Tom Keays wrote:

I was mainly thinking of sources that use COinS. If you have a rarely held
book, for instance, then OpenURLs resolved against random institutional
endpoints are going to mostly be unproductive. However, a "union" catalog
such as OCLC already has the information about libraries in the system that
own it. It seems like the more productive path if the goal of a user is
simply to locate a copy, where ever it is held.
Even if OCLC doens't get to it, it would not be that hard to write your own "wrapper" that accepts an OpenURL, uses the WorldCat API to search WorldCat, and then redirects the user to the 'best match' record. That is for title-level (book and journal) records -- for article-level, forget it, as discussed.

The trick will be correctly identifying the 'best match' if the openurl does not have an oclcnum/lccn/isbn, but only has author/title/year. But my experiments with doing similar things leads me to be optimistic you could get 'good enough' (but definitely not perfect) behavior here with an intermediate amount of work.

The 'wrapper' could of course present a list of options when it's not sure it can identify a single best match.


Umlaut already includes the 'naive' "just link to based on
isbn, oclcnum, or lccn" approach, functionality that was written before the
worldcat api exists. That is, Umlaut takes an incoming OpenURL, and provides
the user with a link to a worldcat record based on isbn, oclcnum, or lccn.

Many institutions have chosen to do this. MPOW, however, represents a
counter-example and do not link out to OCLC.


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