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21 November 2014 
1 
Enhancing life-long learning, teaching and research through 
information resources and services
‘If it is broke, do fix it’: 
Tracking suspect links in SFX with LinkDoubt 
21 November 2014 
2 
Richard Cross 
Resource D...
Abstract 
When Libraries and Learning Resources at Nottingham Trent 
University piloted the ‘report a broken link’ feature...
Broken 
links in 
SFX !? 
21 November 2014 
4
21 November 2014 
5
Context @ NTU 
• Had anecdotal evidence that SFX fails were a recurring concern for 
some users 
• Asked for evidence, loo...
21 November 2014 
7
21 November 2014 
8
21 November 2014 
Context 
Object 
9 
Target 
name Target 
URL
‘Broken link’ report email 
Ex Libris 
KB team Library team 
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10 
Automatic Optional
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11 
‘Broken link’ report: KB team 
Intended to alert KB team to errors and inconsistencies 
Object • Det...
21 November 2014 
12 
‘Broken link’ actions: KB team 
Actions KB team could take in response to ‘broken link’ report 
KB r...
So that’s all 
sorted, then? 
21 November 2014 
13
KB team will not be able to fix 
• Incorrect, or out-of-date, portfolio activations 
• Incorrect local holdings informatio...
In these cases, the KB 
team will find nothing to 
‘fix’… 
…because there’s nothing 
‘broken’ 
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15
21 November 2014 
16 
Things that the KB team can 
fixed will be done, queued and 
packaged for future release… 
…but one ...
So ‘broken link’ is something of a misnomer 
It might be better thought of as the: 
I actively chose to click on this offe...
‘Broken link’ reporting is anonymous… 
 Simplicity – single click to complete 
 Simplicity – takes 1-2 seconds at most 
...
Ooh, hello. What’s this then? 
<click> 
OMG. I did not mean for that to happen. 
Undo. 
There’s no UNDO. 
WHY IS THERE NO ...
Go on then. Just one more. 
<click> 
That’s funny. 
It’s not even broken. 
LOL. 
21 November 2014 
20
21 November 2014 
21
Developing LinkDoubt 
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22
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23
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24
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28 
• Status 
• Diagnosis 
• Update 
- of the ticket 
- of the problem 
- on the actions taken
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29
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30
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31
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32
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33
Pattern of ‘broken link’ submission 
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34
Snapshot – Friday 10 October 
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35
Reports – broken link causes 
• Content moved or ‘gone away’ – uncurated, free collections most 
vulnerable 
• Metadata mi...
Most common solutions 
• Updating destination URLs for simple title-level content 
• Resolving local holdings mismatches 
...
LinkDoubt – built with… 
• Scripting languages: PHP (server side); JQuery (browser side) 
• Database backend: MySQL 
• CSS...
Future plans 
• Richer, clever reporting 
• Cross-reference to SFX usage statistics 
• Cross-reference to UStat COUNTER st...
Impact of LinkDoubt 
• Still very new, but… 
• Clear evidence of user experience of failed SFX links 
• Most are not being...
21 November 2014 
41 
Questions and comments? 
‘If it is broke, do fix it’: 
Tracking suspect links in SFX with LinkDoubt ...
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If it is broke do fix it

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Tracking suspect links in SFX with LinkDoubt

