The OpenURL standard is a syntax to create Web-transportable packages of metadata and/or identifiers about an information object. OpenURL provides a mechanism for encoding a citation for an information resource, typically a bibliographic resource, as a URL. * The OpenURL is, in effect, an actionable URL that transports metadata, or keys to access metadata, for the object for which the OpenURL is provided. The target of the OpenURL is an OpenURL resolver that offers context sensitive services based on that metadata. The OpenURL resolver is sometimes referred to as the user's Institutional Service Component (ISC).
[* Source: A Simple OpenURL Resolver]