LinkOut for Libraries - FAQ - Using LinkOut: Answers
It is likely that your icon has not been activated on the workstation, or the cookie that tells PubMed to display your icon has expired after 8 hours of inactivity (more information about cookies is available in PubMed Help: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3827/#pubmedhelp.Cookies).
To verify that your icons are displaying, please try the following:
- If you activate your icons in My NCBI, make sure you are signed in and that the icons are selected as Filters.
- If you activate your icons using a special URL, enter PubMed through the following URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?holding=NameAbbr
Replace NameAbbr with your library's LinkOut User Name. If you do not know your library's LinkOut User Name, you can find it in the LinkOut Libraries list: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/linkout/journals/htmllists.cgi?type_id=10.
- If you activate your icons using a shared My NCBI account, enter PubMed through the following URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?myncbishare=MyNCBIUserName
Replace MyNCBIUserName with the Username of the shared My NCBI account..
- Search for: loprovNameAbbr [filter].
Replace NameAbbr with your library's LinkOut User Name.
- Select Abstract from the Display Settings menu and click Apply.
- You should see your icons.
If this does not resolve the problem then please try the following:
- Sign into your Submission Utility account.
- Click View or Update Online Holdings.
- Find the journal in question in the Submission Utility.
- Identify the provider name and date range that has been entered into the Submission Utility.
- Search for the applicable PubMed citation(s) in PubMed.
- Click the LinkOut - more resources expandable list on the Abstract display of a applicable PubMed citation.
- Determine the following:
- Does the provider name selected in your Submission Utility account match a provider name in the LinkOut - more resources expandable list?
If the provider does *not* appear on the LinkOut - more resources expandable list then write to your provider and ask them to supply the necessary linking information to PubMed. Your library icon will only appear on PubMed citations for which your selected provider has supplied linking information.
- Does the PubMed citation have a publication date that falls within the date range entered into your Submission Utility account? NOTE: publication dates could be the date of the journal volume or issue *or* an electronic (Epub) date.
If the electronic date falls within the date range but the printed journal volume/issue date does *not* then change the publication date type selection in the Submission Utility from pdat to ppdat and click Update.
If you still cannot see your icons, please use the Contact NLM button in NLM Customer Support for further assistance.
If your library icons are appearing on citations with links to freely available full text that are not in your library holdings, your library icons have been automatically applied to citations with links to free full text. This is done by entering PubMed through a special URL that includes the _fft parameter. Complete information about applying library icons to citations with links to free full text is available in LinkOut Help, here:
Information on clearing LinkOut options set by using a special URL is available in LinkOut Help, here:
No. To view your library icons, change the display to Abstract using the Display Settings menu.
The icon you see is for the publisher who provides PubMed with the citation. It is our policy to display their icon. Your icon will display alongside this icon on citations that link to holdings at your library.
If your users find this confusing, you can omit the default icon from PubMed citations. Complete information is available in LinkOut Help: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3808/#lib.Omitting_Default_Icons_from_PubMed_C.
If the icon or filters for another library is appearing in PubMed citations, it has been activated on your workstation, either by entering PubMed through a special URL, or in My NCBI.
To clear this icon or filters, enter PubMed through the following URL:
In this URL, there are two underscores ( _ ) preceding reset. The reset URL will clear the settings that have been made using special URLs. You will have to enter PubMed through your library's special URL again to display your library icons.
If you are signed into My NCBI, check your filter selections to make sure that the other library is not selected as a filter. Also, check that it is not selected as the Outside Tool under Preferences.
If the icon or filters continues to display, use your browser settings to delete the cookies on your computer. After deleting the cookies, you will need to enter PubMed through your library's' special URL to display your icons.
When a citation becomes available in PubMed, it takes about 24 hours to apply links to the citation. Icons will appear when the links have been applied. Typically, this means that icons will not appear on the most recent PubMed citations.
Yes. To include an Outside Tool icon in My NCBI e-mail alerts, select the desired Outside Tool under PubMed Preferences in My NCBI. When you save your search, select Abstract as the format for the alert. The Outside Tool (icon) that you selected will appear in your e-mail alert.
Please note that the Outside Tool icon will only display in the e-mail alerts. If you click the link for updated results that is included in the e-mail message, your icons will not display unless you are already signed into My NCBI.
No. Library icons cannot be included in an RSS feed.
It should work fine. If you have a URL rewriting proxy server, such as EZproxy, add the PubMed address to your proxy configuration. The address is:
You may also need to add the URLs for linking hosts used to link from PubMed to subscription full text. EZProxy has provided configuration information, including linking hosts, on the OCLC website:
No. The LinkOut program does not perform any user verification, including IP recognition.
