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Related Services: Outside Tool and Document Delivery Service

Created: ; Last Update: February 21, 2017.

Outside Tool and Document Delivery Service (DDS) are available in PubMed. DDS allows users to order articles from a service or institution that has registered with LinkOut. Outside Tool places a link to a local service on every PubMed citation.

Section contents

Introduction

Outside Tool allows an institution to place a link on every PubMed record. This link points back to a resource offered by the institution for their users. Outside Tool can be used to implement OpenURL-based and other types of services in PubMed. In order to best serve our users and expedite processing, only one Outside Tool will be set up for each unique base URL that identifies the tool. For more information about PubMed and OpenURL, see the LinkOut, Outside Tool, and OpenURL FAQ.

Libraries that would like to implement an OpenURL-based service should see Implementing OpenURL-based Services in PubMed.

To best serve the user community, NCBI tries to avoid “blind” links that do not provide useful and directly relevant information for the specific PubMed record. Therefore, to register an Outside Tool in PubMed, an institution must demonstrate that their service can provide relevant web-accessible resources for all PubMed records.

Examples of relevant resources include:

  • online full text
  • library holdings via the local OPAC
  • local document delivery service
  • other resources approved by NCBI

Search forms, tables of contents, journal home pages, bibliography building software, and other such resources that are not directly relevant to the PubMed record do not qualify as relevant resources.

All resources must be in place before a request to set up an Outside Tool can be processed.

How It Works

PubMed links to your service by attaching the PubMed ID (PMID) of the current PubMed citation to the end of the URL of your service. For example:

Your tool URL: http://goodmedical.edu/mytool.cgi?
PMID: 12345678

Resulting URL: http://goodmedical.edu/mytool.cgi?12345678

Please note that PubMed will only pass back the PMID. Your institution can then use the E-Utilities to obtain citation information.

You can test your service by constructing URLs to your service as described above.

Register Your Outside Tool Service

All library resources should be in place before a registration request is submitted. For your OutsideTool registration you must provide:

1.

The base URL of your local service in the following format https:​//yourbaseURL?sid​=Entrez:PubMed&id=pmid: For example:
https://goodlibrary​.linkresolver​.com/openurl?sid​=Entrez:PubMed&id=pmid:

2.

Four test URLs (i.e., 2 for full-text and 2 for ordering) including PMIDs to demonstrate the links resolve to the
actual resource/full-text or to a pre-filled order form. Provide requested test URLs in the following format:

Full-text https://goodlibrary.linkresolver.com/openurl?sid=Entrez:PubMed&id=pmid:20639561 
Pre-filled ILL form https://goodlibrary.linkresolver.com/openurl?sid=Entrez:PubMed&id=pmid:12345678

We will conduct further testing based on your 4 samples.

3. If access to full-text or the ILL/order form is password-protected, provide a temporary username and password that NLM staff can use to conduct testing. No requests will be sent.

4. The name, postal address, and phone number of the library/institution.

5. The name and email address of the contact persons. Optional: A second email address for a group, e.g., librarystaff@university.edu.

6. A file (.png, .gif, or .jpeg) of an icon that will identify your institution in PubMed. For icon specifications and examples of
icons, see LinkOut Technical Information - Icons. If you are unable to provide a file, please provide a URL for the icon. The icon
URL must lead to a publicly available site.

7. The URL of a web page from your library/institution that explains your institution’s full-text service (not your vendor’s), to be included in the My NCBI directory of Outside Tool services.

8. A short label (under 50 characters) that will identify your institution and local service in My NCBI. Outside Tool services are listed alphabetically, therefore, begin your label the with your institution name. NCBI reserves the right to edit this label.

9. If your institution is already using LinkOut, please provide that Name Abbr (username)

Fill out the NLM Support Center form with the subject line: “Request to set up an Outside Tool.” In the text of the message, use the following numbered format based on the explanations above:

Subject: Request to set up an Outside Tool

1.

Base URL of your local service

2.

Test URLs

3.

Temporary Username and Password for password-protected access

4.

Institution name, postal address and phone number

5.

Contact person name and e-mail address. Optional group e-mail address

6.

URL of the Outside Tool icon to be displayed in PubMed

7.

