I think my perspective of the user's goal is actually the same (or close
enough to the same) as David's, just stated differently. The user wants the
most local copy or, failing that, a way to order it from another source.

However, I have plenty of examples of faculty and occasional grad students
who are willing to make the trek to a nearby library -- even out of town
libraries -- rather than do ILL. This doesn't encompass every use case or
even a typical use case (are there typical cases?), but it does no harm to
have information even if you can't always act on it.

The problem with OpenURL tied to a particular institution is
a) the person may not have (or know they have) an affiliation to a given
b) may be coming from outside their institution's IP range so that even the
OCLC Registry redirect trick will fail to get them to a (let alone the
"correct") link resolver,
c) there may not be any recourse to find an item if the institution does not
own it (MPOW does not provide a link to WorldCat).


On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 12:16 PM, Walker, David <dwal...@calstate.edu>wrote:

> > 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.
> --Dave
> ==================
> David Walker
> Library Web Services Manager
> California State University
> http://xerxes.calstate.edu
> ________________________________________
> From: Code for Libraries [code4...@listserv.nd.edu] On Behalf Of Tom Keays
> [tomke...@gmail.com]
> 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.
> Tom

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