Bookmarking - Nuts and Bolts

So you have found a great resource to bookmark, and you click “Add to My Bookmarks”.  Within a few moments you see the metadata for your resource on the Edit Bookmark screen, but where has this data come from?

Step 1: What data can we find on the page

The first source we use to find metadata is the page itself.  After clicking “Add to My Bookmarks”, the URL (Address) of the page is sent to Reading Lists.  This is compared to a long list of known websites, each of which has a custom set of rules designed to read that page.

If a match is found then the rules are packaged up and sent back to the page being bookmarked so they can start gathering as much metadata as possible.  The metadata will usually be written onto the page itself, sometimes visibly, sometimes hidden. Occasionally the rules may make a call to a separate webpage to get richer data.

Once the rules have completed, and have gathered all of the data they can find, then we are ready for step 2.

Step 2: Can we expand on the data we have found

At this point you will find yourself being redirected to the Reading Lists bookmark editor, but before we reach that point we still have a few more things to do.

The data we have found is a great starting point, but may or may not be trustworthy. The next step is to see if we can improve the data with some more authoritative sources.

The first source of truth we search is your institution’s own catalogue service.  If the found metadata contained a Local Control Number (LCN) for your catalogue then we use this to match an exact record in your catalogue.  Usually this will be via a z39.50 lookup, but different catalogue may use other lookup mechanisms.  If we get an exact match with a record in your catalogue, then the metadata found here will replace the metadata which was read from the bookmarked page.

If no LCN is found, but we instead find an ISBN, then we will use this for the z39.50 lookup against your catalogue.  If an exact match is found then, as with the LCN match, we will use the metadata we find in your catalogue in place of the data found on the page.

If we are still without a match for an authoritative record then we still have two more options to try...

If we have an ISBN which failed to match against your catalogue, then we will instead try it against the Open Library.  Again, if a match is found then we will use the metadata from here to replace the data found from the page.

Lastly, if we have found a DOI, we can use Crossref to try to find a match.  As before, if an exact match is found then we will use the data here in place of the data which was found on the page.

If at this point we still do not have a match then we will proceed with trusting the data which was lifted from the page by the initial bookmarking rules.  In any event, the data we have procured, by whichever method, is now passed on to the Bookmarking editor.

Step 3: Bookmark editor

At this point you are transferred to the familiar bookmark editor, which is pre-populated with the metadata we have found.  There are two key things to note here:

Firstly the initial set of rules which were matched when reading data from the page is named above the editor.  Keep a look out for something which looks like “Bookmarked from Amazon”.  In this example the rules which were matched were for a page on Amazon.  If you worry that the results being returned may not match what you are expecting then this is a good first place to check to see if something is not going to plan.

Secondly, a preview of the bookmarked page appears on the right side of the page. There are occasions where it is not possible for the page to be shown here, and this can often happen to tenancies which have not yet switched to https, when bookmarking from pages which are https.  If you see this happening and would like to know more about switching your tenancy to https then please raise a ticket with talis support.

Step 4: Back to the page

Once you are happy with the metadata which has been discovered for the resource you are bookmarking, click to create the resource.  Reading Lists will then set about creating your new bookmark and, optionally, adding it to a list for you.  While this is happening it will transfer you back to the page you tried to bookmark to allow you to continue where you left off.

To see a webinar on this also visit: How the magic of bookmarking works?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. The bookmark editor is describing my resource as a webpage, and only contains a title and a link, why is this?

A. If we are unable to detect any metadata for the resource you are bookmarking, then Reading Lists falls back to bookmarking it as a web page resource, simply linking back to its origin.  If the page contains a genuine resource type to be bookmarked, such as a book or article, then it may be that a new set of custom rules need to be created to read that website - please contact Talis Support if you think the website may need adding to our bookmarking parsers.

Q. When bookmarking from my catalogue, sometimes I will get the physical copy of a resource when I am bookmarking the electronic copy, and vice versa.

A. If you are a Primo customer and your catalogue separates physical and electronic copies into different records then you may wish to turn on a new feature called "Bookmarking Disambiguation".  This will attempt to detect when a single resource - eg. edition of a book - exists in multiple records in your catalogue, and it will provide an extra screen before the bookmark editor where you will be able to select the specific edition you are seeking. Please do contact Talis Support for more information.

If you are not using Primo but have this occurrence in your Library Management System or Discovery Layer then please also contact Talis Support so we can explore this with you.

Q. The preview panel on the bookmarking editor is not displaying the page I have just bookmarked, instead showing a blank space.

A. If your tenancy is not currently running as https then this may happen when bookmarking from website which are https themselves.  Most modern browsers implement security rules which prevent https websites from loading inside of a non-https website, and this is what is happening in this circumstance.  Switching your tenancy to https will resolve this problem in most cases - please contact Talis Support for further information. This article also gives you more information.

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