Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Guide to the Enterprise Portal Solution, Part 5 (or, What is Resolver?)

With this post, we come to the last in our series covering the different components of our new ILS’ public interface, the Enterprise Portal Solution. SirsiDynix's Resolver is a key component of the technology which makes federated searching, and the entire Enteprise Portal Solution, work.

Federated searching allows a library customer to retrieve search results from multiple databases and other online resources in a single hitlist. A link resolver allows the customer to click on the link for an article citation and retrieve the full text of the article whenever the library has rights to it, even if the full text is licensed from another vendor than the one that provided the citation. The resolver is able to do this through use of the OpenURL standard. The OpenURL is a means for encoding the basic bibliographical data for a periodical article, or other information object, as a Uniform Resource Locator (i.e., a World Wide Web address).

So far, link resolvers have been most useful for large research libraries who license content from several vendors and subscribe to a large number of e-journals. It has not been as important for MPLIC, as most of our full text database content comes from one vendor, ThomsonGale. However, this may not always be the case. In addition, the link resolver is part of the infrastructure of the federated search technology.

For further reading:
Boss, Richard W. "OpenURL (PLA TechNotes)," August, 2004.
McDonald, John, and Eric F. Van de Velde. "The Lure of Linking" Library Journal, April 1, 2004.
"What is OpenURL?" (from Serials Solutions).

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