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The project, christened "Special Effects," or SFX, aimed to create an open linking framework in which links could be fashioned dynamically, based on relationships and agreements between information providers and libraries, to present scholarly resources to library users in the context of the entire collection available to them Van de Sompel and Hochstenbach , a; Van de Sompel and Hochstenbach , b.

As part of this effort, the research team sought to develop within the SFX framework "extended service-links" for scholarly information resources that would go beyond the traditional notion of reference links that simply connect metadata to the full-text content described by that metadata. What was needed, the team felt, were links that would take into account the context of the individual users who followed those links and the access limitations or absence thereof imposed by business agreements among information providers.

The OpenURL framework "provides a standardized format for transporting bibliographic metadata about objects between information services" Van de Sompel and Beit-Arie , More specifically, an OpenURL carries the data about a bibliographic item from an information provider to a library's link resolver an SFX server, for example. The link resolver compares the metadata embedded within the OpenURL against the library's holdings to determine which online and analog options to present to the user who initiated the search. The OpenURL is thus the hook that connects the database, index, or abstracting service holding the metadata to the appropriate services to meet library users' needs through the mediation of the library link resolver.

The development of the OpenURL framework was a much heralded milestone for providing access to full-text resources across discovery systems. It seemed to provide a crucial, and seemingly final, piece of the puzzle of how to provide cost-effective, appropriate services to early 21st-century library users, regardless of the source of the reference citations and other scholarly information used by researchers. Van de Sompel and Beit-Arie closed their paper on OpenURL optimistically: "It seems reasonable to conclude that the future of open linking in the web-based scholarly information environment looks bright" Van de Sompel and Beit-Arie , Library users were able to retrieve faster, more reliable, and more comprehensively linked scholarly information than they ever had prior to the work of Van de Sompel et al.

But in spite of the development of link resolver technology and the OpenURLs on which they depend, following a reference link all the way to the full text frustrates users too often. The goal to provide fully reliable, seamless linkage between reference citations and full-text information has not been fully achieved. In summarizing the features of the prototype SFX link resolver, Van de Sompel and Hochstenbach remarked that: "Depending on the accuracy of the link-to-syntax provided by the primary publisher's system At the time, most link-to-syntax could only manage to link to an appropriate table of contents.

With the development and standardization of the OpenURL protocol, the precise linkage to an article's host serial, its year of publication, its volume and issue numbers, and the starting page of the article itself became possible. Possible, but not always achievable. The dynamic reference linking model assumed that the citation metadata embedded in the OpenURLs would be inherently consistent and accurate.

In practice, this has not always been the case. In fact, even as early as , Clifford Lynch anticipated the unreliability of this metadata. Lynch assumed, however, that market pressures would force providers to improve the quality of their links.

Miriam E. Blake and Frances L. Knudson, reflecting on the results of the first test instances of the OpenURL framework in , identified a number of ways in which incomplete or inaccurate metadata embedded in the link-to-syntax of OpenURLs could lead to link failure: variation in ISSN for purposes of matching copies, errors or inconsistencies in the transcription of volume and issue information, incorrect page numbers for the referred article, and incorrect publication dates Blake and Knudson , The authors called for increased consistency across databases, increased communication between primary and secondary publishers, increased awareness of bibliographic citation standards by authors, and increased outreach by librarians.

It doesn't fix data discrepancies. It assumes that the metadata that is transported from one system can be properly interpreted and matched in a second system. Differing editorial policies, tagging rules, etc. Librarians need to understand that there will be errors" Hendricks , , p. In conjunction with this report, the UKSG commissioned a survey to explore the link resolver and serials supply chain landscape.

The results of the survey revealed the scale of the OpenURL metadata problem. OpenURLs may be broken on account of insufficient or incorrect metadata that leads to erroneous results in the link resolver's service menu or prevents the resolver from creating a sufficiently deep link to a target site. One librarian interviewed commented that his experience with some sources was so bad that he refused to enable OpenURL links from them as he did not wish to expose his end users to the problems Culling , , p.

All of these observations and inquiries point either to problems with metadata issued by content providers or to the need to improve this metadata through a more qualitative evaluation.

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Most existing research does not, however, address the qualitative dimension of this metadata in the OpenURL context, and the UKSG report does not include specific recommendations for how to measure the extent of, and fix, the problems. The working group has released recommendations about how to streamline that exchange to minimize errors within link resolver knowledge bases.

