|Research Libraries Group (RLG) has announced that full support for
OpenURL dynamic link creation is now in the newest version of Eureka, the
Web search interface to many of RLG's databases. Libraries and information
centers with their own OpenURL resolvers can turn RLG's millions of records
for articles, books, and materials of all kinds into immediate links to
the resources and services that they offer their users.
An institution's resources may include online full-text article collections
from a variety of suppliers, its online catalog to local holdings or a
larger regional resource, a connection to an ILL request mechanism or online
bookseller, and more. With OpenURL setup, RLG databases become powerful
finding tools for institutional offerings, presenting users with an integrated
set of information choices one click beyond their Eureka search results,
according to the announcement.
OpenURL defines a syntax to package metadata and identifiers that describe
information objects and to point to a specific institution's link-resolution
server or resolver. The resolver can accept this packaged data, combine
it with institutional information, and turn it into actual links. OpenURL
is context-sensitive, which enables links to be based on what's available
at each institution that uses it. Having started as a single-vendor proprietary
service, it became a multiple-vendor NISO draft standard early this year.
"With OpenURL, RLG can really add value to the selection policies and
priorities of our users," said Walt Crawford, senior Eureka analyst at
RLG. "Libraries can subscribe to RLG's bibliographic databases that suit
their collections and use OpenURL to link from the RLG databases to multiple
full-text sources, print, and other materials. Eureka now enables librarians
and their users to find virtually everything the library can provide, both
online and on the shelf."
"OpenURL offers users a wonderful new kind of service," said Kimberly
Parker, electronic publishing and collections librarian at Yale University.
"The great value to us in having this mechanism in place with RLG is that
RLG databases are particularly strong in covering the humanities. We have
lots of humanities materials for Eureka to link to."
The June 2002 issue of the RLG Focus newsletter will include articles
by Crawford, Parker, and others about OpenURL and how it can be used. Another
contributor is James Mouw, who as electronic resources officer at the University
of Chicago was an early adopter of OpenURL.
Mouw said: "We were especially pleased to be able to work with RLG staff
as they tested the Eureka implementation of the OpenURL. It was clear from
the beginning that RLG had an excellent grasp on the OpenURL structure
and was well-equipped to provide us with a solid implementation in Eureka."
The Eureka interface with OpenURL currently operates with the two largest
collections of RLG bibliographic databases: RLG Citation Resources and
RLG Library Resources. (Anyone can try out Eureka on a sample database
When an OpenURL institution's users search RLG Citation Resources, Eureka
will point them to full-text articles and chapters in journals, proceedings,
and other collective publications held locally. The RLG Citation databases
cover current events, the humanities (mostly art), social sciences (anthropology
and law in particular), and science history.
When users search RLG Library Resources, Eureka can point them to an
array of materials held locally, including books, manuscripts, maps, and
recordings—materials in all the formats held in research collections. Because
the international RLG Union Catalog also has a gateway to national catalogs
in the U.K., Germany, and Australia, this database gives the institution
an unmatched tool for helping users find the material they need, according
to the announcement.
Source: Research Libraries Group, Mountain View, CA, 650/691-2333; http://www.rlg.org.