Saturday, March 03, 2007

Dan Chudnov on openURL

Dan Chudnov interview with John Udell on OpenURL, context-sensitive linking, and digital archiving. Follows a related interview Udell had with Tony Hammond.

Problem dates back to world of print ... academic research requires that readers be able to consult sources, and easily verify results and claims. Hence enforced consistency of style manuals and authority files. In networked environment, openURL provides consistent citations formats. Mentions ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) work on impact factor by Eugene Garfield. Also DOIs from CNRI Handle System

Unlike DOIs, URLs are not succinct numbers, but rather more like canned queries, e.g., http with name-value pairs. Effectiveness in identifying target resource highly dependent on robust metadata.

Dan mentions dspace project he contributed to at MIT, initially designed to offer stable URL for self-archiving authors, and open access publishing. Now working on metasearch tool called "LibraryFind" at Oregon State University.

OhioLink has O-Link sytem, provides text string citation type.

COinS: way to specifiy openurl in HTML span tag. Packages query in openURL style, but without resolver. Context object is part of openURL specifying metadata package to sent over wire. Requires companion piece of software something like greasemonkey on user end. Similar to microformats. OpenlyInformatics has COinS generator. There are also blog plugins, and structured blogging tools.

OCLC has OpenURL Resolver Registry, records from over 1,000 institutions. Dan has worked with OCLC to assemble database of bookmarklets, greasemonkey, etc., scripts. Can be obtained and distributed on campus.

Once COinS formed, appears as href anchor links, binds to resolver for ones own institution, the icon for which should appear for browser.

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