Category Archives: sfx link resolver

sfx link resolver

vLib downtime due to scheduled power outage

Due to a scheduled power outage vLib will be unavailable on Wednesday, 17/11/10, from 6 am onwards.

As a a high number of services will be experiencing a downtime, systems will be initialized successively after the outage.

We have done our best to prioritize the start of vLib, however, we are unable to give any more precise point of time when vLib will be available again but between 9 and 12 o’clock in the morning.

MPG/SFX services should be available without interruption.

More info see GWDG News.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

MPG/SFX scheduled downtime (Sunday 14 February, early morning)

In order to prepare an upcoming migration, the GWDG scheduled a few hours downtime for the MPG/SFX server on Sunday between 01:00 a.m. and 06:00 a.m.

Please be aware that MPG/SFX services will be unavailable during that time, while the upcoming system is synchronized with the MPG/SFX server in production.

On Wednesday, February 17, after thorough testing, the new system will be switched to production during our regular maintenance hours, which will involve another short downtime.

!! PLEASE NOTE: Switch to production was re-scheduled to take place on Thursday morning, February 18, between 8 and 9 a.m. Apologies for the short notice. !!

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Problems with Safari Books Online

Unfortunately, we noticed several problems with accessing the Safari Tech Books collection over the last days:

  1. The MPG/SFX server sometimes fails to redirect requests to the correct entry page, see example.
    Solution: Prefer the link offered by the "MPG eBook Index" as this seems to work much more reliable.
     
  2. Not all book content loads correctly if you select a particular book section from the table of content, see example.
    Solution: Try to switch to the HTML view instead by clicking the new icon from the Safari tool bar, i.e.
    safari tool bar

Note: We and the Safari support are aware of these problems and hope to solve them soon!

MPG/SFX: Unexpected outage solved

Today, the MPG/SFX server was not available from 12 a.m. to 3 p.m., due to a crash of the SFX database. Meanwhile our hosting partner managed to restore the database from the backfile and restarted the service successfully.

We are sorry for the inconvenience (and will try our best to get rid of all the bad karma 😉

Some appetite for Table of Contents feeds?

Over the last years, many academic publishers introduced web syndication formats like RSS and Atom to provide their users with Table of Contents (TOC) alerting services. Due to the wide adoption of feed formats in the web, this trend promotes metadata reuse in many ways:

  1. Individual users may subscribe to TOC feeds in a reader client to receive information about recent publications. They can also apply web tools (like xfruits) to aggregate feeds and convert them to another message format.
  2. Website owners may use syndication services to dynamically integrate article information into their applications. For an example, check the homepage of the National Library of Health Sciences at the University of Helsinki (FeedNavigator boxes).

How to discover TOC feeds without searching each publisher’s homepage one after another? The ticTOCs project collected more than 12,000 journal feeds from over 400 publishers and offers an intuitive web interface on the top. In addition, the project team was broad-minded enough to share the source data with the community in order to ensure that journal feeds "osmose" into as many environments as possible. This strategy proved to be successful: the ticTOCs data is reused by numerous systems, including OCLC’s xISSN service, a Google application as well as library catalogs at Jönköping University or Wageningen UR

… and finally we managed to load the data into the MPG/SFX link resolver as well, see http://tinyurl.sfx.mpg.de/q4r3 for an example:

screen shot of sfx menu

However, one question remains: What will happen to the ticTOCs service now – after project end? Ed Pentz announced in the CrossRef Quarterly from May 2009 that "CrossRef is now investigating hosting the service on an ongoing basis", see version cached by Google. Currently, the ticTOCs homepage lacks an option to report problems or corrections, so the service manly relies on harvesting publisher websites. Will this be enough to keep the service up-to-date and unambiguous?

New in MPG/SFX: "View this record in Web of Science"

Wouldn’t it be nice if the MPG/SFX service menu for a specific journal article includes a link to the corresponding record in the Web of Science – to provide you with an easy option to lookup cited references, citing articles and related publications? It took us a while to implement, but we finally came up with this:

screen shot of new sfx service
Example MPG/SFX menu: http://tinyurl.sfx.mpg.de/q45l

The target title ("Web of Science") links to the appropriate full record view and the "Times Cited" count to the citing articles page in the Web of Science (WoS). Please note that access to the WoS database requires a subscription, but all users from the Max Planck Society should have access from their workplace.

The above information is fetched on request by using Thomson Reuters new Links Article Match Retrieval Service (AMR). Our implementation for SFX is a bit preliminary and the service fails to identify the WoS record under certain circumstances (e.g inaccurate or incomplete metadata). Some detailed testing will be done next week, but your feedback is always welcomed!

MPG/SFX got deep indexed by Google

End of 2008 we noticed that the Googlebot started to deep crawl the MPG/SFX link resolver by following distinct OpenURLs. This finding was surprising because we haven’t expected any free available website to promote deep links to dynamic pages created by the MPG/SFX server. There are some indicators that the assumption could have been wrong, e.g. Yahoo’s Site Explorer meanwhile counts 5,365 Inlinks to "sfx.mpg.de" in total. This deserves some additional checking!

In addition, I just learned from a post on the Google webmaster blog, that the web form offered by the MPG/SFX Citation Linker could have been used to crawl the server as well. But this is not very obvious because I’m pretty sure that Google doesn’t rate MPG/SFX as a "high-quality site".

The cause remained undetermined; however, the number of requests from Googlebot had significant impact on the statistics created for the SFX service. Therefore, we refined the robots.txt last December to disallow indexing of the relevant directories and started to forget about it… until today. Today, we learned from a feedback that any Internet user may accidentally stumble about an empty MPG/SFX menu and doesn’t feel well served – which is totally understandable. Unfortunately, it looks like Google’s index still includes a high amount of links to "sfx.mpg.de":
Google search result

Hm, it looks like modifying the robots.txt is not a very straightforward way to remove content from Google. Meanwhile, we used the URL removal request tool offered by Google Webmaster Tools. Let’s see if this will reduce the number of superfluous requests.