Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Link resolving

For a while now we've been exploring linking to full-text articles (currently we only link to abstracts of primary research articles).  It's an area I have little technical experience in and have allowed myself to avoid the issue.  In the latest version of TRIP (out next week) we're extracting the DOI for journal articles (and Cochrane), but this is only part of the issue.

To link to a full-text requires an additional step - it requires a link resolver! Trying to keep things simple, it tells the system where to point the full-text request to (ie send the person to Wiley, Ebsco etc).  We're looking to introduce this and I'm fairly confident we can do it!  It should work like this:

  • We extract the DOI for an article - which we've done already!
  • An institution tells TRIP which full text holdings it has (e.g. NEJM, Thorax etc) and also some details of their link resolver.
  • A user comes to TRIP from a given institution and carries out a search and we display a full-text link to all articles the user has full-text access to.  They click on the link and they've got access to the full-text (based on an authentication system).
So, to my mind, the hard work lies with the librarian who needs to tell us what full-text holdings they have!  The rest seems relatively straightforward - I must be missing something.

But, bottom line, does easy linking out to full-text excite people?


Anonymous said...

I'm a medical/clinical librarian and have a wealth of experience in dealing with providing full text access to the medical literature. Providing a link doesn’t always get your users free, and fast access to full text content. Unless you intend to send all users to a physical library itself, I think the hard work will be in licensing the full text content from the varies publishers. Otherwise your users will bump up against a pay-per-view wall…

Jon Brassey said...

We plan to work with librarians to input journal holdings at various organisations and then work with the organisations link resolver.

Well, that's the theory!

Lynne Fox said...

Our link resolver is Serial Solutions. I would talk to their technical staff about whether you could link up TRIP to their product. A lot of large US libraries use a product like this to manage access to their journals. http://www.serialssolutions.com/


Bill Cayley said...

I know even less about the tech aspects, but I would appreciate full-text linkout to the extent possible.

SantyChumbe said...

At JournalTOCs we are experimenting with the EDINA OpenURL Router, which is an excellent tool to auto-discovery UK OpenURL resolvers. In addition, the EDINA technical support staff was very friendly and willing to help. We blogged our experience at http://www.journaltocs.ac.uk/API/blog/?p=653 It would be good to have a similar free router for non-UK institutions too.