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All the cool kids are implementing COinS
A little while ago, I added COinS (ContextObjects in Spans) to our SFX menu pages. I have been asked by several people about the motivation of this, since it would seem that the user would know if fulltext was available to them at this stage.

Dan Chudnov posted to his worklog one of the advantages to putting COinS in the SFX menu.

So, imagine one of our users is at an SFX menu for another institution. Normally, they'd be, well, screwed. If COinS are enabled in the menu, however (and now we've proven this is pretty darn simple), they could use WAG the Dog or Dan's bookmarklet or Greasemonkey extension (he has them for GT) and get to our fulltext subscription.

Another use case is GT Library's web designer. Heather is a GT employee (of course), so she access to all of our resources. Being an FSU student, she also has access to their collection. Imagine Heather getting a GT SFX menu for an article that we don't have available in fulltext. By using her bookmarklet, she could then see if that article is available from FSU, without having to manually look for it herself. If FSU implemented COinS in their menus, then it would work both ways. With GALILEO opening up SFX for the entire state, one has to assume that all of our users could potentially belong to more than one library community (GT and ATL/Fulton Public Library, for example), each with their own subscriptions.

Anyway, it's quite cool to see (quasi-)real world examples of how COinS would work.

3 Comments:

At 12:54 AM, September 02, 2005, Anonymous Peter Binkley said...

That's nifty. Have you had any reaction from users yet? I wonder if your own users will be confused by it... The COinS isn't really necessary here to provide the activator with an OpenURL to work with, since you've got it in the url of the page itself. You could have a greasemonkey script that detected when the url you've on is an OpenURL (and not one pointing at your own linkserver) and adds a localized button at the top. I suppose it would also have to detect when you're posting an XML ContextObject; maybe COinS is easier.

 
At 9:26 AM, September 02, 2005, Blogger Ross said...

Well, it's not at all apparent that the COinS is even there. It would require a persistent COinS activator on the user's part to even know they're there.

The advantage to COinS is:

1) If the SFX menu was generated via a POST
2) Consistency across all link resolvers.

Obviously, I realize this is still completely marginal and of little benefit to the majority of our users. Still, it shows some potential.

 
At 3:38 PM, September 06, 2005, Blogger ph0rman said...

Do you want to let the rest of us know what to tweak on our SFX pages too? =)

 

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