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How do you want to be alerted?

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A question which often crops up in our discussions is whether the API should also alert IR managers each time new articles written by academics of their institutions (e.g. Universities) have been identified by the API.; and if so, how?

There are many possible alerting options, from traditional email alerting, to using XMPP to push the new articles to the IR clients so that the IR managers could “see” an instant message about the new content on their own admin interfaces.

It seems that managers work in different ways. On one extreme, one IR manager told me that the last thing she would like is that the API tries to “automatically” update her IR, and she would prefer to have the freedom of querying the API when she wanted. At the other extreme, one IR manager told me that he would like to see the possibility of a higher level of integration between the API and his IR admin interface by being able to “see on his screen” that new articles have been found by the API for him.

This question is also related to the delivery format of our alerts. Some IR managers have indicated their interest in receiving data from the API in a CRIS-able format or in richer RSS formats that include RDF modules such as prism and dc. The MODS schema was also mentioned by some of our IR managers. As we do not have expertise on the IR side, we would like to hear from IR managers about what they think about this question: What is the best way to alert you each time the API finds new content for your IR? Perhaps the answer is that the API should provide a range of alerting options, but which one is “top priority”?

We would like to offer various options but we do not want to overfeed our users! 😉


Written by Santiago Chumbe

September 25th, 2009 at 1:14 pm