New Link Resolver! Part of the Summon Implementation Project

Lucy’s posted on the Summon at City University London blog so you can find out a bit more about our new link resolver.  I’m pretty pleased with the work we’ve done on this: it’s going to make it a lot easier to track down an article from a citation in an abstract-only database, or on Google Scholar.


But wait, I hear you cry, this stuff: I don’t know what it means!  This sounds like… ERESOURCES.  Help!

Well, yes, it is a bit eresourcey, and I know this is an area of librarianship that a lot of people like to step back from, and let the experts handle.   But it’s fine, honestly*: here’s a bit of a glossary to help.

Link Resolver: a magical Device on the Internet that allows a user to find a reference in an abstract-only database or on Google Scholar, click a link, and get taken straight to the article in a different database, without having to mess about searching the Library Catalogue for the journal title.   The important thing is that it takes you to the article in a database that City has a subscription to: you’ll always get taken to the ‘best’ database for your needs, ie. the one where you don’t have to pay!  If we don’t have any way of accessing the article, you’ll see a page offering you a link to a pre-filled Inter-Library Loan form.

WebBridgethis is the old link resolver.

360 Linkthis is the new link resolver.  It’s from the same company that produce Summon, so it works well with it.  If you want to see how it works, search Summon for something – “Doctor Who“, why not – and click where it says ‘Full Text Online’.  That’s what happens when we’ve got an article in a database somewhere.  When we’ve not got the article, you see a different screen – click the ‘Add text beyond your library’s collections’ button and hit one of the ‘citation online’ links.

Abstract-Only Database: often also called ‘citation-only’ or an ‘abstracting and indexing’ database.  These are great big databases full of descriptions of articles (the abstracts) and often lots of great extra metadata, like keywords and subject information.  Most of these databases allow us to put our Link Resolver next to each entry so that our users can click on it to do an automatic search of the full-text databases we’ve got.

Metadata: data about data – so things like catalogue records for library books are metadata, and so is information about a journal article, such as subject keywords, its abstract, that sort of thing.  It’s valuable, because (generally speaking), people have to make it – the compilers of abstract-only-databases add this kind of data to entries to help researchers find it, and that’s why we buy them.  As ever, it’s a lot more complicated than that, though, so have a look at the Wikipedia Page for more context and information.

Full Text Database: this is a database that’s got the actual articles in it, usually as PDFs – ScienceDirect, Business Source Complete, and IEEE Xplore are all full-text.   Just to be confusing, a lot of these databases also have abstract-only information in them, so they need the Link Resolver as well.

Clear as mud?  Excellent.


*I say this with all the confidence of someone who’s never actually worked in eresources as a qualified librarian, and went to a decidedly non-techie library school.  Actual eresource specialists should feel free to correct me as soon as they’ve finished laughing at my mistakes.

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