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Related Links

It's often likely that for any given page there are pages on other parts of the site that are strongly related but yet aren't explicitly highlighted in the main navigation. For example, an area focused on quantitative skills may include a set of examples. One of those examples may address a particular quantitative skill as used in structural geology. Elsewhere, across the site we may have an entire area on structural geology. It clearly wouldn't make sense to put structural geology as a main navigational element in the navigation for the quantitative site (since it may only be relevant for that single example), but it would be nice to provide some sort of connection.

The simplest approach is just to make use of the existing tools and make a link somewhere on the page to the related (but navigationally distant) page. To strengthen this sort of cross-site linking the CMS has several 'related links' features.

Many page templates include a related links field as one of the main page elements. Information entered in this field will be enclosed in a small box along the right margin of the page. The exact position is controlled by the page template. In general the tag should contain an unordered list of links each described very susinctly (2 or 3 words). This seems most effective when limited to 2 or 3 links in total.

If a given page doesn't already have a related links element you can often add one by choosing the 'Add related links' option at the bottom of the main editing interface for the page (you'll need to choose the 'show other metadata' link to see this option).

Some templates don't support the display of this related links element (you can fill in the field but the results won't show up in the page) and in some cases the default location the related links box falls into isn't ideal (e.g. it runs afowl of some graphic). In these cases you can embed related link information into the main text of the page. This will give you more control over where the related link box appears; it will appear in the right margin alongside where you have inserted the [relatedlinks] tag.

These tags work as you might expect starting with a [relatedlinks] tag and ending with the corresponding [end relatedlinks]. Any information between these tags will be enclosed in a small box along the right margin of the page at the point where the tags appear. In most cases putting these tags near the top of the page will be most effective and consistent with the generic related links behavior.

Automated Metadata-based Related Links Tags

While manually filling in appropriate related links for every page would produce a very nice end result it would be very labor intensive, especially considering that related links would need to be updated to reflect relevant material as it is continuously added across the site. To solve this problem we have the [related_vocab_links] tag. This tag is automatically replaced by a list of appropriately related pages based on the particular controlled vocabularies with which the current page is tagged.

A central database is maintained that maps from particular vocabulary terms to particular pages across the site which would be a relevant related link for any page tagged with the particular term. So for instance every page tagged with the subject vocabulary as being related to 'petrology' might have an automated related_vocab_link that points to the main page of our Petrology Teaching Resources area.

If you have suggestions for particular pages that may be good candidates let us know. In general you need only make sure there is a [related_vocab_links] tag in place in the related_vocab element and the system will take care of the rest

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