
> TELSTAR Project Manager
> Library and Learning Resources Centre
> The Open University
> Walton Hall
> Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
> T: +44 (0) 1908 858701
> F: +44 (0) 1908 653571
> E: [log in to unmask]
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>> Behalf Of Ross Singer
>> Sent: 15 September 2009 15:56
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Implementing OpenURL for simple web resources
>> Owen, I might have missed it in this message -- my eyes are
>> starting glaze over at this point in the thread, but can you
>> describe how the input of these resources would work?
>> What I'm basically asking is -- what would the professor need
>> to do to add a new: citation for a 70 year old book; journal
>> on PubMed; URL to CiteSeer?
>> How does their input make it into your database?
>> On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 5:04 AM, O.Stephens
>> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> >>True. How, from the OpenURL, are you going to know that the rft is
>> >>meant to represent a website?
>> > I guess that was part of my question. But no one has suggested
>> > defining a new metadata profile for websites (which I
>> probably would
>> > avoid tbh). DC doesn't seem to offer a nice way of doing
>> this (that is
>> > saying 'this is a website'), although there are perhaps
>> some bits and
>> > pieces (format, type) that could be used to give some
>> indication (but
>> > I suspect not unambiguously)
>> >>But I still think what you want is simply a purl server. What makes
>> >>you think you want OpenURL in the first place? But I still don't
>> >>really understand what you're trying to do: "deliver consistency of
>> >>approach across all our references" -- so are you using OpenURL for
>> >>it's more "conventional" use too, but you want to tack on a
>> >>functionality to the same software that's doing something
>> more like a
>> >>conventional link resolver? I don't completely understand
>> your use case.
>> > I wouldn't use OpenURL just to get a persistent URL - I'd
>> almost certainly look at PURL for this. But, I want something
>> slightly different. I want our course authors to be able to
>> use whatever URL they know for a resource, but still try to
>> ensure that the link works persistently over time. I don't
>> think it is reasonable for a user to have to know a 'special'
>> URL for a resource - and this approach means establishing a
>> PURL for all resources used in our teaching material whether
>> or not it moves in the future - which is an overhead it would
>> be nice to avoid.
>> > You can hit delete now if you aren't interested, but ...
>> > ... perhaps if I just say a little more about the project
>> I'm working on it may clarify...
>> > The project I'm working on is concerned with referencing
>> and citation. We are looking at how references appear in
>> teaching material (esp. online) and how they can be reused by
>> students in their personal environment (in essays, later
>> study, or something else). The references that appear can be
>> to anything - books, chapters, journals, articles, etc.
>> Increasingly of course there are references to web-based materials.
>> > For print material, references generally describe the
>> resource and nothing more, but for digital material
>> references are expected not only to describe the resource,
>> but also state a route of access to the resource. This tends
>> to be a bad idea when (for example) referencing e-journals,
>> as we know the problems that surround this - many different
>> routes of access to the same item. OpenURLs work well in this
>> situation and seem to me like a sensible (and perhaps the
>> only viable) solution. So we can say that for
>> journals/articles it is sensible to ignore any URL supplied
>> as part of the reference, and to form an OpenURL instead. If
>> there is a DOI in the reference (which is increasingly
>> common) then that can be used to form a URL using DOI
>> resolution, but it makes more sense to me to hand this off to
>> another application rather than bake this into the reference
>> - and OpenURL resolvers are reasonably set to do this.
>> > If we look at a website it is pretty difficult to reference
>> it without including the URL - it seems to be the only good
>> way of describing what you are actually talking about (how
>> many people think of websites by 'title', 'author' and
>> 'publisher'?). For me, this leads to an immediate confusion
>> between the description of the resource and the route of
>> access to it. So, to differentiate I'm starting to think of
>> the http URI in a reference like this as a URI, but not
>> necessarily a URL. We then need some mechanism to check,
>> given a URI, what is the URL.
>> > Now I could do this with a script - just pass the URI to a
>> script that checks what URL to use against a list and
>> redirects the user if necessary. On this point Jonathan said
>> "if the usefulness of your technique does NOT count on being
>> inter-operable with existing link resolver infrastructure...
>> PERSONALLY I would be using OpenURL, I don't think it's worth
>> it" - but it struck me that if we were passing a URI to a
>> script, why not pass it in an OpenURL? I could see a number
>> of advantages to this in the local context:
>> > Consistency - references to websites get treated the same as
>> > references to journal articles - this means a single
>> approach on the
>> > course side, with flexibility Usage stats - we could collect these
>> > whatever, but if we do it via OpenURL we get this in the
>> same place as
>> > the stats about usage of other scholarly material and could
>> > driving personalisation services off the data (like the bX product
>> > from Ex Libris) Appropriate copy problem - for resources we
>> > to with authentication mechanisms there is (I think) an
>> equivalent to
>> > the 'appropriate copy' issue as with journal articles - we
>> can push a
>> > URI to 'Web of Science' to the correct version of Web of
>> Science via a
>> > local authentication method (using ezproxy for us)
>> > The problem with the approach (as Nate and Eric mention) is
>> that any approach that relies on the URI as a identifier
>> (whether using OpenURL or a script) is going to have problems
>> as the same URI could be used to identify different resources
>> over time. I think Eric's suggestion of using additional
>> information to help differentiate is worth looking at, but I
>> suspect that this is going to cause us problems - although
>> I'd say that it is likely to cause us much less work than the
>> alternative, which is allocating every single reference to a
>> web resource used in our course material it's own persistent URL.
>> > The use case we are currently looking at is only with our
>> own (authenticated) learning environment - so these OpenURLs
>> are not going to appear in the wild, so to some extent
>> perhaps it doesn't matter what we do - but it still seems
>> sensible to me to look at what 'good practice' might look like.
>> > I hope this is clear - I'm still struggling with some of
>> this, and sometimes it doesn't make complete sense to me, but
>> that's my best stab at explaining my thinking at the moment.
>> Again, I appreciate the comments. Jonathan said "But you seem
>> to understand what's up". I wish I did! I guess that I'm
>> reasonably confident that the approach I'm describing has
>> some chance of doing the job - whether it is the best
>> approach I'm not so sure about.
>> > Owen
>> > The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC
>> 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity
>> registered in Scotland (SC 038302).
> The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).