Saturday, July 30, 2005

Latent OpenURLs are now COinS

Sorry to have been remiss in my updates of late. I've been up to my eyeballs with work for the planned/hoped-for launch of metalib before schools starts. Yeah, don't laugh.

Anyway, the guys who brought you Latent OpenURLs have announced a name change; it's now COinS. It's a better name--an acronym that helps explain what it is/does. (BTW: It's both singular and plural. They don't want you to say COinSes--and really, who can blame them.) Here's a one sentence description.

"COinS (ContextObjects in Spans) is a simple, ad hoc community specification for publishing OpenURL references in HTML."

Why do we care? By establishing a standard for embedding OpenURLs in standard HTML, COinS enables the delivery of web services--specifically the user-appropriate resolution of OpenURLs. That means that anyone (not just big vendors) can take advantage of the OpenURL resolver systems in any page they write.

Here's how it works. I publish a citation in my blog using COinS format. You have a browser with a COinS extension that you've configured to point to your own OpenURL resolver (e.g., SFX.) Then, when you look at my blog you see the citation with a link that produces your OpenURL resolver menu.

Two places to look for more info:
There's buzz that Yahoo has been asking around about it. Cool, no?

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