“…a time saving tool forresource discovery”
Thestone age?       http://www.flickr.com/photos/thaqela/6774236608/
WHAT IS A LINK RESOLVER?  R.H.C Davis. A History of Medieval Europe.  2nd ed. Published Harlow : Longman 1988.
Carry outa search        Look up reference in        library catalogue        and/or website                  Determine if...
Carry out a     Link      Fullsearch                    text              Resolver                         article
ANSI/NISO Z39.88 THE OPEN-URL FRAMEWORK FORCONTEXT-SENSITIVE SERVICES:The OpenURL Framework Standard defines anarchitectur...
WIKIPEDIA SAYS:OpenURL is a standardized format of Uniform ResourceLocator (URL) intended to enable Internet users tomore ...
WIKIPEDIA SAYS:A knowledge base or knowledgebase (also KB or kb) isa special kind of database for knowledge management.A k...
WHO’S INVOLVED?                      libraries      Link resolver                Content        suppliers                 ...
Link resolver  suppliers     (NOT EXHAUSTIVE!)
COMMONLY REPORTED ISSUES Errors   in linking     Arrive at an error page     Arrive at an incorrect page     Not arriv...
CURRENT/FUTURE CONCERNS/ISSUES Open  Access ebooks PDA Archives and other special materials Preservation – CLOCKSS, L...
CURRENT/FUTURE SOLUTIONS? KBART     (Knowledge Base And Related Tools)     http://www.uksg.org/kbart Unified        Res...
ANY QUESTIONS?http://www.flickr.com/photos/cristinacosta/4304968451/sizes/o/Image author: cristinacosta
Burke siobhan link_resolver
Burke siobhan link_resolver
Burke siobhan link_resolver
Burke siobhan link_resolver
Burke siobhan link_resolver
Burke siobhan link_resolver
Burke siobhan link_resolver
Burke siobhan link_resolver
Burke siobhan link_resolver
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Burke siobhan link_resolver


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  • Hello.My name is Siobhán Burke and I worked in the Electronic Resources team at the University of Manchester Library for 4 years, first as an assistant for 2 years before taking over the team. So my experience and everything I want to share with you today is based on my own experience of learning on the job, as I certainly wasn’t taught about knowledge bases and link resolvers at my library school. [CLICK]
  • That’s essentially what a link resolver doesbut what is it and why? I’ll attempt to answer WHY we have link resolvers first, then cover what they do in more specific detail before saying more about how I managed the system at Manchester.[CLICK]
  • Why do we need a link resolver?Thinking about what we had before...[CLICK]
  • Life before a link resolver? Well perhaps the situation was not quite so archaic as the stone age with cavemen but it was certainly tedious.[CLICK]
  • Traditional research involved finding information and being led onto other information referenced by the author or authors. This is just an image of one of my own old undergraduate history books. Just in case anyone is interested and because I am a pedantic librarian... [CLICK] there’s the reference. Quite a nice overview text of medieval European History.So if you wanted to find these other resources, you’d have to look each one up in turn using the library catalogue, which thankfully in my time was electronic. But with the advent of more and more electronic resources, both journals and databases in the first instance, the mechanisms for the way research was carried out was changing and perhaps instead of finding a list in a book like this you would find a list of potential resources in an Abstracting and Indexing database such as Web of Knowledge, Scopus or PubMed. After carrying out a search using one of these services, you might get a list like this: [CLICK]
  • And this is where the need for a link resolver really came in. Pre-link resolver, you would [CLICK]
  • Carry out your search, look up each of the references you wanted to find, [CLICK] check the library catalogue’s holdings, sometimes you would have had to go and search a separate list of journals on the library’s website somewhere, [CLICK] just to see if the library subscribed, and only then link through to the service. Of course, you would have only linked through to the homepage of the journal. [CLICK] You would still have to carry out a further search using the citation information from your A&I database results before [CLICK] finally getting to the full text.[CLICK]
  • But with the introduction of a link resolver, those 3 processes in the middle were replaced by that system. Not only was it checking your library’s holdings to see if full-text was available, but it was also providing a link directly to the full text of the resource, and not just the landing page but to article level full text. [CLICK]Overall, the link resolver enabled a seamless process to the user, bridging the gap between discovering a resource to reading the full-text.[CLICK]
