Many libraries are dealing with an increasingly complex systems environment: the integrated library system (do we still use this term?), metasearch, resolver, e-reserves, ERM on the horizon, ILL, and maybe several flavors of digital asset management. These systems do not always easily work together and consume a lot of attention.
I believe that over the next few years we will see more of these systems delivered to libraries as services. There are already hosted or ASP solutions available for some of them. In this context I was interested to see the GetRef pilot from Edina:
GetRef is a cross-searching tool, developed at EDINA, for finding bibliographic references contained in Abstract and Indexing (A&I) services. GetRef is configured to access numerous resources, and provides access to only those resources that the user is entitled to. This is achieved via an Athens username which links users to the resources automatically; the user does not need to have knowledge of their institutional resources.This is a trial: it will be interesting to see whether it generates interest as a service model.
GetRef can be accessed by means of a web interface or act as a broker for library portals via a Z39.50 interface (or other appropriate protocol).[EDINA News - GetRef - now available for institutional trial]