Tracking Link Origins Working Group

Work Description

This work will develop a NISO Recommended Practice to allow libraries, publishers and other content providers to accurately track the sites/platforms from which incoming links originate when they pass through a link resolver. 


Libraries strive to improve the ways in which users access their collections. Gaining a definitive understanding of where a user began his or her library experience/search before ultimately arriving at the content licensed by a library is an important factor in determining the value of a platform, how to allocate resources, etc. Publishers, recognizing that users have a number of options for discovering content, supply metadata to various discovery and abstracting and indexing vendors in the hopes of increasing the discoverability and use of the content they create and to which their customers subscribe.  Publishers who wish to measure the success of their metadata programs will often turn to web log analysis to track where their users are coming from

The goals of this proposed work item are to:

  • Investigate effective and scalable options to allow the content host and individual libraries to determine the original source of the link;
  • Provide all parties in the information supply chain with guidance on how to implement the recommended solutions; and
  • Provide content hosts with information on how to leverage the proposed solution to obtain more accurate statistics on the source of traffic to their site so that they can more accurately assess the value and effectiveness of their various discovery partners.


Committee Roster

Approved by the Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee, September 26, 2016.


Ken Varnum

Senior Program Manager and Discovery Strategist
University of Michigan Library


Julie Zhu

Manager, Discovery Service Relations, Marketing, Sales & Design