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OpenURL Standard goes to ballot

By kcoyle, Section Standards
Posted on Mon Jan 26th, 2004 at 06:11:43 PM EST

The OpenURL standard will soon be going out to NISO members for balloting. If you are familiar with the original OpenURL, this standard should be regarded as a superset of that, a kind of OpenURL parent, as it were. If your organization is a NISO voting member, I highly recommend spending some serious time with this standard.


The NISO standard steps back from the original and asks: what's the basic principle here? That principle was elucidated in a DLIB article called Generalizing the OpenURL Framework beyond References to Scholarly Works: the Bison-Fute model. Bison-Fute proposes a highly general web services model that has as its basis something called the "ContextObject." Essentially, the ContextObject can pass information about any networked resource and its context to a service that will respond to it in some way. This general concept is presented in Part 1 of the NISO document.

Part 2 then defines the OpenURL as an instance of this ContextObject concept. The OpenURL itself has been greatly expanded so that it can be used in the exchange of metadata as either key/value pairs or xml format, with expansion to other formats possible.

A key element of the new OpenURL is the creation of a registry that allows easy expansion of format types and metadata. The registry was built using OCLC's OAI Repository Framework.

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OpenURL Standard goes to ballot | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 editorial, 0 pending) | Post A Comment
Pluses and Minuses (none / 0) (#1)
by kcoyle on Tue Jan 27th, 2004 at 09:30:17 AM EST
(User Info) http://www.kcoyle.net

Depending on your point of view, the following might be considered "negatives" of the new OpenURL standard:
  • The simplicity of the old standard is gone. This one is highly formalized and rather difficult to read. It takes a while to get used to the terminology (referent, referrer, referring entity...).
  • The registry and profiles are required for the functioning of the OpenURL. This adds overhead to the management of the standard itself.
  • The rules for profiles and registry entries are such that once they are established they cannot be modified. Any changes or additions become a new entry. This could lead to a proliferation of profiles or metadata formats.

On the plus side:
  • You are no longer limited to the very simple metadata elements of OpenURL 0.1. In fact, it is now possible to exchange full MARC records using the "by-reference" function.
  • New metadata formats can be added fairly easily. The registry today has formats for patents and for dissertations, as examples.
  • The old OpenURL still works. The standard was designed to allow the old format to be continued, but it is frozen with its current set of metadata and cannot be added to.

The standard documents:


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Balloting results? (none / 0) (#2)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu May 6th, 2004 at 10:55:02 AM EST

The NISO site says that OpenURL balloting was supposed to run through March 10. I'm posting this on May 6, and I haven't heard anything. Is there a next step due to be taken? If so, by whom, and what is it?

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about to (none / 0) (#3)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jan 4th, 2005 at 04:24:35 AM EST

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tomli (none / 0) (#4)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Mar 6th, 2005 at 07:34:09 AM EST

I am very intersted in your subject, but i'm a beginner. So i hope we can often intercourse.led Best Regard!!

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