  • We now know what its purpose is but what actually is a link resolver?Simply, I guess it’s a system that makes use of OpenURL in conjunction with a knowledgebase.So what is OpenURL? And what is a knowledgebase?[CLICK]
  • That’s an abstract from the NISO standard of the OpenURL framework but frankly the definition from that wonderful librarian’s tool Wikipedia is more user friendly[CLICK]
  • [Read first sentence][CLICK]
  • So a Knowledgebase is essentially a database and in the context of the link resolvers we are talking about, they are very big and complex databases. Maintaining the knowledgebase is also where the main work from a librarian’s perspective occurs.[CLICK]
  • Here’s an example of a link resolver menu from Manchester library’s perspective as provided by SFX. In this instance I’m looking for an article from this Journal, from 2004 and I’m presented with 3 different service provider options. As a user, there are various reasons that determine which one at that point I would choose. I’ll touch on that again later.But if we wanted a different article from a different year, say 2008, then this is the menu that would be presented to a user.[CLICK]
  • So same title, but because we have chosen a different year, I am now only presented with 2 options. And that’s the knowledgebase informing what information should populate the menu that the user sees.[CLICK]
  • But when you see the generic page for this journal, where I haven’t pre-chosen an article, you will see that the 3 service providers are present again but also [CLICK] displaying different coverage information. And it is that coverage information along with being activated in the first place, that determine if a service provider appears in a menu or not. So it is vital that the coverage information is correct. If it’s not correct a user may not find full-text or choose another copy which effect the usage for that service provider, for that journal, for that institution.So getting things right with a link resolver is crucial and involves 2 other main stakeholders in making that right.[CLICK]
  • These are the key players in this stakeholdertriangle. Libraries can vary but are commonly higher education libraries due to the costs of having a system like this. Content providers include publishers of scholarly content. And Link resolvers are as the name suggests.[CLICK]
  • [CLICK]
  • As I mentioned before, the knowledgebase is largely where the work is done by a librarian. At Manchester we are not a hosted service, so we have other tasks to carry out such as maintaining our server but that’s really only once a month. In a small team of 2.5 people, we maintain this knowledgebase along with running a helpdesk for electronic resources and other tasks. But maintaining the knowledgebase with 100% accuracy could easily employ more people.So how do you manage a knowledgebase and how deos it work in practice? As I’ve said before, I can only account for how we operate in Manchester but the best way to explain is to show you.[CLICK]
  • So having logged in....This is the first screen you see showing all the functions available to you, depending on your role. I’m logged in as an administrator which is why I all them appear available to me. There are lots of possibilities here to do things such as KBUpdate is where you manage your knowledgebase and software updates, control who has access under Administration. But the main areas that you use on regular basis are these top 2 sections; KBManager and KBTools. KBManager would be daily, hourly even. Anything else generally has been done when you got started such as customising the interface your users see.[CLICK]
  • So looking more closely at this section, KB Manager, and again really, on a very regular basis, only targets and Objects are used. Sources are your A&I databases, also now any publisher who can offer OpenURL links from their site, for example, the citations contained in articles can now contain links to that content, regardless of who the publisher of that material is and again this has become the standard and expected by users and when those links are not there, then it is likely to have an impact on whether that user decides to get hold of that article. Other sources include Google Scholar, a favourite among students, and your own library catalogues, and it is only this one that I have had to configure locally, the rest are added for us.So going through the terminology here, a Source is that which generates the OpenURL from the bibliographical