[LibX] libx -- serials solution issue

LibX Project libx.org at gmail.com
Wed Jul 5 22:06:46 EDT 2006


your email raises a number of questions, some of them with respect to
OpenURL in general, some of them specific to SerialsSolutions's
implementation of OpenURL, some of them with respect to SS and LibX,
and some of them specific to the Radford University Edition of LibX.

Let me start with the OpenURL questions. The OpenURL standard is
intended to solve many, if not most, of the issues you raised. In
other words, it should always be possible for you to display the link
resolver icon at any web location, such as a database results page,
from where you want to point the user at an appropriate resource (full
text, catalog, or ILL link). A properly implemented OpenURL resolver
will recognize that the user is looking for a book and display the
appropriate link or links (catalog and/or ILL.) The OpenURL standard
has the necessary provisions for that (in v0.1, for instance, there is
a genre=book setting and the fields isbn= and title= are supported,
making it clear to the OpenURL resolver that the item being referenced
is a book.)

This is how it should work, but not all OpenURL resolvers provide the
functionality to properly handle these genre book OpenURLs.  It is not
difficult to implement. From my experience, most SFX installations
usually do them right; WebBridge can be set up to do them right, but
with Serials Solutions you're (almost) entirely bound by what Serials
Solutions decides to display.

As of right now, it appears that SS throws users into a "journal list"
display if one submits an OpenURL with genre=book and an ISBN. Try,
for instance, http://gw5kw3uf8g.search.serialssolutions.com/?isbn=006073132X&genre=book

This is most certainly a bug and should be reported to Serials
Solutions. Incidentally, I recall a different behavior just a few
months ago.

Interestingly, SS operates differently if one also specifies a book
title. Try this URL:

Now SS recognizes that this is a request for a book and - despite the
fact that the OpenURL contains enough information to easily locate the
book - says:
Sorry, no holdings were found for this book.

Please see additional options below for finding this book.
This is where LibX comes in. When you look at that URL using a LibX
edition that includes the current version of the SS fixes, you will
find a cue that says:
LibX Enhancement: Search McConnell Library for ISBN 006073132X

The current Radford edition is from Feb 2 and does not include that
functionality (or it doesn't work any longer), so to reproduce this
you must install your current test edition, available at:
http://libx.org/libx/src/editions/libxtestedition.php?edition=ru  (*)

To be precise, LibX uses the following algorithm when deciding whether
to place that cue:
IF the current domain is serialssolutions.com AND the URL contains an
isbn= part, AND the webpage displayed by SS contains  "No direct links
were found" OR "We do not have enough information" OR it contains a
HTML tag with a CSS style named "SS_NoResults" (which is the style
they give their "Sorry, no holdings were found..." message), THEN
include that cue.  If any of the conditions is not true, LibX will be
silent. In particular, you're not going to see the cue if Serials
Solutions throws you into the journal list page.

I hope that answers your questions. In general, we consider these
issues really minor improvements where LibX can patch a vendor's page.
Independent of that, you should press Serials Solutions to finally
properly handle genre=book URLs so it is on par with its competition.
This would benefit all users.

 - Godmar

(*) If you like that edition, we can push a silent update - meaning
the update requires users to visit the installation page and reinstall
- and hopefully, 1.0.3 is just around the corner (knock on wood) so
the fixes will be pushed to all RU edition users via Firefox's
automatic update mechanism.

On 7/5/06, Tapp, Kevin M <ktapp at radford.edu> wrote:
> Hey Libx'ers,
> Question – I was looking at the "upcoming features" on the libx page – and
> noticed that libx is supposed to have the functionality to embed cues within
> serials solution "intermediate" pages – for books – since SS is not doing
> very well at supporting this functionality on their own right now.
> When I saw this – I initially jumped for joy – and thought that this would
> be an amazing feature – but upon a bit of further investigation – I realized
> that this functionality brought up many issues – and I'm curious if any of
> you have any thoughts or experiences to share on this issue.
> 1)       First of all – it appears, from the screenshot examples…that libx
> is supposed to embed the cues only once you have clicked on an initial link
> (from a database) and opened up the SS page.  This is problematic, for our
> library, because right now….in most databases – we don't even have our "find
> full text" (linkresolver" ) icon display for books – the thought being that
> opening up serials solution for a book title would not be helpful.  So it
> appears that we are in a bit of a catch 22 – this functionality could
> greatly supplement what SS is doing….but the user rarely gets to the screen
> where this functionality would appear.
> a.       This makes me wonder about the possibility of getting libx (or any
> other resource) – to provide this functionality one click sooner – at the
> database results screen – so that you would actually see the cues when you
> are looking at your results from within the database…and wouldn't be reliant
> on opening up the SS page to get it.
> b.      This also makes me realize how tricky it is to come up with a good,
> consistent plan for directing patrons from a bibliographic record in a
> library database…. to the most useful place – for both books and journals.
> We are using a variety of different methods in different databases right
> now….and none of them seem to really be ideal – in many databases we are
> suppressing the link-resolver icon for all books – but one downside of this
> is that the experienced user does not get the benefit of being able to
> automatically take that metadata into Illiad to request the book through
> ILL.  In other databases….we display both the "search our catalog" and the
> "find full-text" icons – but this can be very confusing for our users.  Is
> there any hope?
> 2)       Then – I was trying to recreate the screenshot example with our
> library resources – trying to find ANY book – that I could pull up a serials
> solution screen for – which involved, it seemed looking for books which had
> both ISSN's and ISBN's (this is at least one scenario) – and even in these
> cases….I could not get the cue to appear – so I'm suspecting that there may
> be other issues with this cue – does it get confused when there is both an
> ISSN and an ISSN #?  Are there other scenarios in which it will work?  I
> have tried many different book titles in a variety of databases (and then
> following the serials solution link) – and haven't yet been able to get the
> cue to appear on the SS intermediary page – has anyone else had any luck
> with this?  Or thoughts?
> Thanks!
> Kevin
> Kevin Tapp
> Coordinator,
> George Harvey Center
> Radford University
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