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OpenURL Webinar Q&A

Below are listed questions that were submitted during the NISO OpenURL Webinar. Answers from the presenters will be added shortly. Not all the questions could be responded to during the live webinar, so those that could not be addressed at the time are also included below.

Feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions about library and technical services standards, standards development, or if you have have suggestions for new standards, recommended practices, or areas where NISO should be engaged.


OpenURL Implementation: Link Resolution That Users Will Love
Webinar Questions & Answers
August 21, 2008


  1. Question: Can you go over again how this registry is going to help local link resolver implementations?

    Answer (Phil Norman, OCLC):
    The WorldCat Registry depends on the local link resolver implementation already being set up.  The advantage of the Registry is that it makes it easier to increase the usage of your existing local link resolver through information providers that already use the WorldCat Registry and the OpenURLGateway. More details can also be found in the ER&L Presentation here: http://www.oclc.org/us/en/news/announcements/announcement283.htm

  2. Question: What would be the benefit of WorldCat Registry to publishers?

    Answer (Phil Norman, OCLC):
    The value to publishers is the increase in usage of electronic content through the use of the WorldCat Registry and OpenURL gateway.

  3. Question: How is OCLC implementing OpenURL within the various services it provides, for example ContentDM? Also, have any non-Library community profiles been established?

    Answer (Phil Norman, OCLC):
    Worldcat.org, WorldCat Local, and FirstSearch all use OpenURL to access electronic content and other services such as ILL. 

    CONTENTdm does not currently support OpenURL.  If an organization is using CONTENTdm as an Institutional Repository, and storing things like journal articles in their collections, they might have a need for OpenURL support. As more CONTENTdm users use the software for IRs and for storing serials and journal articles we will likely support OpenURL support so that we can better support those users’ needs.

  4. Question: Will the registry be able to help users remotely access their institutional resources when they are performing research in libraries that have a local resolver -- e.g.,will it help a researcher from Harvard access their resolver when sitting in the library at UCLA?

    Answer (Phil Norman, OCLC): The WorldCat OpenURL registry is used by some COinS configuration tools lookup or search the registry and set the baseURL in a bookmark or greasemonkey script.  See the links below for more information:


    OCLC has investigated other methods such as setting cookies when IP authenticated or end user library system authentication as well.

  5. Question: We've experienced that some databases won't change data at the request of librarians. To your knowledge, are databases more receptive to data change submitted directly from publishers?

  6. Question: Is it possible to get a pointer to where one can access the report ('Cullen Report') the presenter is referring to?

    Answer (NISO):
    Cullen, James (2007) Link Resolvers and the Serials Supply Chain, Final Report for UKSG, May 2007, http://www.uksg.org/sites/uksg.org/files/uksg_link_resolvers_final_report.pdf

  7. Question: Will you provide some examples of the range of inaccurate data (e.g., specific cases)?

  8. Question: Is still seems to me that with our current set up there is a lot of duplication from institution to institution. Is there room for more centralization, such as with data and link syntax, etc.?

    Answer (Phil Norman, OCLC): The WorldCat Registry’s comprehensiveness and open web services provides a framework to reduce the duplication of library service repositories.

  9. Question: Is there a "registry" or list of applications of OpenURL outside of the traditional article link in a citation database?

    Answer (Phil Norman, OCLC): The NISO OpenURL registry (http://openurl.info/registry) that the OpenURL Maintenance Agency maintains describes the metadata formats and community profiles that comprise OpenURL applications.  The RTM community profile and the JPEG2000 metadata format are two examples that support examples beyond citation article linking.  In addition the scholarly service type metadata format supports requests including holdings and ILL.

  10. Question: Peter, can you please provide an example or two OpenURL usage for data transfer?

  11. Question: The issue of False Positives or False Negatives is real and concerning. In other sectors, OpenURL wouldn't OpenURL be defined as a strict standard. Why so squeamish to go further than defining the work you are doing in KBART as just 'best practices'?