information it has which then links via OpenURL to produce an SFX or FindIt menu as it’s branded, linking through to full text on a Target.Targets are your content packages, top level groupings from publishers or aggregators. Objects are the individual records of a particular resource, be it a single ejournal or ebook. It is only when the two entities are combined , i.e. This journal from this service provider that an object portfolio, SFX’s terminology, is presented to a user in an SFX menu.So where do you start? The easiest scenario might be that the library has purchased a subscription to one new journal title. Sounds easy. And often it is easy. But there can often be issues. Hopefully you know the ISSN and you simply look that up. Click on Objects and search for 1475-679X or 0021-8456[CLICK]
  • So this is the same journal from before. I’m using our test instance so that I can’t do any damage to the live service and also none of the options are activated. So what you are looking at now are all the possible options for who provides access to this journal. And according to this, there are 65 possible options. But this includes different service types: GetTOC -Tables of Content, Get Document Delivery Get Fulltxt, there are others such as GetSelected Full text, Get Abstract etc. At Manchester, we used to activate some of those options, but in reality, if a user sees an option presented to them on a FindIt menu, then they are expecting to get to full text. They would be very annoyed to only get to an abstract. In reality, we really only use GetFulltext apart some other services that are offered alongside full text link in the FindIt menu. So from your options, you can narrow them down to full text, wish I could do this in reality, of course. So hopefully you know who your access to the resource is coming from. Often you do, it’ll be Taylor & Francis, OUP, Science Direct, well known major players. But sometimes it’s not clear if the publisher is new to you and may be a little obscure. That can be for reasons local to us at Manchester but can also be due to how the options are entered on SFX.But let’s assume you do know the provider. Now this journal appeared before but who can remember the 3 providers which were activated? There’s a prize for the first person to name all three!Ok, so I’ll go with the JSTOR option . The list is alphabetical so onto the next page and there it is. JSTOR Arts & Sciences 4 and it has the correct coverage. But if you did need to change it, you simply click on E for edit. Opens a new window where you can do various things, most commonly alter coverage information. Usually I just copy and paste this little script and edit the details as necessary or you can click here and input the information. But it’s fine so we will turn it on.All you do is click here. You probably can’t see but there is an invisible tick, I click on it and it’s now activated. To check that all works fine, just click the SFX symbol, the FindIt menu opens and away you go to the service provider. You’ll have to forgive the state of this test interface though.But of course we activate more than 1 title at a time, we can be activating thousands of titles, especially ebooks as we catch up with all of the new packages being added to SFX’s knowledgebase.So I know that we subscribe to all of JSTOR Arts & Sciences 4 so I’ll show you quickly how easy it to activate that. From here, you need only click on the package name.
  • This takes you back up the hierarchy to Target level. And you again, click to tick, go into S for service level. This is where I mentioned before about GetAbstract/TOC etc but in this case there is only one option, so you click again and then you go down a level to portfolio or individual title level. You can activate them all with one click by clicking ‘Activate All’. In one click that’s has turned on all 157 titles in that package. What we generally assume with this type of package is that the name of the package tallies with what we have chosen to subscribe to, that all the titles of the package are listed in SFX under that package name and of course that all of the coverage information is correct.But there are times when we are subscribing to custom content or for whatever reason, it’s not the same on SFX as what we think we have or what a publisher tells us we have. And this is where Dataloader is an option, particularly if you are working with numbers over 200, 300 titles. There simply isn’t the time to check titles individually, when you think of the changes that happen annually in deals and moving walls and embargo periods. It’s fine to manual check say a closed package that is never going to be altered but otherwise it’s not feasible.
