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OpenURL Panel. Alex Merrill, Washington State University Janet Crum, Oregon Health & Science University Western ILLiad Users Meeting 2006 WSU-Vancouver. Agenda. Introduction to OpenURL (Janet) OpenURL implementation in ILLiad (Alex) SFX basics (Alex) WebBridge basics (Janet)

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Openurl panel l.jpg

OpenURL Panel

Alex Merrill, Washington State University

Janet Crum, Oregon Health & Science University

Western ILLiad Users Meeting



Agenda l.jpg

  • Introduction to OpenURL (Janet)

  • OpenURL implementation in ILLiad (Alex)

  • SFX basics (Alex)

  • WebBridge basics (Janet)

  • Issues and problems (Alex and Janet)

  • Q & A (everyone!)

Introduction to openurl l.jpg

Introduction to OpenURL

What, How, and Why

What is openurl l.jpg
What is OpenURL?

  • A NISO standard: ANSI/NISO Z39.88 -2004, The OpenURL Framework for Context-Sensitive Services

  • Sends metadata in a URL to a link resolver

  • Link resolver presents user with menu of links/information based on:

    • The metadata in the openURL

    • What the user is doing (i.e. the context, hence “context-sensitive services”)

Versions of openurl l.jpg
Versions of OpenURL

  • 0.1 – original version developed at CalTech and signed over to ExLibris

  • 1.0 – official NISO standard approved and in place

  • Major differences:

    • Format of openURL

    • 1.0 offers greater flexibility – more formats, more genres, etc.

  • 0.1 used by many origins; a few (e.g. ISI Web of Knowledge) using 1.0

Example openurl 0 1 l.jpg
Example: OpenURL 0.1

From EBSCOHost:'s+OpenURL+Standard.&authfull=Hendricks%2c+Arthur&pagect=5

Example openurl 1 0 l.jpg
Example: OpenURL 1.0

From ISI Web of Knowledge:,+A&

What is a link resolver l.jpg
What is a Link Resolver?

  • Software that receives an openURL and provides a menu of choices based on

    • What is in the openURL

    • How the resolver is configured: Library holdings, rules for offering various links, link syntax, origins and targets

Origins and targets l.jpg
Origins and Targets

  • Origin: The source of the openURL (e.g. EBSCOHost, ISI Web of Knowledge)

  • Target: The target of a link generated by a link resolver (e.g. a source of full text, an ILLiad request form)

  • Note: The OpenURL standard defines how openURLs are constructed by origins. Targets can do whatever they want.

But why have a link resolver l.jpg
But Why Have a Link Resolver?

  • Solve the appropriate copy problem

  • Improved resource discovery: present resources and services at the point of need

  • Make the user’s life easier by transferring metadata to target (e.g. ILL form)

    • Reduces typographical errors

    • Provides more complete citation information

    • Less work for the user

Openurl in illiad l.jpg

OpenURL in ILLiad

Installation, URLS and the Mapping table

Openurl in illiad i l.jpg
OpenURL in ILLiad I

  • In the past OpenURL support had to be installed as an “add-on”

  • It involved manually adding the OpenURL service to the server. It could mean you actually had to (on Windows NT Server 4.0):

    • Install the JRE 1.3.1

    • Set up a virtual directory and ISAPI Filter for the service in IIS

    • In some cases even required manually editing the registry so the service ran automatically

Openurl in illiad ii l.jpg
OpenURL in ILLiad II

  • In the current version of ILLiad (7.X.X.X) the ILLiad DLL is OpenURL “aware”.

  • Atlas says as long as your webpages are functional so should OpenURL.

  • A few caveats:

    • Uninstall any OpenURL services pre 6.4 OpenURL

    • If you want customized logon pages for ILLiad customize the pages they supply.

Openurl in illiad iii l.jpg
OpenURL in ILLiad III

  • Ensure your OpenURL service (SFX/Webridge) points to the right URL.

  • Single site:

  • http://Yourilliadserver/illiad/illiad.dll/OpenURL

  • Shared site:

  • http://Yourilliadserver/illiad/<NVTGC>/illiad.dll/OpenURL

  • For WSU Pullman:


Openurl in illiad iv l.jpg
OpenURL in ILLiad IV

  • Checking the Information ILLiad is receiving

    • [OCLC] OpenURL Deconstructor Tool



  • Integrating the OpenURL into the Mapping table: Knowing what fields are being sent and also knowing where you want that information to be held in an ILLiad request.