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If it is broke do fix it

  1. 1. 21 November 2014 1 Enhancing life-long learning, teaching and research through information resources and services
  2. 2. ‘If it is broke, do fix it’: Tracking suspect links in SFX with LinkDoubt 21 November 2014 2 Richard Cross Resource Discovery and Innovation Team Manager Nottingham Trent University EPUG-UKI Conference, British Library Conference Centre, London | 13 October 2014
  3. 3. Abstract When Libraries and Learning Resources at Nottingham Trent University piloted the ‘report a broken link’ feature in SFX it quickly became apparent that SFX users were using this option to alert the library to genuine discovery problems that were not being reported through other service channels. To better manage the recording, analysis, tracking and resolution of these ‘broken links’, the library developed the simple but effective LinkDoubt application, which is now being used by the Serials team to expedite quick fixes to a known service irritant. This presentation will explain how the library approached the development of LinkDoubt, provide a quick demonstration of the application in action, and introduce some of the reporting tools the library is now leveraging from the LinkDoubt data trail. 21 November 2014 3
  4. 4. Broken links in SFX !? 21 November 2014 4
  5. 5. 21 November 2014 5
  6. 6. Context @ NTU • Had anecdotal evidence that SFX fails were a recurring concern for some users • Asked for evidence, looked for evidence, but was difficult to find in volume • Lots of routes for staff, students and librarians to report problems - but few reports were received 21 November 2014 6 • Interested to trial ‘broken link’ reporting
  7. 7. 21 November 2014 7
  8. 8. 21 November 2014 8
  9. 9. 21 November 2014 Context Object 9 Target name Target URL
  10. 10. ‘Broken link’ report email Ex Libris KB team Library team 21 November 2014 10 Automatic Optional
  11. 11. 21 November 2014 11 ‘Broken link’ report: KB team Intended to alert KB team to errors and inconsistencies Object • Details inaccurate or out-of-date Object portfolio • Journal ceased publication • Publisher moved host • Site shut down • Site rebuilt and reorganised • Global holdings statement wrong Target • Package information incorrect • Parser needs to be revised
  12. 12. 21 November 2014 12 ‘Broken link’ actions: KB team Actions KB team could take in response to ‘broken link’ report KB records • Fix or update entries • Contact publisher • Contact aggregator • Contact supplier of records • Accelerate feed update • Log, monitor and look for patterns
  13. 13. So that’s all sorted, then? 21 November 2014 13
  14. 14. KB team will not be able to fix • Incorrect, or out-of-date, portfolio activations • Incorrect local holdings information • Authentication problems [remote] (Shibboleth, eZproxy, OpenAthens) 21 November 2014 14 • Authentication problems [local] • Network issues, trips and blocks • Platforms on which there are no technical or entitlement failures; but on which your users do not get to the material they want
  15. 15. In these cases, the KB team will find nothing to ‘fix’… …because there’s nothing ‘broken’ 21 November 2014 15
  16. 16. 21 November 2014 16 Things that the KB team can fixed will be done, queued and packaged for future release… …but one of your users specifically asked for this content (and failed to get it) now.
  17. 17. So ‘broken link’ is something of a misnomer It might be better thought of as the: I actively chose to click on this offer of full-text offered by the library - and I’m 21 November 2014 17 telling you now that I didn’t get it report
  18. 18. ‘Broken link’ reporting is anonymous…  Simplicity – single click to complete  Simplicity – takes 1-2 seconds at most 21 November 2014 18 But the library has - • No knowledge of the ‘reporter’ • No ability to update the ‘reporter’ on resolution • Anonymity might generate a range of approaches from users
  19. 19. Ooh, hello. What’s this then? <click> OMG. I did not mean for that to happen. Undo. There’s no UNDO. WHY IS THERE NO UNDO! I wonder if they’ll know it was me? I’d better go tell someone… 21 November 2014 19
  20. 20. Go on then. Just one more. <click> That’s funny. It’s not even broken. LOL. 21 November 2014 20
  21. 21. 21 November 2014 21
  22. 22. Developing LinkDoubt 21 November 2014 22
  23. 23. 21 November 2014 23
  24. 24. 21 November 2014 24
  25. 25. 21 November 2014 25
  26. 26. 21 November 2014 26
  27. 27. 21 November 2014 27
  28. 28. 21 November 2014 28 • Status • Diagnosis • Update - of the ticket - of the problem - on the actions taken
  29. 29. 21 November 2014 29
  30. 30. 21 November 2014 30
  31. 31. 21 November 2014 31
  32. 32. 21 November 2014 32
  33. 33. 21 November 2014 33
  34. 34. Pattern of ‘broken link’ submission 21 November 2014 34
  35. 35. Snapshot – Friday 10 October 21 November 2014 35
  36. 36. Reports – broken link causes • Content moved or ‘gone away’ – uncurated, free collections most vulnerable • Metadata mismatches between source and target – a key hidden point of failure • Delays and drop-outs in the knowledge base chain persist 21 November 2014 36
  37. 37. Most common solutions • Updating destination URLs for simple title-level content • Resolving local holdings mismatches • Resolving subscription and entitlement anomalies • Reporting failures to third parties • Updating target Notes in the SFX menu • Opportunity to improve problem-solving skills of the Serials team 21 November 2014 37
  38. 38. LinkDoubt – built with… • Scripting languages: PHP (server side); JQuery (browser side) • Database backend: MySQL • CSS Framework: Bootstrap • Authentication: CAS 21 November 2014 38 • Relatively simple, lightweight and quick to create v1
  39. 39. Future plans • Richer, clever reporting • Cross-reference to SFX usage statistics • Cross-reference to UStat COUNTER statistics • Tracking broken link persistence over time – to identify target, collection or platform level actions 21 November 2014 39
  40. 40. Impact of LinkDoubt • Still very new, but… • Clear evidence of user experience of failed SFX links • Most are not being reported through other routes • As a percentage of full-text requests, broken links remain fringe • Clear evidence of added-value through local broken link fixing • Fixing broken links requires a range of actions and interventions 21 November 2014 40
  41. 41. 21 November 2014 41 Questions and comments? ‘If it is broke, do fix it’: Tracking suspect links in SFX with LinkDoubt Richard Cross, Resource Discovery and Innovation Manager Libraries and Learning Resources, Nottingham Trent University +44(0)115 848 4878 | richard.cross@ntu.ac.uk

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