> It seems like the more productive path if the goal of a user is
> simply to locate a copy, where ever it is held.

But I don't think users have *locating a copy* as their goal.  Rather, I think 
their goal is to *get their hands on the book*.

If I discover a book via COINs, and you drop me off at Worldcat.org, that 
allows me to see which libraries own the book.  But, unless I happen to be 
affiliated with those institutions, that's kinda useless information.  I have 
no real way of actually getting the book itself.

If, instead, you drop me off at your institution's link resolver menu, and 
provide me an ILL option in the event you don't have the book, the library can 
get the book for me, which is really my *goal*.

That seems like the more productive path, IMO.


David Walker
Library Web Services Manager
California State University
From: Code for Libraries [code4...@listserv.nd.edu] On Behalf Of Tom Keays 
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 8:43 AM
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] WorldCat as an OpenURL endpoint ?

On Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 3:47 PM, Jonathan Rochkind <rochk...@jhu.edu> wrote:

> The trick here is that traditional library metadata practices make it _very
> hard_ to tell if a _specific volume/issue_ is held by a given library.  And
> those are the most common use cases for OpenURL.

Yep. That's true even for individual library's with link resolvers. OCLC is
not going to be able to solve that particular issue until the local
libraries do.

> If you just want to get to the title level (for a journal or a book), you
> can easily write your own thing that takes an OpenURL, and either just
> redirects straight to worldcat.org on isbn/lccn/oclcnum, or actually does
> a WorldCat API lookup to ensure the record exists first and/or looks up on
> author/title/etc too.

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.

> Umlaut already includes the 'naive' "just link to worldcat.org 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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