  • For Dataloader, you go back to the home screen and click Dataloader. What Dataloader allows you to do is upload a file to your SFX instance containing your local information, and Dataloader matches that with the SFX knowledgebase and carries out any commands that are contained in that file.First you select the package that you want to alter, find your file. The file is a just spreadsheet saved as a text file with the first column consisting of ISSNs or ISBNs and you can do various things with that list from there such as activate titles, change the coverage information, etc.It works very well for the most part but there is often a little manual work still to do because for different reasons it can’t find a particular match between the file and the SFX knowledgebase.[CLICK]
  • [CLICK]
  • So throughout I’ve talked in positive terms and perfect world scenario where everything works as you would expect. But I would hope that now you can see where errors can occur. These are some of the most commonly reported problems that we would deal with on our helpdesk, where SFX was concerned.[READ SLIDE]Expectations are raised now with the function offered by link resolvers ingrained in the research experience. And I do mean research with a small r as that pertains to anyone carrying out any level of research from your first year undergraduate all the way up to Vice Chancellors.When things go wrong, users are so used to it working, they don’t know what to do or where to go. They react as though everything’s broken: the library, the resource they’re trying to get to and this is really poor for everyone’s experience of all our services. They therefore are wary of the library, the publisher’s websites and the link resolver system.[CLICK]
  • Increasingly the content available via link resolver has not just increased in volume but also become more and more complex and I’m sure it’s been difficult for everyone involved in maintaining these services and systems. These are just some of the current and future issues that I’m aware of.[CLICK]
  • But thankfully there are current and future initiatives that should alleviate and hopefully finally resolve the problems experienced with using and managing link resolvers. The first is already there, KBART, a UKSG initiative and involves representatives from all in that stakeholder triangle I showed you above. I’m no KBART expert, so please look at their website shown here if you want more information. And I would particularly recommend that to any content providers/publishers in the room as it will expand on some of the potential pitfalls involved in participating with link resolvers.The second is URM systems or next generation library management systems. These aim to bring together all the disparate systems currently used by libraries to organise and manage their processes. Currently the acquisition of resources is in the traditional library management system and yet there is this other link resolver system with a knowledge base, that then have to marry up. Bringing them into one system again should hopefully alleviate a lot of duplication that currently occurs in the work of libraries in managing all their collections. So although I have highlighted some issues and problems, I hope I’ve also explained how important and useful link resolvers and that on the whole they work extremely well and now I’m also hopeful that in the future those final issues will be resolved. So on that I will finish and ask if their are any questions?[CLICK]
  • Burke siobhan link_resolver

    2. 2. “…a time saving tool forresource discovery”
    4. 4. Thestone age? http://www.flickr.com/photos/thaqela/6774236608/
    5. 5. WHAT IS A LINK RESOLVER? R.H.C Davis. A History of Medieval Europe. 2nd ed. Published Harlow : Longman 1988.
    6. 6. Carry outa search Look up reference in library catalogue and/or website Determine if the library subscribes Search Full for the text article article
    7. 7. Carry out a Link Fullsearch text Resolver article
    9. 9. ANSI/NISO Z39.88 THE OPEN-URL FRAMEWORK FORCONTEXT-SENSITIVE SERVICES:The OpenURL Framework Standard defines anarchitecture for creating OpenURL FrameworkApplications. An OpenURL Framework Application is anetworked service environment, in which packages ofinformation are transported over a network. Thesepackages have a description of a referenced resource attheir core, and they are transported with the intent ofobtaining context-sensitive services pertaining to thereferenced resource. To enable the recipients of thesepackages to deliver such context-sensitive services, eachpackage describes the referenced resource itself, thenetwork context in which the resource isreferenced, and the context in which the service requesttakes place. http://www.niso.org/
    10. 10. WIKIPEDIA SAYS:OpenURL is a standardized format of Uniform ResourceLocator (URL) intended to enable Internet users tomore easily find a copy of a resource that they areallowed to access. Although OpenURL can be used withany kind of resource on the Internet, it is most heavilyused by libraries to help connect patrons to subscriptioncontent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenURL
    11. 11. WIKIPEDIA SAYS:A knowledge base or knowledgebase (also KB or kb) isa special kind of database for knowledge management.A knowledge base is an information repository thatprovides a means for information to becollected, organized, shared, searched and utilized. Itcan be either machine-readable or intended for humanuse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_base
    12. 12. WHO’S INVOLVED? libraries Link resolver Content suppliers providers
    13. 13. Link resolver suppliers (NOT EXHAUSTIVE!)
    15. 15. DEMO
    16. 16. COMMONLY REPORTED ISSUES Errors in linking  Arrive at an error page  Arrive at an incorrect page  Not arriving at article level Access issues  Content not available for a particular volume/issue/year  Content not available at all! Missing resource – why isn’t a title/package appearing in FindIt (the link resolver)?
    17. 17. CURRENT/FUTURE CONCERNS/ISSUES Open Access ebooks PDA Archives and other special materials Preservation – CLOCKSS, LOCKSS, Portico
    18. 18. CURRENT/FUTURE SOLUTIONS? KBART (Knowledge Base And Related Tools)  http://www.uksg.org/kbart Unified Resources Management (URM) systems
    19. 19. ANY QUESTIONS?http://www.flickr.com/photos/cristinacosta/4304968451/sizes/o/Image author: cristinacosta