[uf-discuss] citation microformat encodings
ross.singer at library.gatech.edu
Mon Jan 30 07:18:21 PST 2006
Nevermind -- I'm in.
Sorry about that.
Ross Singer wrote:
> Ok, I tried to do this, but I can't make a login to the wiki (keeps
> complaining that I am not using a valid user name).
> So, uh... yeah.
> Ryan King wrote:
>> On Jan 25, 2006, at 9:02 AM, Ross Singer wrote:
>> Could you add the description below (or a short version of it, or a
>> link to something similar) to http://microformats.org/wiki/citation-
>> formats? (under the OpenURL section)
>> Also, while I'm at it, someone needs to move/merge this [http://
>> microformats.org/wiki/citation-brainstorming#OpenURL] and this
>> 2F_Dublin_Core] into http://microformats.org/wiki/citation-formats.
>>> One of the obstacles in explaining OpenURL is the discongruity
>>> between "the spec" and "the implementation". While, yes, what you
>>> see in practice is a url with the metadata encoded as arguments in
>>> the query string, this is merely a representation of the
>>> "ContextObject" intended to be sent to a link resolver to permit
>>> services based on the contextobject.
>>> Let's back up, shall we?
>>> An OpenURL consists of two independent parts: the ContextObject
>>> (or the bibliographic metadata surrounding a citation) and the
>>> location of resolver to parse the metadata and present contextual
>>> services based on said metadata. The (very real) problem is that
>>> the term "OpenURL" is also used as a catch-all for all of the
>>> independent parts and how they work. This is mainly because it's a
>>> catchier term than "Z39.88", which is the NISO standard all this is
>>> based upon.
>>> So, when Tantek pointed out that this is very non-human readable
>>> url string, that is a *particular representation* of the OpenURL
>>> ContextObject (which is referred to as "San Antonio Profile 1" --
>>> more commonly SAP1 -- and is represented in Key Encoded Values --
>>> KEVs). This "representation" is independent of the ContextObject
>>> (from here on known as CO) itself and is only intended to permit
>>> the CO to be transmitted via an HTTP GET request (more on this in a
>>> There is also SAP2, which is an XML representation of the CO (see:
>>> fmt:xml:xsd:ctx and the "Implementation Guidelines" link from that
>>> page for more information) and is a much more human readable
>>> format. This still (obviously) falls outside the scope of
>>> microformats, but makes the point that encoding has nothing to do
>>> with the CO itself. They are just agreed upon means of conveying
>>> the CO to enable machines act upon them consistently.
>>> The ContextObject could be conveyed just as easily in XHTML using
>>> attributes, as long as the terms follow the vocabulary defined in
>>> the OpenURL framework. The important thing to focus on here is the
>>> ContextObject -- the address of the link resolver /is/ institution-
>>> specific and should be handled by a user's (or machine's)
>>> activating agent.
>>> However, the link resolver is still a very important component to
>>> this whole process. Getting users "appropriate copy" is a very
>>> real (and very difficult) problem that libraries are trying to
>>> solve. Link resolvers are a pretty efficient means of overcoming
>>> this hurdle, so it would make sense to mark up bibiographic
>>> citations in a way that link resolvers can easily parse.
>>> I hope this clears up a little bit of the confusion.
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