DESIRE: Development of a European Service for Information on Research and Education
The approach described here allows ratings to be made available at the click of a personal toolbar button. After turning the feature on, the user simply moves the mouse over a resource to get a rating for that resource which appears in another window. As browsers become more configurable (e.g. Netscapes use of XML to describe graphical components) it will be possible to display ratings within the browser window rather than in a separate window.
Currently, the simple approach of converting ratings to HTML is used. The script used to retrieve RDF/XML ratings via HTTP in ROADS for metadata management [GATEWAY] is also used here, it is called by a particular name to indicate that a displayable HTML page is the required result.
Requests of the form:
http://roads.ukoln.ac.uk/qualityratings/cgi-bin/metadataashtmlpage?http://www.ukoln.ac.ukwill return a displayable HTML page containing a rating of the resource if it is available from the contacted ratings bureau.
To add this functionality to your (Netscape) browser drag the following link onto your personal toolbar:
Or this one, to get have the ratings window raised when a rating is loaded:
Click on the button to activate ratings for the page you are currently viewing. Move over a link to get a rating for that resource. Obviously, you will only get a rating if it is available. The ratings bureau you are accessing contains ratings for many of the resources that result from a search for the term 'cognitive' within the SOSIG Information Gateway. Note that this behaviour is completely independent of SOSIG and does not require any intervention at the SOSIG end.
The above technique could be expanded to provide a group database, drawing on quality statements made by other members of a project group or organisation.
The technique could be used to provide accessibility information about resources. For example, an international society for the blind might make a database available describing the suitability of resources for the partially sighted. Rather than moving the mouse over a resource to get a quality rating the user might 'tab' to that resource and rather than displaying the rating in a window the rating might be spoken.
In all of the above scenarios, placing ratings in a ratings bureau makes those ratings accessible to other applications. For example, a particular quality attribute might be used to determine whether a resource should be added to a directory of resource for a particular research area.
Maintained by: Tracy Gardner of UKOLN, the UK Office for Library and Information Networking, University of Bath.
Document created: 19-Apr-1999.
Last updated: 15-Jun-1999.
[Quality Ratings] [Metadata] [UKOLN]