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D i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Infotoday, 2002 New York.

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Presentation on theme: "D i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Infotoday, 2002 New York."— Presentation transcript:

1 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Infotoday, 2002 New York

2 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Reference Resources: the importance of integrated services in Electronic Libraries

3 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Hard to predict the future

4 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Hard to predict the future The problem with television is that people must sit and keep their eyes glued to the screen; the average American family hasn't time for it. Therefore the showmen are convinced that for this reason, if no other, television will never be a serious competitor of broadcasting. --The New York Times, editorial, March 1939

5 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y xreferplus is An aggregated collection of 100+ reference sources Aggregation = fully searchable collection xreferplus is also integrated Integration = enhanced browsability and intelligent linking

6 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Advantages of aggregation Users find collections which have a common search engine and interface Economies of scale in development and marketing BUT possibility of inflexible collections AND aggregations which do not co- operate or work well together

7 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Suppliers of aggregated services need to develop their offering so that library users are not confronted with closed black-boxes of content in Electronic Libraries

8 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y

9 This could get very confusing. Especially if they all have different interfaces and business rules

10 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Web standards important Consistent interfaces and performance Help users, work with other services Take care with innovations Store once, serve anywhere Integrate ‘hidden/subscription’ services with ‘open and free’ services.

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13 11 books have entries on ‘vorticism’ but the topic is mentioned in over 60 entries in the collection.

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15 Each entry provides a link to a page which gives basic information about the reference source.

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17 An entry with 7 cross- references, but note 83 xreferences.

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25 xrefer overview 115 titles c. 80 million words Over 1 million entries Broad subject coverage art-zoology 23 publishers 10 million xreferences using meta-data applied to entries

26 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y xrefer’s linking technology What is it? What does it do? How useful is it? How is it implemented?

27 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Citations, cross-references and xreferences Citations are links from one publication to another (all about finding/citing) Cross-references are links within a publication to relevant ‘entries’ (all about relevance and meaning) xreferences are like cross-references (all about relevance) but link different publications.

28 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Value of xreferences You ought to try it. Suck it and see Improved browsing experience Browsing is important for 1.Fuzzy searching 2.Deep understanding xreferences are also a way of organising knowledge

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33 Making xreferences All texts go into a standard xml format (an xml DTD) All cross-references are resolved Additional xreferences are generated and stored in a database The way xreferences are made follows some rules (eg about ‘persons’, ‘events’, ‘places’, ‘publications’ and ‘objects’)

34 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Extending xreferences? To other reference databases? –Yes, provided the other database agrees and permits a spider –Useful to the user who has subscriptions to several services Goal should be to integrate reference services with other resources –cf CrossRef

35 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Customisation is important Most libraries serve a specialised audience. Omnivorous aggregation is not the answer. A library should be able to select the range and level of content services appropriate to its customers.

36 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y Successful aggregation will Provide greater access to more content More intelligent and flexible deployment Require librarians to specify level of aggregation and content selection Bring ‘reference resources’ to the centre of the electronic library Enable linkage to all relevant assets

37 d i g i t a l r e f e r e n c e l i b r a r y If this is right: Reference service will become as important as the catalogue to the users of e-libraries. Perhaps it is no accident that in the bricks and mortar library the reference shelves are usually next to the catalogue on its card index.


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