For a while now we’ve been exploring linking to full-text articles (currently we only link to abstracts of primary research articles).  It’s an area I have little technical experience in and have allowed myself to avoid the issue.  In the latest version of TRIP (out next week) we’re extracting the DOI for journal articles (and Cochrane), but this is only part of the issue.

To link to a full-text requires an additional step – it requires a link resolver! Trying to keep things simple, it tells the system where to point the full-text request to (ie send the person to Wiley, Ebsco etc).  We’re looking to introduce this and I’m fairly confident we can do it!  It should work like this:

  • We extract the DOI for an article – which we’ve done already!
  • An institution tells TRIP which full text holdings it has (e.g. NEJM, Thorax etc) and also some details of their link resolver.
  • A user comes to TRIP from a given institution and carries out a search and we display a full-text link to all articles the user has full-text access to.  They click on the link and they’ve got access to the full-text (based on an authentication system).

So, to my mind, the hard work lies with the librarian who needs to tell us what full-text holdings they have!  The rest seems relatively straightforward – I must be missing something.

But, bottom line, does easy linking out to full-text excite people?