Institutions

Resolution and transaction costs

Lorcan 1 min read

Andrew Pace has a note emphasising the importance of OpenURL and resolution, placing it in the context of overall management of the supply chain that connects libraries and their partners.
This is the right emphasis. A major challenge for libraries is removing transaction costs (the effort required to perform the steps necessary to achieve a goal) from their internal operations and from user tasks.
Resolution and the OpenURL have been central to this push, and the strong uptake that Andrew notes is evidence of the real need they address. Indeed, the growing emphasis on identifiers is also a response to this need.
Increasingly, I think, it makes sense to think of resolution in broader terms than we now do. Resolution – in the context in which we have used the term in this community – is about connecting potentially mutliple discovery/location environments with multiple fulfilment environments. More generally it is about ‘service routing’ (a term I borrow from my colleague Mike Teets): given some metadata as input, what relevant services can be mobilized.
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