Many people start research at Jstor. We tend to think of link resolvers as tools for getting from discovery to digital content. Why not print?
Michael Levine-Clark, Dean of Libraries at the University of Denver, and Bruce Heterick, SVP, Open Collections and Infrastructure at ITHAKA, reported on a study they did on links between electronic and print books. The more of a book users want to read, they more they prefer print. Discovery should always lead to the possibility of access, digital or print, no dead ends. Many users start searches with Google Scholar, which uses link resolvers on search results to help connect users to content. For example, Jstor already has the University of Denver’s library link resolver enabled on its platform to direct users to electronic resources. But what if Jstor were to enable the link resolver to connect to print so that users could have access to all content on Jstor?
Successes: Users are connecting to more library content and perceive ITHAKA and Jstor as partners. They find and use print based on discovery.
Failures: The resolver is irritating to users and presents a bad experience for them. They tend to abandon searches because of their frustrations.
Unexpected potholes in 6-7 week trial: Gaining confidence for the initial implementation, insight into what happens after the user logs out, and lower than expected record matching.
Lessons learned: Linking print and electronic resources is difficult, but it can be done. Library choices around creating bibliographic records have no impact on discovery via OpenURLs. Records with merged records for print and electronic tend to have large numbers of identifiers.
Don Hawkins blogs about conferences for Information Today and Against The Grain. He also maintains the Conference Calendar on the Information Today website and is the Editor of Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage, published by Information Today in 2013, and Co-Editor of Public Knowledge: Access and Benefits, published by Information Today in 2016. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked in the information industry for over 45 years.