LinkOut simply provides the links to the full text as supplied by the provider. A full-text provider decides on the authentication and authorization method for their system. Please contact the representative from your full-text provider about this request.
Yes, but this will work for the first search only. All other searches will search all of PubMed. Create a button or link to this URL from your library website:
Replace "NameAbbr" with your LinkOut User Name
A better option is to display your library holdings as a filter. This way, your library holdings will be easily accessible from inside of any PubMed search. To learn how to set filters for your users, see Sharing My NCBI Account Settings in LinkOut Help: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3808/#lib.Sharing _My_NCBI_Account_Settings.
Yes. You can limit a search to citations with full text or free full text by entering a command in the search box for each search or by selecting Full Text and/or Free Full Text as Filters in My NCBI. Information about Filters is available in My NCBI Help: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3842/#MyNCBI.Working_with_Filters.
To limit a search using the search box, use one of these filters to limit your search:
free full text [sb] or full text [sb]
You can combine these filters with other search terms using the Boolean operator AND.
Example: aids AND free full text [sb]
In the Summary display citations with links to free full text are indicated as "Free article."
Full text articles require a subscription or fee to access. Some providers may require you to register to access free full text.
Question: When I limit a search using the full text selection on the limits page, are all of the articles in the search result available in my library?
No. The "full text" limit does not limit your search to citations for articles available from your library. "Full text" limits your search to citations with a link from PubMed to electronic full text. This link may be to full text provided by the publisher or another service, such as a journal aggregator.
To easily identify citations available from your library, you can display your library holdings as a filter in My NCBI. Information about using filters to display library holdings is available in My NCBI Help: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3842/#MyNCBI.Working_with_Filters.
Alternately, you can limit a PubMed search to your library's holdings. Information is available in LinkOut Help: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3810/#using.Locating_Entrez_Reco.
When you click a full text link in PubMed, you leave PubMed and are directed to the full text at an external provider's site. NCBI/NLM does not hold the copyright to this material, and cannot give permission for its use. Please review all copyright restrictions set forth by the full text provider before reproducing, redistributing, or making commercial use of material accessed through LinkOut.
Please see the NCBI/NLM Copyright and Disclaimers page for additional information about Copyright and Entrez databases.
Some providers require a free registration to access online full text. These citations are marked "free" in PubMed. To see if a citation requires a free registration to access full text, expand the plus sign (+) next to "LinkOut-more resources" and mouse over the link, a message "registration required" will appear.
To be marked as free in PubMed, LinkOut requires that the online full text be freely available. Providers may place restrictions on printing full text from their site. Please contact the provider directly regarding problems with the provider's site.
Links are constructed using linking information submitted by full-text providers to LinkOut. If a provider does not choose to participate in LinkOut, or does not submit linking information for a particular journal, links cannot be made.
Please contact the provider directly and request that they submit linking information to LinkOut. Contact information can usually be found on the provider's website. If you need assistance finding this information, please let us know.
Complete information about LinkOut is available on the LinkOut website at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/linkout.
Links are constructed using linking information submitted by the full-text providers. If your provider does not supply links for a citation, a library link will not be applied.
Reasons for this vary. Full text may not be ready for some citations, especially new ones. Letters and comments also may not be available in full text. You may contact the provider directly to find out why.
Please also be aware that when a citation becomes available in PubMed, it takes about 24 hours to apply links to the citation. Icons will appear when the links have been applied. Typically, this means that icons will not appear on the most recent PubMed citations.
For journals with links to free full text, the free links may not represent all available links for a particular title. There may be additional links to content in the same year range that require a fee to access full text. This is decided by the publisher/provider.
You can view journals with links to free full text in the LinkOut Journal Lists:
You can also limit a PubMed search to articles with free full text available by including the term free full text [sb] in the search.
When using LinkOut, you may occasionally encounter a broken link. Library links are constructed with information provided by the full-text provider. We work with the providers to minimize problems.
When you encounter a broken link, please use the Contact NLM button in NLM Customer Support so that we can report the problem to the provider. Please include the complete citation or PMID in your message. You may also want to contact the provider directly. Contact information can usually be found on the provider's website.
Links are constructed using information submitted by the full-text providers. We work with providers to minimize problems.
When you encounter a broken link or a link retrieves a different article than the one cited, please use the Contact NLM button in NLM Customer Support so that we can report the problem to the provider. Please include the complete citation or PMID in your message. You may also want to contact the provider directly. Contact information can usually be found on the provider's website.