The IMesh Toolkit
Reading lists - Domain Model
This section identifies the various systems or subsystems that are required to support the creation and presentation of reading lists. The subsystems have been modelled on a one-to-one relationship with function. The subsystems (or domain objects) can be joined up in different ways using a combination of standards and protocols to interact. Some packages and servces may in fact carry out more than one of the functions identified in the subsystems, as explained in the examples below.
Domain Object (subsystem) Descriptions
This typically consists of descriptions of resources, and is available for searching or retrieval through a protocol, e.g. Z39.50 and OAI metadata harvesting are expected to be commonly used. Example: a subject gateway, a library OPAC.
The service that supports searching and retrieval of resource descriptions, using one of the protocols through which the collection is available.
Reading List Viewer/Editor
The viewer displays the contents of a reading list and provides an interface through which the the items can be edited - adding or deleted items and changing item-level details. The viewer must be capable of importing the reading lists and should support the storing of the list. Example: RSSExpress
Reading List Store
Reading lists can be stored in a variety of formats. The format used for storing the list will influence the extent to which it can be incorporated into other systems, and is influenced by the system used to store the list. Transformation of the list from one format to another may be required so that the reading list can be used within different systems.
This is the interface at which the end user (the Reading List User) access the list. In an on-line environment the list is displayed on screen. Commonly the list will be associated with a teaching module and could be presented in conjunction with other teaching material for that module such as course notes. One way of displaying the reading list is through a newsfeed in a portal.
As mentioned above, several systems already implement several of the subsystems
(or domain objects)
in the diagram. We relate some on-going work and systems to this context, and
also locate the modules that IMesh Toolkit provides within the picture, in the following descriptions.
ReadingListDirect fulfills the functions of resource locator, reading list editor and offers storage functions. This software can carry out searches using the Z39.50 protocol and can search library OPACs and subject gateways that offer a Z interface (such as the Resource Discovery Network). The system can import/export structured data. It offers its own presentation environment and reading lists can also be accessed through VLEs. This product also supports OpenURL.
EndNote also offers the ability to search Z39.50 targets and thus can fulfill the reosurce locator function. Reading lists can be edited and imported or exported in a number of formats (such as RIS).
DELIVER uses the ANGEL RM to broker access to resources and the latest version (report dated 2003) enables editing through an applet. DELIVER is proposing a standardised XML format for describing readinglists "ReadingListML" and has initiated discussions with CETIS to take this forward.
The IMesh Toolkit Module
The IMesh module can include resources that are made available in an
OAI repository and produces a reading list in the form of an RSS file.
RSS is a standard format and can be used to deliver a channel or newsfeed
into portals that support RSS. Given a list of URLs each of which retrieves
a record which complies to the OAI schema for GetRecord repsonses,
the module will output an RSS-formatted list of items together with a channel
The Imesh module can be easily enhanced in two ways: an SRW interface could search Z targets which supprt SRW, export the results as an RSS file, then edit the feed through an RSS Editor. Alternatively, the module could provide an import feature for another format e.g. RIS, so that lists created through reference management tools can also be imported and transformed into RSS feeds. This diagram illustrates these added interfaces for the IMesh module.
An excellent overview of the functionality of the following reading list products
used within universities has been made available by the
http://www.talis.com/ products/ lms/talislist.html ReadingListDirect: a commercial product
http://www.readinglistdirect.co.uk / Bookworm: an opensource implementation