OpenURL and Link Resolvers

Confused by words like “OpenURL”, “COinS”, or “Link Resolver”? Check out the links below to demystify these concepts! 
Explanation of Link Resolvers, the OpenURL standard, and how these are used in libraries to provide consistent, persistent access to electronic resources:

Explanation of COinS “AND” a walkthrough about how to set up your browser to see COinS online in places like Wikipedia, Mendeley, and even WordPress blogs!

More information on the OpenURL Referrer Browser Plugin (TRY IT! I’ll explain more about it below…)

Information for librarians on how to get Google Scholar to point to resources at your library!!!

WordPress Plugin for creating COinS for your blog posts (created by digital initiatives librarian Peter Binkley from the University of Alberta whom I met at the Access 2011 and who is one cool dude!)

So, COinS…

They are “invisible” snippets of HTML code that are embedded into some webpages (like Wikipedia, WordPress Blogs, etc.). They contain citation/bibliographic metadata (author, title, date of publication, etc.)(e.g. Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly, 1977 etc.).

When you have the right browser plug-in (OpenURL Referrer is one of the most widely known ones), your browser will insert textual or graphic links that take you to a Link Resolver. This Link Resolver, associated with a library, will check to see if the book, journal article, or whatever mentioned in the COinS is available at or through your library! 

Unfortunately, your library might not have a Link Resolver. From what I can tell, Vancouver Public Library publish the details for their Link Resolver, although I’m sure they must have one that they use in offering access to digital/electronic collections.

So…practical examples…

Say you’re reading a Wikipedia article that references a book or journal. You might want to read a copy, but you don’t want to go all the way over to your library’s OPAC where you have to copy and paste or type things out. Well, you don’t have to! When you have the browser plugin installed, you just click on the link/graphic that appears and it checks for you!

Linked below is a COinS generator that you can use to embed COinS in your website or blog (noting of course that Peter Binkley already has a WordPress Plugin to make it that much easier to embed COinS in your blog posts).

Oh yeah…and here is a list to the Worldcat Registry where you can find information about whether or not your local library publishes their Link Resolver details…