System integration and digital assets


It is the ambition of the Scarlet project to pull in a wide range of related digital assets from multiple sources when viewing a particular object.  Many of these assets are held within John Rylands University Library systems and one of the issues for the project to consider is how to enable integration between these systems and the AR browser, ensuring a positive and seamless experience for the user.

Now that digital assets have been identified for use on two of the pilot courses a review of these has been carried out to identify any implications for system integration.

The main Library systems supporting relevant content are Talis (the Library catalogue) and LUNA (which manages the Library’s images of Special Collections items).  Both systems use a web interface, can provide a permanent URL to a specific asset and require no authentication.   The main issues is, therefore, likely to be display.  Talis is able to adjust the display of items based on the device being used and so it is anticipated that there will be no issues, though this will need to be tested.  LUNA, however, is not as flexible – there have been display issues when LUNA records have been integrated with other Library systems, such as the Library’s discovery service/search engine (Ex Libris Primo).  Further work and testing will, therefore, be needed.

There is also a desire amongst the academics on the project to link to journal articles relating to the object.  Access to these is managed through the Library’s link resolving software (SFX) and authentication procedure (for these assets a mix of IP recognition and Shibboleth).  Accessing articles on devices using University wifi will provide direct access through to the article but going via a user’s own mobile connection will result in them being prompted for their credentials.  It is important, therefore, that the teaching spaces to be used have good wifi connectivity (a challenge in a listed Victorian building like the John Rylands Library).

A final issue is that access is required to some digitised assets made available under a Copyright Licensing Agency licence which restricts access to a specific cohort of students.  Providing seamless access to these assets is likely to prove a major challenge.

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