New links to help you find library copies and online text

We have introduced new links on the detailed record display to help users to find library copies, or to find online text from services such as JSTOR or on publishers' sites. Our new OpenURL "Find in a Library" and COinS links can take you to the relevant entry in a library catalogue or to locally available electronic text in a couple of clicks.

Performance of the links will depend on what institution you belong to (if any), and whether you are working in your institution or elsewhere. The "Find in a Library" links use the OCLC OpenURL resolver registry, and we hope that users in North America, in particular, will find them useful. Users who wish to employ a resolver that is not registered with OCLC or with the United Kingdom OpenURL Router, and users who are working at home, may find the COinS links especially useful if they also use the Firefox web browser.

We provide the new links if the record represents an article in a journal for which we know the ISSN, a book for which we know the ISBN, or an article in such a book. They supplement the existing OpenURL links using the OpenURL Router's registry of United Kingdom Higher and Further Education institutional OpenURL resolvers or the EDINA GetCopy resolver.

Find in a Library links

OCLC OpenURL resolver registry links are indicated by a blue "Find in a Library" button. When you click on the button the OCLC registry is checked to see if you are in a library whose OpenURL resolver is included there; if you are, then details of the Bibliography record which you are viewing are sent to your library's resolver and you should see options to locate copies or view online text similar to those that you see when you are using your own library's catalogue - for example, one or two clicks can take you to the full text of an article on JSTOR.

If you do not have an OpenURL resolver that is registered with OCLC, the "Find in a Library" button will work in the same way as the former search of OCLC WorldCat via Google. You will be taken to a WorldCat "Find in a Library" page showing details of the work for which you are searching; if this is the first time that you have used the service, you will need to specify your location, but you will then be able see the OCLC member libraries in your area that hold a copy of the journal or book for which you are searching, which may in turn enable you to find out about library holdings or to view online text. However, whereas the Google links previously provided were able to search for multiple ISBNs, the OpenURL syntax means that the new links can search only for the first ISBN listed. However, Google Toolbar users can use the AutoLink feature to link any 10-digit ISBN displayed on a results page to relevant pages from OCLC WorldCat or from leading book suppliers. You can learn more about how Google Toolbar works with ISBNs at, where there are links to download pages.

We have retained the lookup of the OpenURL Router registry of OpenURL resolvers in United Kingdom Higher and Further Education institutions, although these links are now presented on the same line as the COPAC and "Find in a Library" links. If your institution's OpenURL resolver is in the OpenURL Router registry, then you will see a direct link to your OpenURL resolver; if your institution's OpenURL resolver is not in the OpenURL Router registry, then you will see (for articles in journals only) a link to EDINA's GetCopy resolver. These facilities will be most useful for users in the United Kingdom, whereas the OCLC resolver registry currently contains a higher proportion of North American library resolvers, although many British libraries are also registering.

If your library has an OpenURL resolver that is registered with OCLC, we would be interested to know how well the "Find in a Library" links function in comparison with resolver links in your own library catalogue.

If your library has an OpenURL resolver that is not registered with OCLC, you may like to encourage your IT librarians to register their resolver - registration is open to all libraries whether or not they are members of OCLC.

Alternatively, if your library has an OpenURL resolver that is not registered with OCLC or with the OpenURL Router, or you wish to consult your resolver when you are outside your own institution (for example, when you are working at home), and you are a Firefox user, you can use our COinS links, described below, and configure the OpenURL Referrer to use your preferred resolver.

COinS with OpenURL Referrer

The OpenURL Referrer is a browser extension that can take citations on the web and convert them to direct links to your local library's databases and services. To exploit this, we have introduced COinS (Context Objects in Spans) into our detailed display, which will be recognised as OpenURL links by the OpenURL Referrer. If you have the OpenURL Referrer installed in your browser, the COinS OpenURL links will appear at the end of the line that also carries the COPAC link (if you do not have the OpenURL Referrer installed, you will not see anything). You may be familiar with COinS from COPAC or from Wikipedia, where COinS often appear in the "References" section of an article. You can learn more, and download the browser extension for Mozilla Firefox version 1.0 or higher, or for Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6 or higher, from OCLC Openly Informatics.

These new links will be most useful for Firefox users. In Firefox, once you have installed the OpenURL Referrer, you can configure it to send details of the record that you are viewing to the resolver of your choice by selecting "Tools" and then "Add-ons" from the Firefox menu. This means that, for example, you can configure the links to consult your own library's resolver while you are working at home, when the links via the OpenURL Router or OCLC OpenURL resolver registries will not be able to take you to your library's resolver. The OCLC Openly Informatics website provides detailed help on downloading and configuring the OpenURL Referrer for Firefox (if the suggested procedure of querying the OCLC OpenURL resolver registry does not enable you to find appropriate resolver details, which will apply if you are working at home, your library should be able to provide you with the details needed to configure the Referrer).

Internet Explorer users will need to click on "Tools" and then "Insert OpenURLs" in the Explorer menu to activate the referrer once it has been installed. This needs to be done on each page on which you wish to use the referrer. The referrer cannot be manually configured in Internet Explorer, so the links will duplicate the "Find in a Library" links, although the COinS links use a different version of the OpenURL syntax so the results may vary slightly. The OCLC Openly Informatics website again provides further information on downloading and activating the OpenURL Referrer for Internet Explorer.

Published on: 
20 Dec 2007