LIS 855: Reading Journal Week 11

Unit topic: Finding Content–Discovery Tools

Reading list:

  1. (Overview) Jeff Weddle, Jill E. Grog (2008) “E-Journal Management Tools” Chapter 12 in Maria D.D. Collins and Patrick L. Carr (Eds) Managing the Transition from Print to Electronic Journals and Resources. New York: Routledge, pp 227-242
  2. Jill E. Grogg “ On the Road to OpenURL” and “The Development of Context-Sensitive Linking” Chapter 2 and 3 in Linking and OpenURL. Library Technology Reports. ALA Techsource. Jan/Feb 2006 vol 42 no 1.
  3. Amy E. Brand “CrossRef” in Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science Editor Mariam A. Drake. Boca Raton FL: Taylor and Francis, 2005, 106-113.
  4. Boston, G.; Gedeon, R.J. “Beyond OpenURL: Technologies for Linking Library Resources” Chapter 13 in H. Yu and S. Breivold Electronic Resource Management in Libraries: Research and Practice. Information Science Reference: Hershey PA, 2008.
  5. Jenny Walker (2010) “New resource discovery mechanisms” Chapter in The E-Resources Management Handbook. (2006-present) Editor Graham Stone, Rick Anderson, Jessica Feinstein.

Jill Grogg provides a fairly reader-friendly explanation of the difference between dynamic and static links, but now I’m wondering how it is that dynamic links get to be that smart.  Whatever metadata it’s using to find the full-text of the desired article on the spot, isn’t it possible that it might find a different version of it from what a user wanted?  For instance, the same item but the wrong edition?  I guess this isn’t a huge problem where journal articles are concerned, but it sounded like dynamic links are getting used for more and more things, and this could be a real issue with digitized versions of print items that exist in multiple imprints and editions.

Amy Brand clarifies the situation a little on page 111 of her article, but not completely.  Apparently it is getting increasingly common for OpenURL (which uses dynamic linking) to work via DOIs.  The best analogy I can think of for understanding DOIs versus static URLs (ah, “permalinks”–going the way of permafrost in Lhasa…) is this: keeping tabs on a digital thing via a static URL is like keeping tabs on a person via a mailing address.  If the person moves and doesn’t tell you her new address, bye bye contact.  A DOI, on the other hand, is like the Facebook address field (Facebook here being the equivalent of CrossRef, the company that registers DOIs).  As long as the person takes care to update their Facebook address field, you can count on checking there for the most updated place to find him.  What a DOI is not, however, is anything like a chip implanted into a person that you can then track with a GPS.  A DOI is assigned and registered in CrossRef’s central database, but it is not embedded into the digital item.

Actually, why isn’t it?  We have what seems like a similar technology with EXIF and image files.  Why don’t we just embed the DOIs into the digital files?  How reliably do publishers update their metadata with CrossRef?  And how widespread is the use of DOIs these days?  How widespread does it have the potential of becoming?

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