Standard link resolver support: OpenURL & COinS

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This document gives more info about OpenURL and COinS as supported by refbase.


refbase-0.9.0 or greater supports the OpenURL standard which provides a common linking syntax for bibliographic items and which allows to redirect users to the "most appropriate" copy of a work to which a user has a valid subscription. Given an OpenURL, an OpenURL resolver can redirect a user to the article's full-text copy available at a subscribed online service or to the appropriate page at the user's own university library.

A good overview of the benefits of OpenURLs ("Why OpenURL?") is given by Ann Apps & Ross MacIntyre in D-Lib Magazine.

COinS (ContextObjects in Spans)

COinS is a simple, ad hoc community specification for publishing OpenURL references in HTML. It enables an application to generate an active OpenURL simply by prefixing a resolver address. Using COinS-processing web browser extensions, users can personalise their OpenURL linking via their chosen OpenURL resolver. COinS objects will also allow third-party tools to provide additional functionality such as article autodiscovery or automatic extraction of embedded metadata into bibliographic search or storage systems.