Andrew Pace has a note emphasising the importance of OpenURL and resolution, placing it in the context of overall management of the supply chain that connects libraries and their partners.

This is the right emphasis. A major challenge for libraries is removing transaction costs (the effort required to perform the steps necessary to achieve a goal) from their internal operations and from user tasks.

Resolution and the OpenURL have been central to this push, and the strong uptake that Andrew notes is evidence of the real need they address. Indeed, the growing emphasis on identifiers is also a response to this need.

Increasingly, I think, it makes sense to think of resolution in broader terms than we now do. Resolution - in the context in which we have used the term in this community - is about connecting potentially mutliple discovery/location environments with multiple fulfilment environments. More generally it is about 'service routing' (a term I borrow from my colleague Mike Teets): given some metadata as input, what relevant services can be mobilized.

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Jul 24, 2006
Eric Lease Morgan
More generally it is about 'service routing' (a term I borrow from my colleague Mike Teets): given some metadata as input, what relevant services can be mobilized.

I concur.

OpenURL is about sending standardized sets of name/value pairs to a resolver. These name/value pairs describe things such as a bibliographic item, where the bibliographic item was seen, and who is making the request of the resolver. The resolver is expected to read the name/value pairs and respond with a set of services that can be applied against the things described. The most common "service" resolvers provide is a locator service. "Where can I get the full text of this article."

So many other servcies could be implemented. Review this thing. Borrow this thing. Put this thing on reserve. Download. Convert it into a Chicagop-style citation. Save it to a list of my favorites. Semantically compare it to a set of other things. Return the email address of the author so I can initiate a discussion. Etc.

This is a long way of saying what is said above, "what relevant services can be mobilized."