URL of your institution Help page

8.

Short label that identifies your

9.

If your institution has a LinkOut account, please provide the NameAbbr (username

Manage Your Outside Tool

After initial implementation of Outside Tool, libraries can manage their Outside Tool accounts through the Library Submission Utility. See the Library Submission Utility chapter of this manual. Please note that any changes to the Outside Tool settings or icon would take 48 hours to be implemented.

In the Library Submission Utility libraries can edit:

In addition, Outside Tool users can access statistics recorded by clicking “View Usage Statistics.” Statistics are kept for the current and the previous year. An explanation of the different types of statistics available for libraries can be found here.

Display Your Outside Tool Icons in PubMed

Once your Outside Tool has been implemented, users can activate your Tool in two ways, by accessing PubMed through a special URL or by using My NCBI.

Display Your Outside Tool Icons Using a Special URL

To display your Outside Tool icon, append otool=NameAbbr to the PubMed URL and enter PubMed through the resulting URL:

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

Appending otool=NameAbbr to the PubMed URL displays your Outside Tool icons in PubMed’s Abstract display. Users click on your library’s icon to access your link resolver landing page.

The otool= parameter can also be appended to https://www.pubmed.gov/.

You should create a button or link to this URL from your library website. Replace your current PubMed links (in your catalog, on subject pages, etc.) with this URL. You should also send out a general announcement so that other departments, faculty, etc. can update their websites and personal computers.

When a user enters PubMed through a special URL, a “cookie” is placed in the workstation (more about cookies). This cookie instructs PubMed to display your Outside Tool icons. To use Outside Tool, the workstation must be able to accept cookies.

The cookie will expire after 8 hours of inactivity. To reactivate your icons, the user must enter PubMed through the special URL again.

For additional information on using special URLs to localize PubMed for your users, see Localizing PubMed for your Users.

Display Your Outside Tool Icons Using My NCBI

To activate your Outside Tool using My NCBI, users should:

  • Sign in to My NCBI (more about My NCBI).
  • Click the link NCBI Site Preferences, and then click Outside Tool under PubMed Preferences.
  • Select a library from the list of Outside Tool (Open URL) services available

When a user selects an Outside Tool in My NCBI, the Outside Tool preference remains in effect on a workstation until the user changes the Outside Tool option or signs out of My NCBI.

To display your Outside Tool icon and other My NCBI settings without signing in to My NCBI, set up a shared My NCBI account. LinkOut and Outside Tool icons, Document Delivery preferences, filters, and highlighting selections can be shared.

Section Contents

Introduction

Document Delivery Service (DDS) allows PubMed users to order articles described in PubMed citations from a service of their choice. In order to best serve our users and expedite processing, only one Document Deliver Service will be set up for unique base URL that identifies the service. To register a local document delivery service with NCBI use the procedures outlined below.

Documents are ordered by clicking on the check box to the left of each citation and selecting Order from the Send To menu. By default, PubMed will send the order to Loansome Doc (more about Loansome Doc.) A different provider can be designated as described in Set Your DDS Preference in PubMed.

Document delivery service providers or vendors should contact vog.hin.mln.ibcn@tuoknil

Evaluate Your DDS

To register a local document delivery service, an institution must have a program developed at their site that:

  • accepts PubMed ID numbers (PMID) sent through the Order option of the Send To menu
  • retrieves complete citation information for the articles using the PMIDs
  • creates a document order form with the citation information pre-filled for the user

To be registered as a Document Delivery Service, the program must combine a Base URL with PubMed’s DDS “tail” (?CALLING_SYSTEM=PubMed&BACK_URL=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&PMID_1=). Using the resulting URL, your program should retrieve the citation information for the document. One method is to use the E-Utilities: E-Summary or E-Fetch. After retrieving the citation information, your server should present a document order form that has the citation information already filled in.

To test your document delivery service with PubMed, you can construct a URL to your service and retrieve PubMed records by their PMIDs. To do this, combine the base URL of your service with PubMed’s DDS “tail” and add a PMID.

