Ok, right up front, the dummy is me. It might be you too, but I'm only talking about me here.
Earlier this year, David, our Integrated Systems Manager, put together a U of Calgary beta version of LibX, a Firefox Extension for Libraries. LibX does all sorts of neat things, but I was finding it a little clunky in my toolbar area, so wasn't in love with it. David suggested I could not display the toolbar (just uncheck it from the View/Toolbars area) and I'd still get all the goodness of things like right-click context menus and dynamically-generated links (all ISBNs are hyperlinked, special visual cues on Amazon.com and Google Scholar, and stuff like that). It's a pretty nifty extension, and if you know the right values for your catalogue and open-URL resolver, apparently not terribly difficult to build.
Ok, so that's all fine and dandy and useful, but a couple of weeks ago I was listening to Jon Udell's interview with Tony Hammond about digital object identifiers, and I so wanted to fully understand them (DOIs). I thought I was close, but I couldn't figure out how they were useful in my world of creating persistent links for faculty (or teaching them how to do it for themselves). I thought "maybe adding our EZProxy prefix to a DOI would do something" but EZProxy seems to want URLs, not DOIs. I saw DOIs on many citations, but wasn't figuring out how I could use them.
Then yesterday a blog post I read included a DOI and I noticed it was hyperlinked thusly: http://sfx.exlibrisgroup.com:9003/calgary?id=doi:10.1038/445567a&sid=libx:ucalgary and of course it was LibX that stuck in the SFX prefix. The sid bit on the end isn't even necessary, all that's needed is http://sfx.exlibrisgroup.com:9003/calgary?id=doi:10.1038/445567a and bingo, SFX provides a link to our copy of that article! Of course!!! SFX is what knows about our local holdings!
So now I'm on a crusade to introduce LibX to our faculty, and show them how easy it is to build a persistent URL using SFX and DOIs. This comes at a great time, as in two weeks I'm co-presenting at our Teaching and Learning Centre on the topic of building persistent links. If I can get away w/o having to actually explain what a DOI is, this could be great.
Technorati Tags: DOI, SFX, Linking