Illiad openurl summary l.jpg
ILLiad OpenURL Summary

  • Current ILLiad version is OpenURL aware out of the box.

  • Being able to ‘see’ what OpenURL info ILLiad is being pushed and where ILLiad is placing that info is where “the rubber meets the road”

Sfx basics l.jpg

SFX Basics

UI, administration console, and setting up ILLiad in SFX

Sfx at a glance l.jpg
SFX at a glance

  • Ex Libris Product

  • Highly customizable

  • Can be very tightly integrated with Library web sites

  • Utilizes MySQL as a “backend”

  • Knowledgebase of sources and target vendor supplied

  • Vibrant user community

Setting up illiad in sfx l.jpg
Setting up ILLiad in SFX

The default sfx parser for illiad l.jpg
The default SFX Parser for ILLiad

  • Special Cases:

    • Dates that include the day

    • PMID and Eric Numbers

    • These special cases are not handled well with the out of the box SFX Parser and a Standard ILLiad mapping table setup.

Sfx summary l.jpg
SFX Summary

  • The out of the box SFX parser for ILLiad needs some tweaking and an assessment and possible reconfiguration of the OpenURL Mapping table in ILLiad.

  • Customization of the Parser is relatively painless if you have some Perl knowledge or some general programming knowledge and a good Perl reference book

The default sfx parser for illiad31 l.jpg
The default SFX Parser for ILLiad

  • At WSU we have customized our parsers to:

    • Year-month-day into the PhotoJournalYear field

    • Appended the PMID and ERIC numbers to the end of the article title.

    • Along with other various maintenance deals – cleaning up the meaningless symbols etc..

    • Default Parser

    • Customized Parser

Webbridge basics l.jpg

WebBridge Basics

User interface, administration, and setup for ILLiad

Overview of webbridge l.jpg
Overview of WebBridge

  • Produced by Innovative Interfaces

  • Integrates nicely with Web OPAC; shares electronic holdings database with ERM module

  • Uses mysql database for both holdings and configuration

  • No knowledgebase a la SFX; library must configure

Configuring webbridge targets37 l.jpg
Configuring WebBridge: Targets

Note: Targets are called “resources” in WebBridge

  • Assign to a category

  • Enter link syntax using field selectors (details to follow)

  • Choose filters and data/field tests (details to follow) – determine whether or not to offer a link

Configuring webbridge field selectors and link syntax l.jpg
Configuring WebBridge: Field Selectors and Link Syntax

  • Link syntax

    • Template for creating a link to a target

    • Example:

    • #@ISSN# is a placeholder for ISSN as defined in field selector

  • Field selectors

    • Capture information from incoming openURL

    • Can manipulate this information with regular expressions

    • Example: ISSN field selector uses regular expression to remove hyphen; ISSN-HYPHEN field selector uses regular expression to ensure there is a hyphen; YEAR field selector strips out anything in DATE field of openURL other than year.

Configuring webbridge filters and data tests l.jpg
Configuring WebBridge: Filters and Data Tests

  • Filters

    • Groups of one or more origins

    • If a filter is assigned to a target, that target won’t be offered from any origin in that filter

    • Use when you never want to offer a target from a given resource

  • Data and Field Tests

    • Logic to determine whether or not a link should be offered

    • Offer link if certain openURL fields match values in coverage database, if certain field exists (or does not exist) in incoming openURL

    • Example: Offer link to article request if genre=article

Issues and problems l.jpg

Issues and Problems

With OpenURL and ILLiad

Types of problems l.jpg
Types of problems

  • Problems associated with open URLs in general

    • Multiple points of failure (origin, link resolver, target)

    • Inconsistent data from origin to origin (short title vs. full title, etc.)

    • Supplements

    • Incomplete data from origin

  • Problems specific to ILLiad

  • Problems specific to SFX

  • Problems specific to WebBridge

    • Titles with ampersands truncated

For more information l.jpg
For more information…

  • CalTech Library’s OpenURL page:

  • SFX Sources (OpenURL-Enabled Resources):

  • SFX Targets:

  • WebBridge Tutorial (CSDirect login/password required):