On 6/1/2011 10:46 PM, Frumkin, Jeremy wrote:
> that content for the user? If we are indeed trying to meet our users'
> needs, perhaps we need not to continue to build just-in-case collections,
> but provide just-in-time access to information resources, regardless of
> their location, and perhaps even without needing a local collection at all.
This is in fact exactly the goal of my Umlaut software (originally
started by Ross Singer, now developed by me, with some contributions
from other developers), which is seperate from the catalog, it's a sort
of "link resolver", but more than the type of "link resolver" you're
The idea is that Umlaut is _not_ used for finding resources you are
interested in with keyword search (like the catalog, or Google). Rather,
it's for, once you've identified a particular title/work/resource you're
interested in, Umlaut gives "just-in-time" access and service options.
For that to work, _something_ has to send Umlaut an OpenURL (Umlaut
could certainly be modified to accept things in other structured formats
too, with individual citation elements identified).
Then Umlaut checks the catalog, and tells you if we have it on the
shelves (with call number location, and 'request' document delivery
option from the catalog). It also checks the SFX knowledge base, which
works for journal articles more then e-books. It ALSO checks: Amazon,
Google Books, HathiTrust, and Internet Archive -- for both full text
availability and "search inside" availability (which can be present even
without full text, like in Amazon), and direct links to both. It also
provides Inter-Library Loan links, and assorted other service links
(like 'cited by' from ISI or Scopus when the "just in time" resource is
It's definitely not perfect, there are a LOT of challenges to trying to
do this, and a lot of things I have ideas (but no time) for making
better; and other things I'd like to make better but _don't_ have ideas
of how to feasibly accomplish. But the aim of it is very much like what
Jeremy describes. (Note that "just in time" searching the entire
internet for open access copies is a HUGE challenge; you need someone
with a search index of the entire internet, which has an API, which also
somehow gives you enough data to figure out with some reliability if a
hit really is an _open access_ copy of what you're looking for --- we
don't have that, especially the third).
Here's an example of Umlaut on a book, that has useful open access
services Umlaut can find:
(Not sure why there's an error on that page at present, but it still
demonstrates the features I want to demonstrate).
We also use Umlaut as a central infrastructural piece providing these
services in our other interfaces that DO allow keyword searching, like
the catalog. So the similar elements on this page are also provided by