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LinkOut for Libraries - FAQ - General Information: Answers

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Question: What is LinkOut?

Answer:

LinkOut is the project to create links from the Entrez databases to external websites. PubMed is an Entrez database that has links to full-text articles at publisher websites. Publishers or vendors supply the link & icon information to LinkOut. Libraries can also participate in LinkOut.

There are three LinkOut services for libraries:

1. LinkOut via Submission Utility, frequently referred to as "LinkOut"

2. Outside Tool

3. LinkOut Local

You should refer to the Comparing the features of LinkOut, LinkOut Local and Outside Tool table while making your decision about the best LinkOut service for your library.

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Question: What is LinkOut via Submission Utility?

Answer:

LinkOut via Submission Utility means you will provide your librarys holdings information via our online tool called the Submission Utility. First you must request an account for the Submission Utility from us. Use the e-mail format described here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3808/#lib.Managing_Library_Holdings_in_the_Sub

You will be given a username and password to sign into the Submission Utility here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/linkout/libHld/login.cgi. Once you have signed in you will enter your librarys journal subscription information into the Submission Utility. You will also supply an icon that your patrons will recognize as a link to the full-text articles they can access. Short video tutorials about how to use the Submission Utility can be found here:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/disted/linkout_for_libraries/loforlib.html

Your library icons will not automatically appear in PubMed. There are several ways to cause your library icons to appear in PubMed; read Viewing Library Links and Icons in PubMed. Most libraries use a special link to PubMed from their library websites. You will create this link using the format we provide here:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/disted/linkout_for_libraries/libspurl.html

A few vendors offer to supply the journal subscription information on behalf of your library. The list of vendors is here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/linkout/doc/ftsubmit.shtml

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Question: What is Outside Tool?

Answer:

An Outside Tool is a link resolver sold by many vendors to libraries. If your library has a link resolver it can be registered with LinkOut as an Outside Tool. A library can have LinkOut via Submission Utility and Outside Tool, but most libraries use only Outside Tool.

Here are important facts about Outside Tool:

1. Your librarys Outside Tool icon will display on every citation in PubMed.

2. Your librarys Outside Tool icon will take your library patron to the link resolver web site where one of the following options must be available:

  • link to the full - text article
  • link to a pre-filled Interlibrary Loan or Document Delivery request form or an Email that is pre-populated with citation data

3. You need to maintain the Contact Information for your library, the link resolver URL (BaseURL) and your librarys Outside Tool icon in the Submission Utility. A short video tutorial about how to use the Submission Utility can be found here:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/viewlet/linkout/su_outside_tool.html

4. Your library patrons will not be able to filter their PubMed search results to only the PubMed citations that your library icon appears on because every citation in PubMed will display your librarys Outside Tool icon.

5. Your librarys Outside Tool icon will not automatically appear in PubMed. There are several ways to cause your library icon to appear in PubMed; read Viewing Library Links and Icons in PubMed. Most libraries use a special link to PubMed from their library websites. You will create this link using the format we provide here:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/disted/linkout_for_libraries/libspurl.html

To register your Outside Tool e-mail us in the format outlined here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3803/#related.Register_Your_Service

You will be given a username and password to sign into the Submission Utility here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/linkout/libHld/login.cgi.

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Question: What is LinkOut Local?

Answer:

LinkOut Local is a different way to set-up a link resolver with us. Libraries can register either an Outside Tool or LinkOut Local but not both.

Here are important facts about LinkOut Local:

1. You or your vendor will regularly supply us, via FTP, with up-to-date and correctly tagged XML files as defined here:

  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3808/#lib.Preparing_LinkOut_Files

2. Your librarys LinkOut Local icon will only appear on the PubMed citations that correspond to the holdings information in the XML files mentioned above.

3. Your librarys LinkOut Local icon will take your library patrons to your link resolver web site that has at least one of the following options:

  • link to the full - text article
  • link to the library catalog entry for the journal

4. Your patrons will be able to filter their PubMed search results to only items accessible via your librarys online subscriptions.

5. You need to maintain the Contact Information for your library, and your librarys icon in the Submission Utility.

6. Your librarys icon will not automatically appear in PubMed. There are several ways to cause your library icon to appear in PubMed; read Viewing Library Links and Icons in PubMed. Most libraries use a special link to PubMed from their library websites. You will create this link using the format we provide here:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/disted/linkout_for_libraries/libspurl.html

To register for LinkOut Local e-mail us in the format outlined here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3808/#lib.Registering_for_LinkOut_Local

You will be given a username and password to sign into the Submission Utility here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/linkout/libHld/login.cgi.

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Question: Can my library have Outside Tool and LinkOut Local?

Answer:

No. Outside Tool and LinkOut Local are two different ways to use a link resolver. Each library is only allowed one link resolver.

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Question: Should my library use LinkOut, Outside Tool or LinkOut Local?

Answer:

You will decide what is best for your library patrons and which is the best way to use the link resolver that your library has purchased.

To help with this decision, you can view a decision tree, and compare the features of LinkOut, Outside Tool and LinkOut Local. Keep in mind that a library can have both a LinkOut account and an Outside Tool.

If you are interested in registering your service as an Outside Tool, you should evaluate your service to determine whether or not it qualifies as an Outside Tool.

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Question: Does LinkOut, Outside Tool or DDS cost my institution anything?

Answer:

No. There is no charge to participate in LinkOut, or to register an Outside Tool or Document Delivery Service for use in PubMed. These are free services provided by the National Center of Biotechnology Information at the National Library of Medicine.

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Question: Is there a discussion list where I can ask other LinkOut libraries for help?

Answer:

LINKOUT-L is a discussion list for libraries hosted by National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), Greater Midwest Region. Anyone can subscribe.

Members of this list will receive the announcements from library-linkout, have the ability to problem-solve with current users, and have the opportunity to tap into the expertise of the LinkOut Coordinators.

Please Note: This list is not moderated by NCBI. Please write to lib-linkout@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov to send questions or comments to the LinkOut team at NCBI.

Subscribing to LINKOUT-L

To subscribe, send an e-mail message to listserv@uic.edu with the command:

SUBSCRIBE LINKOUT-L Marilyn Monroe
Replace "Marilyn Monroe" with your name.

You do not need a subject for the e-mail.

Using LINKOUT-L

To send a message to everyone on LINKOUT-L, send your e-mail to LINKOUT-L@uic.edu.

When replying to messages received on LINKOUT-L, please check the "To" address in your reply.

If your e-mail is personal in nature, please don't send your reply to LINKOUT-L.

Please do not send list commands to LINKOUT-L@uic.edu.

To unsubscribe from LINKOUT-L, send the command "unsubscribe LINKOUT-L" to listserv@uic.edu.

E-mail discussion groups hosted by the GMR are run on LISTSERV software. Refer to the LISTSERV General User's Guide for information about LISTSERV commands.

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