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CODE4LIB  September 2009

CODE4LIB September 2009

Subject:

Re: Implementing OpenURL for simple web resources

From:

"O.Stephens" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 15 Sep 2009 17:05:50 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (412 lines)

I'm thinking about it :)

Logically I think we can avoid this as we have the context based on the rfr_id (for which we are proposing)

rfr_id=info:sid/learn.open.ac.uk:[course code] (at the risk of more comment!)

Which seems to me equivalent. I guess it is just a matter of where you do the work, since in SFX we'll end up constructing a 'fetch' to the same location anyway. The amount of work involved to change it one way or the other is probably trivial though.

I'm not sure I agree that what I'm proposing puts 'random' URLs in the rft_id, although I do accept that this is a moot point if other resolvers don't do something useful with them (or worse, make incorrect assumptions about them) - perhaps this is something I could survey as part of the project... (although its all moot if we are only doing this within an internal environment and no-one else ever does it!)

Owen

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 Jonathan Rochkind
> Sent: 15 September 2009 16:52
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Implementing OpenURL for simple web resources
>
> I do like Ross's solution, if you really wanna use OpenURL.
> I'm much more comfortable with the idea of including a URI
> based on your own local service in rft_id, then including any
> old public URL in rft_id.
>
> Then at least your link resolver can say "if what's in rft_id
> begins with (eg)  http://telstar.open.ac.uk/, THEN I know
> this is one of these purl type things, and I know that
> sending the user to it will result in a redirect to an
> end-user-appropriate access URL."
>
> Cause that's my concern with putting random URLs in rft_id,
> that there's no way to know if they are intended as
> end-user-appropriate access URLs or not, and in putting
> things in rft_id that aren't really good
> "identifiers" for the referent at all.   But using your own local
> service ID, now you really DO have something that's
> appropriately considered a "persistent identifier" for the
> referent, AND you have a straightforward way to tell when the
> rft_id of this context is intended as an access URL.
>
> Jonathan
>
> Ross Singer wrote:
> > Oh yeah, one thing I left off --
> >
> > In Moodle, it would probably make sense to link to the URL
> in the <a> tag:
> > <a href="http://bbc.co.uk/">The Beeb!</a> but use a javascript
> > onMouseDown action to rewrite the link to route through your funky
> > link resolver path, a la Google.
> >
> > That way, the page works like any normal webpage, "right mouse
> > click->Copy Link Location" gives the user the "real" URL to copy and
> > paste, but normal behavior funnels through the link resolver.
> >
> > -Ross.
> >
> > On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 11:41 AM, Ross Singer
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >> 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
> >> something like:
> >>
> >>
> http://res.open.ac.uk/?rfr_id=info:/telstar.open.ac.uk&rft_id=http://
> >> telstar.open.ac.uk/1234&dc.identifier=http://bbc.uk.co/
> >> # 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
> >> different day.
> >>
> >> 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.
> >>
> >> -Ross.
> >>
> >> 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
> >>>
> >>> 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?
> >>>>
> >>>> -Ross.
> >>>>
> >>>> 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
> >>>>>>
> >>>> purl-like
> >>>>
> >>>>>> 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
> >>>>>
> >>>> consider
> >>>>
> >>>>> driving personalisation services off the data (like the
> bX product
> >>>>> from Ex Libris) Appropriate copy problem - for resources we
> >>>>>
> >>>> subscribe
> >>>>
> >>>>> 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).
> >>>
> >>>
> >
> >
>


The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

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