February 17, 2018

Google Scholar Advances, Universities Test Link Resolvers

By LJ Staff

Google Scholar may be a good tool, but when users search on an item, it will be more useful if a link resolver helps them know it’s in their library collection. When Google Scholar launched last fall, librarians working with the OpenURL standard – which helps resolve links in a user-specific fashion – recognized that link resolvers and Google Scholar would be a good match. For several weeks, some 28 libraries, mainly university libraries in the United States, have been testing institutional access in a pilot project, using the link resolver their libraries’ purchased. If a user is working at a library computer, the access information comes up automatically; if not, the user must set specific preferences when using Google Scholar.

Among the link resolvers involved are SFX by Ex Libris, Article Linker by Serials Solutions, and 1Cate by Openly Informatics. Once a library authorizes the company providing the link resolver to give Google their holdings, Google then highlights links in Google Scholar results pages that cite items the library holds. Eric Van de Velde, director of library information technology at Caltech and chair of the NISO OpenURL Standardization Committee, said the pilot is working well, ‘but right now they are only putting OpenURLs on very limited material, we’d like them to broaden that.’