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Table of Contents: 2019 JULY–AUGUST No. 429

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PubMed Labs Update: Library LinkOut using Outside Tool

Collins M. PubMed Labs Update: Library LinkOut using Outside Tool. NLM Tech Bull. 2019 Jul-Aug;(429):e1.

2019 July 05 [posted]

Library icons now appear in PubMed Labs for libraries participating in the Library LinkOut using Outside Tool service (see Figure 1). Because PubMed Labs is a responsive website, the icons appear whether you are accessing Labs from a desktop, tablet, or mobile device.


screenshot of PubMed citation with library icon highlighted.
Figure 1: Library LinkOut for Outside Tool icon in PubMed Labs.

Information regarding the Outside Tool service

In March 2019, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced that the three existing LinkOut services (LinkOut via Submission Utility, LinkOut Local, and Outside Tool) are being consolidated into one program, Library LinkOut using Outside Tool (see LinkOut Consolidation Announcement for more information). To register for Library LinkOut using Outside Tool, libraries will need to set up a working link resolver that directs users to the full text of an article or to the library’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service. Complete information on the registration process can be found in our online help. Please direct any questions about this process to the NLM Support Center.

Activating library icons

Library patrons can activate a participating library's Outside Tool in two ways: by accessing PubMed through a special URL, or by using My NCBI.

To display the library’s Outside Tool icon using a custom URL, append the string ?otool=NameAbbr to the PubMed Labs URL:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pubmed?otool=NameAbbr
Replace NameAbbr with the Outside Tool User Name assigned by NCBI

Users affiliated with more than one library can activate icons for up to five institutions at one time using a comma-delimited URL in the format (see Figure 2):

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pubmed?otool=NameAbbr1,NameAbbr2
Where each NameAbbr is a different Outside Tool User Name assigned by NCBI

screenshot of PubMed citation with two library icons highlighted.
Figure 2: Multiple library icons in PubMed Labs.

To display your Outside Tool icon using My NCBI:

1. Sign into My NCBI
2. Click the NCBI Site Preferences link, and then click Outside Tool under PubMed Preferences
3. Select your library from the list of available Outside Tool services. At this time, only one Outside Tool can be selected in My NCBI.

The new PubMed is under active development and the appearance and layout will change as features are added, tested, and refined. We welcome your feedback. Please submit your comments, questions, or concerns using the "Feedback" button available on each page of PubMed Labs.

By Marie Collins
National Center for Biotechnology Information

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