How can we improve Talis Aspire Reading Lists?

Alternative authority catalogue for physical stock items not held by local library

We're thinking through how the Bookmark tool could better support academic creation of a list where an academic wants to add items not yet held by the library (which may be subsequently purchased). To ensure that the library gets a good quality Bibliographic record from which to work, is it possible that alternative catalogues, such as COPAC ( or the BL catalogue ( could be configured to work with the bookmarking tool. We could then clearly advise academics: "If you don't find it in the library catalogue, try COPAC or the BL." I'm not currently clear how Talis envisage list creators adding items that the library needs to buy, but doesn't yet hold. Surely the expectation is not that they'll handcraft such records from scratch?

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Richard Cross shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
completed  ·  chrisc responded  · 

We’re currently assessing the best way to implement this. We’ve been in contact with COPAC and are looking at Open Library. A solution closer to home would be to utilise the union catalog held in Talis Base.
My initial investigations show that coverage could be extended to WorldCat (and others) by making use of COINS metadata to pass the identifiers to Aspire, whereby Aspire would then look up those in your local catalog first, and then a union (if there was no local record).
We plan to implement this feature during September.


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  • Richard Cross commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The Open Library API supports a very useful OR ISBN 10/13 look-up, which returns the Open Library identifier that then allows the RDF to be called. Is that something that you are able to look at as part of this?

  • Manchester University commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Using TalisBase would seem an obvious idea. Its a major selling point for the rest of the Talis suite. Could it be made available to non-Alto users?

  • Richard Cross commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It would be great to see the Aspire Bookmarklet plug-in able to leverage COiNS in the way you suggest.

  • Richard Cross commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Following the useful discussion at Tuesday's Talis Aspire User Group (4 May 2010), there was widespread support for the idea of requesting Talis to configure additional all-Tenancy MARC record authority sources for items not held in the customer library catalogue. These additional catalogue services would be configured to work with the Aspire Bookmarklet and extract Bibliographic Metadata from catalogue records. There would be no expectation that Availability data look-ups. The intention is to provide alternative authority sources for library resources to support Acquisitions processes. It is also understood that, in the first instance, it would be necessary to add an LCCN number to the Item record once an item has been added to the local library catalogue to support the local Availability look-up. Foremost candidates for the role of alternative authority source are: COPAC, the BL catalogue (for UK customers), and OpenLibrary.

  • Richard Cross commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Ian - in response to your two questions:

    1) The user doesn't need to care about the source of the metadata so long as the application is clever enough and helpful enough to do the necessary routing of their request - probably through a Tenancy set sequence of preferred metadata authority sources (e.g. "Take the metadata and try the library catalogue first; the Open Library; then COPAC; then Amazon until a good matchis found). But at present Aspire is only extracting a small fixed set of metadata values from a small number of pre-defined sources and then doing either the z-look-up back on the host catalogue or the DOI look-up against CrossRef.

    I like the idea of a far richer set of authority look-ups in Aspire (far beyond the institution's own catalogue), but we've still got to understand how we get the LCCN/System number into the Item Record retrospectively once (and if) the library has acquired an item the metadata for which was sourced elsewhere.

  • AdminIan Corns (Talis) (Admin, Talis) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We've also discussed bookmarking from and Amazon.

    There are, I think, several parts to this.

    If (as an academic) I choose to bookmark from another catalogue other than the library, Aspire (a) checks to see if that resource is in the library and offer to use that, alongside tying to availability or (b) the bookmarklet works with these other catalogue sources and extracts the metadata, saving manual input

    The second part is "hand-crafting" (or the "Manual add") when the user isn't bookmarking, but wants to auto-populate over manually entering all the info. The "Manual Add" (on "My Bookmarks") already has the DOI lookup on it, and we have "lookup via ISBN" on the current stack. If a user doesn't have an ISBN, maybe proposing some records from "a source" using author/title which the user could select and say "use that metadata to populate the fields" would be beneficial?

    This then raises two questions.

    1) Does the user care about the source of the metadata (BL, openlibrary, COPAC) if the fields get populated? I'd say probably not. They should be able to provide some basic info (ISBN, author/title) and just get the fields populated

    2) If the user doesn't care about the source, do they care if the metadata comes from the library catalogue for their institution? That's more contentious, but I think its a valid question. There is, for the bibliographic fields we populate, little (or no) difference between what we get back from the library catalogue or those we get from other reputable sources - often the library got the record from those sources! Although we need to link to the library catalogue (for availability info, etc), do we need to use library catalogue metadata??? Hmmmm...

    Finally, I'm not ignoring your point about how users add items the library needs to buy - I just think its a separate question, the answer to which will come from customers using Aspire and exposing the key opportunities in the workflow where Aspire could solve a problem.

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