Issue 4, 2008-09-22

Editorial Introduction — Issue 4

Ken Varnum

Welcome to Issue 4 of the Code4Lib Journal! We are pleased to present articles covering an impressive breadth of topics. The strength of the Code4Lib Journal lies in its readers. You are not only the audience but also the authors for the articles published here. We hope the items you see in this, and future, issues inspire you to innovate and to share your discoveries with the rest of us.

Auto-Populating an ILL form with the Serial Solutions Link Resolver API

Daniel Talsky

In this article we’ll take a tour of the OpenURL protocol; discover how to use it to get an XML API response from the Serial Solutions link resolver; and see how to receive and process that XML data using PHP to create an Interlibrary Loan webform. Finally, we’ll see a few examples of how to handle form processing. This article will be of interest to beginner programmers interested in examples of programming with OpenURL and XML in PHP, and to more experienced programmers interested in taking a look at the Serial Solutions 360 Link API.

Mining Data from ISI Web of Science® Reports

Alfred Kraemer

Journal citation data is valuable as a selection tool for adding new journals as well as for discontinuing subscriptions that are no longer cost-effective. This article presents and discusses an example of data extraction from a typical ISI Web of Science report. The strategy was developed following a review of the data relationships and embedded data output format. While Perl was used in the example, the method described can be implemented with most programming/scripting languages. The example demonstrates also that citation-based studies and reports can be based on large sets of extracted data rather than the typical, small samples. The value of the data is discussed using a actual decision-making scenario.

Unveiling Jangle: Untangling Library Resources and Exposing them through the Atom Publishing Protocol

Ross Singer and James Farrugia

The Jangle project intends to expose the data hidden in library systems by using the Atom Publishing Protocol to provide simple, consistent access to content and resources. The lack of uniform access to the underlying data in library systems is a major impediment to library development. The Jangle project has the potential to enable new development opportunities by leveraging simple to use and easy to understand processes. This article discusses the benefits of the Atom Publishing Protocol and how Jangle utilizes it, including a description of the current JangleR reference implementation and case studies of the simplicity of developing within the framework.

LibraryH3lp: A New Flexible Chat Reference System

Pam Sessoms and Eric Sessoms

LibraryH3lp is an integrated IM and web chat system designed specifically for Virtual Reference services in libraries. The software was designed for, and is currently used by, a night-time chat reference collaboraton between several large academic libraries. LibraryH3lp is designed for the workflow of chat reference, supporting multiple simultaneous operators and routing to queues of operators in a particular service area. It also supports web page embeddable chat ‘widgets’, as well as simultaneous gateways to multiple IM protocols. This article discusses the motivation for the development of the software, and provides an overview of LibraryH3lp’s features and technical architecture. Parts of LibraryH3lp are available as open source. The complete application is available as a low-cost hosted service, and will eventually be available to be licensed for local hosting.

OpenBook WordPress Plugin: Open Source Access to Bibliographic Data

John Miedema

OpenBook is a WordPress PHP plugin that implements the Open Library APIs to insert book covers, titles, authors and publishers into web pages. The motive behind the development was to provide an easy alterative to the common practice of linking to Amazon. Open Library was selected as a data source because it is both open source and open data.The plugin is useful for book reviewers, library webmasters, anyone who wants to put book covers and data on their WordPress blog or website. The plugin also allows users to add links to publisher websites, a feature that was considered significant to independent publishers.

The Library Search Engine: A Smart Solution for Integrating Resources Beyond Library Holdings

Karin Herm and Sibylle Volz

The Cooperative Library Network Berlin-Brandenburg (KOBV), Germany addresses the problem of how to integrate resources found outside the library and library holdings into a single discovery tool. It presents a solution that uses open source technology to develop a next-generation catalog interface called the Library Search Engine. This pilot project was launched in 2007 with the library of Albert Einstein Science Park, Potsdam. The idea was to design and develop a fast and convenient search tool, integrating local holdings (books, journals, journal articles) as well as relevant scientific subject information such as open access publications and bibliographies.

BOOK REVIEW: Two Books about FRBR, Compared

Christine Schwartz

This article reviews 2 books on FRBR published in the past year. Although both books aim to be introductions to FRBR, their approaches are very different. One is sort of a FRBR study guide with commentary, the other a collection of essays. Robert Maxwell’s book, FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed, takes the study guide approach. Arlene Taylor edited Understanding FRBR: What It Is and How It Will Affect Our Retrieval Tools, a book of essays about FRBR and FRAD, written by cataloging experts, aimed at a broader audience, not just the cataloging specialist. The first seven chapters lay out the basics: introductions to FRBR and FRAD, FRBR research, FRBR and the history of cataloging, FRBR and RDA. These chapters provide an excellent introduction for those new to FRBR. The last seven chapters each look at different types of resources in relation to FRBR.