Librarians: How you could use the OpenURL Router Data
All OpenURL requests made by end users via the Router at openurl.ac.uk are logged, and (subject to the metadata included by the referring service) provide a record of the article that the user was attempting to find via their local resolver. The OpenURL Router Data are data about traffic flowing through the UK OpenURL Router, and are sometimes known as activity data. The data are made publicly available so that other service providers may use them.
Further information about what data are made available, and the licence under which they can be used is in the OpenURL Router Data section.
What use are the data to a librarian?
At first glance the OpenURL data files may seem somewhat technical but they consist of simple information with which Librarians will be familiar, such as Journal Title, Article Title and ISSN. More information on the data available can be found in the section 'What the data are exactly'.
Although the institutional resolver data are anonymised, the person who is registered with the OpenURL Router as institutional contact may request their own resolver identifier so that they may distinguish their institutions' data within the data file.
Librarians may wish to include the data as part of an institutional recommender service, or (dependant on the resolver software) to gain insight into the articles that are being sought by students and staff. Librarians may wish to analyse the data to determine the most sought-after journals or articles across institutions.
The licence terms for use of the data are explained in 'What licence applies to use of the data'. The licence was selected to maximise possible uses for the data.
What else could be done with the data
Data that are openly available in this way facilitate development of innovative services that may not be considered by those who hold the data, because the service providers drawing on those data have the best understanding of their specific user communities' needs. Possible uses for the data that have been suggested to date are:
- Inclusion in existing library systems for recommendations
- Analysis to identify patterns of requests for journals or articles
- Use by students learning to analyse large data sets
- Use by researchers as the basis for a thesis
- Use by publishers to compare their listings of journals and articles with those sought by users