Discovering ukoer at Leeds Metropolitan

Recently I blogged over at about integrating the repository with the EBSCO Discovery Service and I just wanted to expand a little, specifically in the context of OER and the (perpetually) developing infrastructure that I hope will ultimately result in OER from across the sector being discoverable from EDS…

…a long term objective is also to ensure that the repository is well embedded in the institutional infrastructure and that relevant resources are easily discoverable, both within and without, by our own students and staff as well as scholars in the wider world, whatever discovery tools they may use and whatever their level of information literacy.

The EBSCO Discovery Service provides a mechanism, a one-stop-shop or library search engine, to explore a wide range of Library resources including the Library catalogue and electronic databases and we have been able to liaise with EBSCO to add the repository as a searchable target.

Currently the repository includes just ukoer released by staff at Leeds Metropolitan; the most recent version of intraLibrary, however, developed as part of the PORSCHE project, and due by the end of the month, includes the facility to harvest metadata from other OER repositories, particularly Jorum, so that we can search from our local search interface and from EDS:Multiple routes to discovery including the “library search engine” EBSCO Discovery Service


Infrastructure schematic (1st draft)

There are several significant developments that will impact on our repository / research management / OER dissemination and discovery over the next 12 months or so…briefly these are:

This is a quick schematic of how the developing infrastructure might look (a bit big to fit in my WordPress theme so click on image for full size):

Suggested enhancements to JorumOPEN user interface

A very thorough post on the JORUM community bay from the C-change in GEES project – – on suggested enhancements to the JorumOPEN user interface:

What would you like to search for – research or OER?

Leeds Met Open Search – – now incorporates a “splash screen” that allows the user to choose which collection they wish to search with links that provide access to separate interfaces that are tailored to each type of material:

Leeds met Open Search splash page

Each tabbed interface provides an appropriate Advanced search form as well as relevant browse options; by LCSH or faculty for research and by HEA Subject Centres or JACS code for OERs:

Once again, massive thanks to Mike for his rapid response to the the myriad requests I make of him on a daily basis!

Resource discovery at Leeds Met Library

Just a quick plug for a new Leeds Met blog investigating Resource Discovery and Federated Searching systems for Leeds Met Library:

It is, er, blogged by my colleague @DebbieMN but will also include contributions from other library staff and recently, for example, our graduate trainee has posted about his first impressions of Serial Solution’s Summon which is billed as a “web-scale discovery service” that “allows the researcher to quickly search, discover and access reliable and credible library content.” (

I also attended the Summon demo last week and was pretty impressed by the Google style simplicity of the search interface – which I suspect will be very popular with students – though some of my librarian colleagues did express reservations about the potential impact on information literacy and were keen to see the advanced search functionality; it is still important to teach more sophisticated information retrieval skills even if students are likely just to head to the simple search box of Google (or Summon)!

One aspect I was particularly interested in was the apparent ease with which Summon can be configured to search an institutional repository – functionality that the University of Huddersfield, who are now running Summon, have already implemented to search their EPrints repository – Huddersfield’s @daveyp tweeted this example using the name of their repository manager @graham_stone

Leeds Met Repository Open Search Version 2.0

This is a bit of a trailer for our shiny new interface that I hope will go live in the next week or so and a run down of some of the new features.

It’s far from perfect and should still be seen as a beta – we very much need real users to start using it and I’m feeling a little nervous about how it will be received as I know how much work Mike, in particular, has put into it.

The interface has evolved from an SRU client developed for by IRISS – – which is available under GNU General Public Licence v.3 at (N.B.  We still intend to release our modified code under a similar licence.)  Learning Exchange Open Search is a great front end for searching intraLibrary but with just a simple search box lacked advanced search functionality that was essential for us.  We also wanted to use intraLibrary to manage resources for teaching & learning aswell as facilitating Open Access to our research collection in accordance with the EPrints model.

The tabbed interface incorporates an “Advanced search” form that allows users to cross reference multiple fields specifying AND/OR and they are also able to search for either “Research” or “Open Educational Resources” which uses authentication tokens to return results from the appropriate collections in intraLibrary:


There are also big changes in the way that results are returned; Mike has been able to use a unique identifier to build individual pages for each record so that a search will return a set of results that indicates whether or not each individual record has the full text available:


These titles then link through to a static HTML page comprising all of the metadata associated with that record including a published URL and, where the full text is available, a link to the PDF in intraLibrary:


This static page should be indexed more effectively than was the case before though there is one small fly left in the ointment in that the public URL generated by intraLibrary that is used to download the full text is dynamic which means it cannot be indexed by Google; I’m not sure if it will be possible for Intrallect to do anything about this though they are aware of the need for full text indexing and are looking into the problem.

Separate HTML pages for individual records

I’m returning here to an old theme that is still nagging away at the back of my mind and that I think still needs exploring further as the functionality of the SRU interface develops; both by Mike and I and by Intrallect in the context of their ongoing development of the research repository aspect of intraLibrary.

Can we generate individual HTML pages for records such that a search query could generate a list of hyperlinks that point to those individual pages rather than to the location URL stored in intraLibrary which is currently the case?  This would more closely approximate the way that EPrints and DSpace work and potentially solve the Google problem by providing an easily indexable page of static HTML for search engine spiders to crawl.  Could these pages also have nice, short, human readable URLs instead of convoluted search strings / machine-generated public URLs from intraLibrary.  Again more like EPrints/DSpace.  Currently the only way I can give a link to an item is:

(The SRU search string that will provide the metadata)


(The machine generated public URL for the actual PDF)

I’ve recently been adding RSS feeds to and another issue (aside from the fact that the wrong field is exposed by RSS) is that these also point to the location URL stored in intraLibrary – the PDF in the case of full text but the published URL in instances where there is a citation only.  It would be much better if these feeds could point at a Leeds Met repository metadata record.

I simply do not have the technical insight to know whether any of this is achievable at all and, if it is, how big a job it will be.