Direct Links to Online Texts and Databases

A LinkedIn group pointed me to an article titled “10 Ways to Completely Ruin Your Intranet“. The article, a blog post by a company that offers a turnkey intranet solution, has some good tips about frustrating navigation, stale content and lack of collaboration.

My team is responsible for a significant amount of content on our Intranet, and skimming this vendor humour-based post got me thinking more about deep links. We have talked about deep links on CanLII and using CiteBite to link to quotes within in webpages here at Slaw. My team has been focusing on deep links, or rather direct links, to specific content and the searching or browsing tools to access it. Academic and public libraries have done this for years using link resolver products. I haven’t found any Canadian legal link resolvers, so, we have looked after this manually, with some assistance from our legal information vendors.

As an example, we have created Intranet pages that list all the textbooks in the Irwin Law eBrary that we have access to. In that case, the vendor supplied direct links to each title that we used for this page. We also added each title to our library catalogue and provided the links from there as well. What this means is that we also have to add to these pages and create catalogue records each time a new book is added. It is a lot of work, but we also have excellent usage statistics for these products.

There is a good public example of how direct links can work to point to specific paid resource. Check out the web site for Ted Tjaden’s book Legal Research and Writing. Point at the links or click through to see how Ted has linked to some specific encyclopedia resources.

As I look at sustainability library services, making direct links for subscription content available through our catalogue and intranet stays on the “keep doing it” list.

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