4 thoughts on “Discover, locate, … vertical and horizontal integration”

  1. Lorcan;
    I’m not sure I share your view of the “Discover, Locate, Request, Deliver” sequence. (or maybe I just disn’t understand it properly)

    It seems to me that the searcher should be able to “Request” without having to do any “Locating”. So to me an ideal flow is more like:
    “Search, Discover, Request, Locate, Retrieve, Deliver, Receive”.

  2. As we’re currently carrying out a short evaluation of JISC’s Information Environment Service Registry (IESR), my eye caught the phrase “One of the major issues facing library users is knowing where to search or subscribe to facilitate relevant discovery”. In theory, service registries should help the user by enabling dynamic selection of potentially useful targets. However, contrary to your final comment there doesn’t seem to be a lot of enthusiasm out there among service providers as opposed to people with a technical worldview for actually building this kind of service (or, for that matter, using it). Is this just a matter of time / building experience / building trust or are we barking up the wrong tree altogether? Is the reality that people will just keep building their own local directories (maybe via their consortia memberships)? What’s OCLC’s take on this?

  3. Peter
    Your last point first. OCLC has recently build a couple of registries. The OpenURL Resolver Registry registers institutional resolvers. The rationale is that we want to be able to connect users to their appropriate institutional resources on the web. This is open for participation and use. OCLC has also build a registry of deep OPAC links. The rationale here is that we want to connect people from Find in a Library pages into the correct point in an institutional catalog. This is not open now but we will be making it open. In each case the registry is populated in a couple of ways. By libraries who configure FirstSearch with their details. And by OCLC who collects data in various ways.
    Now, what these registries do is they allow applications to cross the boundaries I discuss above. And to do this in well-seamed (to use a term of Peter Burnhill’s) way. They reduce the transaction costs of interacting with library resources on the network. They are a form of ‘intelligence’ which can be leveraged by applications to improve service.
    Libraries are building other sources of ‘intelligence’ so that applications can work in well-seamed ways. For example, they are building knowledge bases with their vendors which help hide the seams in resolution services. They are configuring local metasearch applications with data about targets.
    These are all examples of ‘intelligence’ in the network, which make the network work better. They allow applications to be configured so that they provide the types of integration I talk about above in well-seamed ways.
    And the reason I suggest that we will see more registry and directory services is that they are necessary to achieve systemwide efficiencies.
    Now, most of the time the data above is meant to be used by an application. My question about the IESR is who does it see as its customer and how does it work with its customers to develop appropriate services? What use cases guided its development?
    I think that the type of question you ask needs to be answered in context. In the context of a course, of a reading list, or of an assignment, for example. And how we offer ‘suggestions’ may be different in each case. Should we be building social bookmarking services around this type of data, or thinking of recommender services based on co-occurrence in courses. I like the way that U Rochester talks about using metasearch to put appropriate bundles of databases into course pages. I have not seen attempts to match user profiles against database descriptions, and am not sure how well it would work.
    Anyway, these seem more plausible ways of working than expecting a user to search through descriptions of databases.

  4. Mark
    Sure … I think that suggestion is that these are appropriate high-level business processes to think about.
    How they might be ordered will vary depending on the circumstances.
    And when you think about what actually now happens (with social bookmarking, resolution, etc) there is a lot of interweaving!
    Lorcan

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