How can I get an edition for our library?
Creating a new edition is an easy process if your OPAC is already supported. It mainly involves branding: changing the name of library catalog, OpenURL resolver, and off-campus proxy (if applicable). You can do it yourself by visiting our edition builder interface.
If you maintain an edition, consider subscribing to the LibX mailing list.
If you want to create and host an edition entirely by yourself, you have to be familiar with CVS and you must work in a Unix-like environment, such as cygwin on Windows, Linux, or Mac OSX. Assuming that have checked out the libx source from libx.mozdev.org, specific instructions are in src/editions/README. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help.
Why not let end users adapt the toolbar themselves?
With LibX 2.0 they can!
What OPACs and discovery systems do you currently support?
Ex Libris’s Aleph
Ex Libris Primo
What do you charge?
LibX is distributed under an open-source license. If you use our edition builder, we request that you make your edition public and indicate whether it is endorsed by your institution.
What server support do I need from our systems department?
None. But please make your edition public and indicate whether it is endorsed by your institution.
Will you host our edition, or do we need to host it on our servers?
Your call. We can host your edition at libx.org or you can host it on your site. We recommend however that you advertise LibX’s availability to your users on your web pages. Check out the editions page for web pages that libraries have created to advertise LibX to their users. Note that while those pages are hosted on the libraries pages, LibX itself is hosted on libx.org.
What do I have to do to make our edition “live”?
Build it, test it, and select the “Make Live” button in the edition builder.
Only editions that are “live” benefit from automatic updates if you create new revisions, and we promise we will keep them up-to-date to the best of our ability. (Sometimes, updates are required, for instance, when Firefox upgrades to a new version. Only “live” editions will see these updates.)
What proxies do you currently support for off-campus access?
So far, we support only EZ Proxy and III’s WAM (Web Access Management) method. Currently, these seem to be the two most widely used options. Some libraries use virtual private network (VPN) access, which is set up outside the browser. Some libraries use proxies that are set up as http proxies in the browser’s preference panel. Users of those libraries may wish to install [XXXX]
What SID do you use for your OpenURL links?
By default, we use libx:institution, e.g., libx:virginiatech. However, the SID to be included in OpenURL links is set as part of the branding. You must make sure that your linking server accepts this SID. Some OpenURL resolvers (e.g., Serials Solutions) will return results no matter what SID is provided. Others (e.g., WebBridge) require that every SID be known beforehand to the OpenURL resolver. For those resolvers, you have to make sure that the SID you use in your edition is accepted by the resolver; this can be done by adding libx as an Origin in the resolver’s management module. In addition, in the case of WebBridge, you will also have to specify what III calls ‘resource categories’ that should be displayed when a request arrives. The simplest strategy is to include all categories, unless there is a desire not to show resources in a certain categories when requests from Libx arrive. Alternatively, use a SID that might already be set up, such as google, Gale, or others.
In addition to making sure users will see the correct links to the library’s electronic holdings, we also like to get accurate statistics about how users are using LibX. For systems that are hosted by an outside provider (e.g., Serials Solutions) you’ll have to contact the provider to record hits coming from LibX. As LibX becomes more widely adopted, we hope that those providers will provide support for it by default. For self-hosted systems, such as WebBridge, adding the SID via the management interface (usually at http://yourcatalog.institution.edu/webbridge/edit) should suffice.
How does the Google Scholar search work?
Frequently, researchers need to quickly lookup a paper from a citation or reference. The Google Scholar search allows a user to select all or part of a reference and run a search against Google Scholar’s database. The results are being analyzed and if a matching hit is found, the institution’s OpenURL linking server is invoked. A linking server, if properly configured, gets the user straight to an article to which they have access (as opposed to a publisher’s page where they are asked if they like to buy this article if the publisher does not recognize them as coming from their institution.) The actual Google Scholar results page is also displayed to the user.
Recently, we have added an option that would completely hide from the user that Google Scholar is used. Instead, on a miss, the user would be redirected to the URL provided by the offering institution. This approach, which requires a custom OpenURL server, leaves the user’s experiences more directly under the offering library’s control.
Can I get the Google Scholar search to work even if my institution has not registered with Google?
Yes. Simply set in your Google Scholar preferences that Library Links should be shown for a library that has registered with Google, such as Stanford. LibX will rewrite links to point to your institution’s OpenURL linking server. Although most libraries will not have the subscriptions of these larger institutions, this provides a way to offer your users a path to an appropriate copy, possibly in print form or via ILL that they would not find through Scholar. The original Scholar results are still being displayed to the user in an additional tab.
I’ve built an .xpi file for our edition, can you host it?
No. (Not even when the .xpi file was originally built on this host.) You have to use the edition builder if you wish libx.org to host the file. You’re free to host the .xpi file yourself, however, since LibX is distributed under an open source license.
We don’t do that because we then cannot provide updates to this edition when there is a major Firefox upgrade. More importantly, since Firefox extensions are trusted and run with full privileges on a user’s machine, the user should be confident that what they download from a source did indeed come from that source.
Do I need an “OCLC xISBN LibraryLookup Service OPAC Identifier” to use OCLC’s xISBN service?
For LibX to use xISBN, all we need to know is your catalog type, e.g., whether you’re using millennium, voyager, or aleph, and – in some cases – the specific version/subtype. Signing up for an OCLC xISBN LibraryLookup Service OPAC Identifier makes it easier for LibX to use xISBN, in particular when the subtype isn’t known.
These subtypes correspond to slight variations between different versions of an OPAC. For instance, there are (at least) five different versions of Sirsi, at least six different versions of Aleph, and several versions of Dynix/Horizon IPAC system. OCLC’s xISBN supports them all, but unless you have an OPAC identifier with OCLC, it needs to be told exactly which version your catalog belongs to. If you don’t have an identifier, and if your catalog doesn’t work with the default xISBN settings for your catalog type, you must then configure this version in LibX edition builder by inputting the correct “OCLC xISBN LibraryLookup Service OPAC Type.” For instance, you may need to use aleph4 instead of aleph here.
If you have an “OCLC xISBN LibraryLookup Service OPAC Identifier” identifier, OCLC will remember the specific type and version of your catalog and automatically use the correct syntax, making LibX’s job easier and the service more robust, even if you upgrade your OPAC.
The comments above relate to the configuration that is necessary for your edition to use xISBN successfully.
xISBN can always be accessed by selecting an ISBN and using the right-click menu. In addition, ISBN-based cues can be made to point at the xISBN service (rather than directly at the catalog.) by checking the “Cues Use xISBN” checkbox in the edition builder, which appears if “xISBN Settings” is checked.