15. Reading Lists are Set to Improve - The Sir Louie Project

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The Sir Louie logo photo is used under the Creative Commons Licence and was taken by the longhairedgit.

Sir Louie – System for Integrating Reading Lists within the Oxford University Information Environment.

This project will enhance two academic and administrative systems, the WebLearn (VLE), (based on the Sakai open source platform,) and the University’s library search interface SOLO, (based on Ex-libris Primo,) in order to provide much improved experience for both students and lecturers in the area of reading lists.

The planned improvements target the searching of library catalogues and the displaying availability information with a reading list.

Development work on both systems will enable the SOLO search interface to be invoked from within WebLearn’s reading list tool, (also known as the Citations Helper,) and be used to find items to be sent back to the VLE for automatic inclusion in the reading list. The data will be transferred using the standard OpenURL encoding.

In addition, the project will develop a method of augmenting all reading lists with availability information when they are displayed in WebLearn.

This is achieved by ‘hiding’ OpenURL COinS meta data for each item within a reading list. This in-page data can then be used to determine current availability once the page has loaded (using DLF ILS-DI and / or DAIA).

The result is that the reading list will automatically contain links to ‘full text’ versions of journal articles, a list of (Oxford University) libraries where the item can be found and links to on-line stores where the item can be purchased.

The COiNS meta data can also be used to enable existing Open Source software such as Zotero and LibX (a browser plug-in) to interact with Citation Helper reading lists.

This kind of integration between Oxford’s VLE and Library systems was formally requested of the University by the Oxford University Student’s Union (OUSU) in order that students can save valuable time when dealing with their reading lists.

The project has been funded by within their Flexible Services Delivery programme and runs until the end of 2010.

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