Resolving the Link Resolver

MPOW (My Place of Work) is considering a couple different vendors for Open URL Link Resolvers and I have been blessed with the unique opportunity of sitting on the committee choosing the product. We have been doing some literature reading to see what has been tried, what worked, and what failed at other institutions. While I was reading one of the articles, a sentence in the beginning caught my eye. It sums up the reason why every library should be implementing some sort of link resolver into their databases in the very near future.

Reference linking is necessary because library and information users today expect to move seamlessly among library content and information on the internet.

McDonald, John and Eric. F. Van de Velde. “The Lure of Linking.” Library Journal, April 1, 2004. 32-34

Ranganathan said “save the time of the user” and that is exactly the purpose of link resolvers. Many of the students I help have little patience for toggling back and forth between three or four different windows to find a citation, then check the catalog, then check the company for the full text (to make sure there is no embargo). I am not implying that a little patience in research is not a good thing. Patience is something I remind my students to use in large doses when conducting research, but you can say the words all you want. Students and other users want to be able to see if you have the full text right there on one screen. I do not blame them for this, because I want it too. I just keep thinking about how a link resolver would ease many of the transitions in an information literacy class. MPOW should be rolling out our new link resolver around January. I wait with bated breath.

–Jane, resolve this