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ITAM: Implementing the DNER Technical Architecture at Mimas

Project Summary

Start DateEnd DateDuration Funding BodyProgramme
May 2001July 200327 months JISCJISC 5/99 DNER

Some continutation funding from the JISC supported the OpenURL standard development work during August-November 2003. The evaluation work continued until December 2003. Mimas contiue to host SFX servers for The Universities of Bath and Manchester and UMIST until July 2004.


Project Objective

The project objective was to implement and evaluate the evolving DNER technical architecture at Mimas, using the heterogeneous range of JISC-supported services at Mimas to prove many aspects of the architecture. The project aimed to increase the visibility and accessibility of 'appropriate' resources, principally focusing on machine-to-machine interchange. During the project, it was proposed to:

Project Highlights

Project Results

The project had six strands:

1. Enhance the Mimas Metadatabase.

This was a natural extension to the Mimas Metadatabase project. The maintenance of the metadata is now being performed by Mimas support staff for their services. A Mimas Metadatabase search is included on the Mimas web page as a 'catalogue' search.

Enhancements to the Mimas Metadatabase were:

2. Create sharable collection level descriptions for Mimas.

A Mimas Collection database was developed that includes a record for each top-level collection held at Mimas. There are 'describes' links from these collection records to the corresponding service records in the Mimas Metadatabase, thus allowing access to lower-level records in the Mimas collection/service hierarchy.

This work on the Collection database has been taken forward into the development of the JISC Information Environment Service Registry.

3. Expose metadata for harvesting via Open Archives Initiative (OAI).

The resource metadata is exposed for harvesting as simple Dublin Core from the Mimas Metadatabase via the Open Archives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) (version 1.1).

4. Implement OpenURLs for Mimas resources.

zetoc has been enabled as an OpenURL source. Institutions that have an OpenURL resolver can register that resolver with zetoc enabling their users to link to additional services about an article, including its full text, to which the institution subscribes. For those users in UK HE and FE whose institutions do not have an OpenURL resolver a default OpenURL link is provided to 'MDL LitLink'.

zetoc is enabled as an OpenURL 'Link-to' resolver allowing a link into zetoc using an OpenURL rather than a proprietary syntax.

A project member is a member of the NISO Committee AX which has developed the NISO standard OpenURL, Z39.88-2004, produced Implementation Guidelines, and reported back to the UKHE community on developments.

5. Trial an SFX server in a service environment.

This involved the evaluation of an SFX server hosted at Mimas, with more than one instance to simulate resolver hosting.

An 'off-the-shelf' solution was suggested principally to reduce substantially development overhead. Ex Libris formally stated their willingness to participate and offered beneficial licensing conditions. As SFX-related technologies potentially have significant implications for service providers and libraries themselves, a full understanding was be gained in a 'real' service environment.

SFX resolver instances were hosted for the University of Bradford, who purchased their own SFX resolver after the end of the ITAM project, and the University of Manchester. As a follow-on from ITAM, Mimas are hosting SFX resolvers for the University of Bath, the University of Manchester, and UMIST until July 2004, again with an advantageous licence form Ex Libris.

The viability of a National Default Resolver was explored. Several institutions, including the University of Bath, trialled this resolver.

Two 'talking shops' were held to discuss experiences with hosting OpenURL resolvers. The first of these concentrated exclusively on SFX resolvers, but the second included those who have purchased resolvers from other vendors and other interested parties.

6. Independently evaluate the results.

External advisors, Ken Eason of The Bayswater Insititute, London, and Susan Harker of the Department of Human Sciences at Loughborough University, evaluated the SFX trial from an end-user viewpoint.

Further Project Details

More information about the project is available on the project pages.

9 February 2004

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