Indeed, there has been no systematic research that focuses specifically on OpenURL quality and how to evaluate it. In their review of metadata quality studies published in the early '00s, Thomas R. Bruce and Diane I. Hillmann did indicate the need for metadata quality metrics, in general. The studies suggested a focus on completeness, provenance, accuracy, conformance to expectations, logical consistency and coherence, timeliness, and accessibility Bruce and Hillmann , At about the same time, Baden Hughes reported on the design and implementation of a scalable, dynamically-adjustable infrastructure to support the qualitative assessment of the semantic and syntactic content of metadata within a specialized OAI sub-domain: the Open Language Archives Community, or OLAC Hughes , The goals of the OLAC initiative were to: 1 establish a baseline against which future evaluative instances could be compared, 2 supply information to data providers, and 3 assess a set of domain-grounded controlled vocabularies.

Hughes developed an algorithm that scored individual metadata records based on their adherence to best practice guidelines for Dublin Core metadata elements and codes and for controlled vocabularies specific to the OLAC domain. This metadata quality assessment algorithm was applied through an open source service that lies atop the OLAC Harvester and Aggregator Simons , ; cited in Hughes , , p.

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This service allowed the developers to evaluate OLAC metadata quality from a number of perspectives: 1 by data provider, 2 across the whole community, and 3 between archives. Hughes concluded that:. While the lack of infrastructural support for qualitative assessment of metadata within the digital archives community is notable, we believe that the provision of tools which assist metadata creators and managers to understand the qualitative aspects of metadata are of critical importance.

Such tools enable archive managers to identify specific areas for metadata enrichment activity, and hence derive the greatest return on investment We offer our approach and implementation to the broader digital libraries community in the hope that the model and implementation may benefit a larger range of institutional data providers, and ultimately, end-users Hughes , , p.

It is our intention in the current study to follow the lead of Baden Hughes and his associates and report on similar models and their implementation for the qualitative evaluation of OpenURL metadata.

OpenURL link failures stem from some combination of: 1 incomplete, inconsistent, or inaccurate citation metadata, or 2 inaccurate link resolver knowledge base holdings, or 3 inaccurate link-to syntax, dependent on the local context. Trainor and Price summarize the difficulty in trying to identify the cause of OpenURL link failure: "It remains to be seen whether or not generalizations can be made.


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It is certainly true, however, that for particular combinations of source, resolver, knowledge base, and target, some components are more at fault than others p. These errors reveal a missing component in the original OpenURL model: in shifting the responsibility for the accuracy and maintenance of the linking function of the URL from the content provider to the link resolver, accountability for the accuracy of the citation metadata has been overlooked. Our investigation began in earnest in , thanks to a planning grant from the Andrew W.

Among the issues Cornell librarians examined was the quality of the OpenURLs the database offers to its users. Why not? From the perspective of the OpenURL provider, this question is difficult to answer. Since full-text electronic content is usually locked up behind authentication barriers, systematic feedback regarding link failures is impossible. Blog How good is the quality of general practice in England?

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How good is the quality of general practice in England? This is an excellent publication which will be very useful in my introductory class from Masters degree in public health, thank you. Reply Link to comment.

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Although anecdotal, I have heard more than once from GP's with home responsibilities, that since the new deal - struck by incompetant bureaucrats and the BMA - part-time GP rewards are so great they do not need to work more than a 2 or 3 day week; thus, a wait of 2 or 3 weeks sometimes for GP of choice. I imagine the only way arround this is to employ more GP's; but that of course would eat into the budget and current policy seems to favour a financial imperative rather than patient experience.

Thanks for good reading material with important new topics highlighting General Practice, a way forward in improving quality of care in future,locally and internationally. Wish you all a bright future in General Practice.

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Dr Shoaib Qureshi. The report contains many good elements in relation to treatment and care but seems to completely miss the issue of the Primary Care system role in adressing the Social Determinats of Health, Health Advocacy, Community Oriented Primary Care and many of the wider issues raised by the WHO Now More than Ever report on primary care. This is a missed opportunity and a surprising ommission for the Kings Fund.

Please advise if you reply to specific GP surgery issues. I certainly have issue with two GP surgeries I have been involved with personal long term health problem. It is exciting to read that there is a renewed focus on generalism within general practice. In our narrative review and synthesis on generalism we identified how much use of the term there was with little to know explanation or definition of what it meant. The Kings Fund defines generalism as patient centred care and holism. We found that the concept is more that this and more than an approach or knowledge base; it relies on the interaction of three dimensions of being, knowing and doing.

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