Thursday, 21 April 2011

Who What Why and When?

How best to represent the activity data we're gathering and passing around? Several projects (PIRUS2, OA-Statistics, SURE, NEEO) have already considered this and based their exchange of data (as XML) on the OpenURL Context Object - the standard was recommended in the JISC Usage Statistics Final Report. Knowledge Exchange have produced international guidelines for the aggregation and exchange of usage statistics (from a repository to a central server using OAI-PMH) in an attempt to harmonise any subtle differences.

Obviously then, OpenURL Context Objects are the way to go but how far can I bend the standard without breaking it? Should I encrypt the Requester IP address and do I really need to provide the C-class Subnet address and country code? If we have the IP addresses we can determine subnet and country code. Fortunately the recommendations from Knowledge Exchange realised this and don't require it.

So for the needs of this project where we're concerned with a closed system within a National context, I think I can bend the standard a little and not lose any information. I can use an authenticated service. I also want to include some metadata - the resource title and author maybe.

So here's the activity data mapped to a Context Object
  • Timestamp (Request time) Mandatory
  • Referent identifier (The URL of the object file or the metadata record that is requested) Mandatory
  • Referent other identifier (The URI of the object file or the metadata record that is requested) Mandatory if applicable
  • Referring Entity (Referrer URL) Mandatory if applicable
  • Requester Identifier (Request IP address - encrypted possibly!) Mandatory
  • Service type (objectFile or descriptiveMetadata) Mandatory
  • Resolver identifier (The baseURL of the repository) Mandatory



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