Linking into flow

There has been some justifiable buzz about COinS in the last couple of days. Dan Chudnov’s work log has a useful piece if you want to find out more.

COinS (ContextObjects in Spans) is a simple, ad hoc community specification for publishing OpenURL references in HTML. What does it look like? Just what it says: ContextObjects in Spans. [dchud’s work log : project/groupware/introducing-coins]

We need to find more ways of releasing the value of the accumulated library investment in data and services in users’ natural habitats. These are increasingly network habitats, and we have to be cleverer in how we reach into them. This looks like an important step.

One thought on “Linking into flow”

  1. My understanding of the original openURL was that it allowed a general purpose url, looking something like openurl:title=xxx&isbm=yyyy.
    But without a simple method to get the scheme appropriately resolved for a particular user, the scheme began to rely on institutional/vendor generation of an appropriately specified resolver. But the end user is then cut out of the loop in several ways:
    1) cannot supply an open url to a colleague which will resolve properly FOR that colleague,
    2) cannot choose another resolver which might work better for certain communities, like mathematicians, or physicists, regardless of their insitutional affiliation.
    COINS seems to return control to the end user, finally.

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