Example
Base URL: http://DocDelBaseUrl
Tail: ?CALLING_SYSTEM=PubMed&BACK_URL=https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&PMID_1=
PMID: 11149990
Resulting URL:
http://DocDelBaseUrl?CALLING_SYSTEM=PubMed&BACK_URL=https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&PMID_1=11149990

DDS allows users to request up to 100 articles at a time. All PMIDs will append to the URL:

http://DocDelBaseUrl?CALLING_SYSTEM=PubMed&BACK_URL=https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&
PMID_1=11149990&PMID_2=1234567&PMID_xxx=

When your program is able to provide an order form with the citation information pre-filled, your Document Delivery Service can be implemented in PubMed.

Register Your DDS

Before submitting a request to register your DDS in PubMed, complete the evaluation process described in Evaluate Your DDS.

Send an email with the subject “Request to Set Up a Document Delivery Service” to: vog.hin.mln.ibcn@tuoknil. In the message body, include the following:

1.

Name, email address, and phone number of a contact person.

2.

Name and postal address of your institution.

3.

The URL for your service that you developed in Step 1.

4.

The URL of an HTML help page that explains your service, to be used in My NCBI.

5.

A short label (less than 50 characters) that identifies your service, to be used in My NCBI. NCBI reserves the right to adjust this label.

6.

Indicate whether would like a testing period where your service is not listed in My NCBI but is available using the tool parameter.

7.

LinkOut NameAbbr, if already using LinkOut

Use the following format in your email:

Subject: Request to set up a Document Delivery Service

1.

Contact name, email address and phone number

2.

Institution name and postal address

3.

Base URL of your local service

4.

URL of the DDS help page

5.

Short label that identifies your institution

6.

Whether a testing period is desired

7.

LinkOut NameAbbr, if already using LinkOut

NCBI staff will email the contact person within three weeks about your request.

Manage Your DDS

After initial implementation of DDS in PubMed by the LinkOut Team, libraries manage their DDS accounts through the Library Submission Utility. Please note that any changes to the DDS settings take 48 hours to be implemented.

In the Library Submission Utility libraries can edit:

In addition, DDS users can access statistics recorded by clicking “View Usage Statistics.” Statistics are kept for the current and the previous year. An explanation of the different types of statistics available for libraries can be found here.

Set Your DDS Preference in PubMed

A user can set a DDS preference in PubMed in two ways, by entering PubMed through a special URL or by using My NCBI.

Set Your DDS Preference Using a Special URL

To set your DDS preference, append tool=NameAbbr to the PubMed URL and enter PubMed through the resulting URL:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?tool=NameAbbr
Replace NameAbbr with the DDS User Name assigned by NCBI.

Appending tool=NameAbbr to the PubMed URL changes the Order option. Orders will be sent to the specified service instead of to Loansome Doc. The DDS preference will be in effect on a workstation until the user changes it or is inactive for 8 hours.

The tool= parameter can also be appended to https://www.pubmed.gov/.

You should create a button or link to this URL from your library website. Replace your current PubMed links (in your catalog, on subject pages, etc) with this URL. You should also send out a general announcement so that other departments, faculty, etc. can update their websites and personal computers.

When a user enters PubMed through a special URL, a “cookie” is placed in the workstation (more about cookies). This cookie instructs PubMed to set your DDS preference. To set your DDS preference, the workstation must be able to accept cookies.

The cookie will expire after 8 hours of inactivity. When the cookie expires, the Order option will be reset to send orders to Loansome Doc. To change the DDS preference, the user must enter PubMed through the special URL again.

For additional information on using special URLS to localize PubMed for your users, see Localizing PubMed for your Users.

Set Your DDS Preference Using My NCBI

To set your DDS preference using My NCBI:

1.

Sign in to My NCBI (more about My NCBI).

2.

Click the link NCBI Site Preferences, and then click Document Delivery under PubMed Preferences.

3.

Select your preferred service from the list of Document Delivery Services.

When a user selects a DDS in My NCBI, the DDS preference is set on the workstation until the user changes the DDS option or signs out of My NCBI.

To set your DDS preference and display other My NCBI settings without signing in to My NCBI, set up a shared My NCBI account. LinkOut and Outside Tool icons, Document Delivery preferences, filters, and highlighting selections can be shared.

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