Using LinkOut

Publication Details

LinkOut provides access to a wide range of relevant online resources, directly from NCBI databases. This section provides information on using LinkOut to locate and access these resources.

Viewing LinkOut Resources in NCBI Database Records: The LinkOut display

You can see links that have been assigned to an NCBI database record in the LinkOut display.

Note: When you click on LinkOut icons or links in the LinkOut display, you are directed to the resource at an external site. Please review all use and copyright information on the resource provider’s site before using or distributing their material.

In PubMed the LinkOut full text and supplemental information links are available in the Abstract format only when a single citation is selected. The links are found by expanding the plus sign (+) next to "LinkOut - more resources." When displaying multiple records in the Abstract format the LinkOut information is not available. In PubMed, you can also view links as icons.

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The "LinkOut Holdings" link is only included with the LinkOut information if users access PubMed through a URL that includes one of the following parameters: holding=, myncbishare=, or otool=. The "LinkOut Holdings" link leads to an alphabetical list of libraries that offer electronic full text access or hold the print version of the article in their collections.

LinkOut information may also appear within NCBI database records. For example, you can see the External Information Resources section in the Taxonomy database records. The appearance of links within NCBI database records varies according to the database that you are using.

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Available resources will vary depending on which links have been assigned to the specific database record. See below Gene database example; links to Chemical, Medical and Molecular biology resources.

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For additional information about the types of links found in NCBI databases, please see Related Data: Neighbors and Links in Entrez Help.

Activating Icons for LinkOut Providers

You can customize the icon display to show links provided by your institution or links to a particular online resource, such as a MedlinePlus. Your library may have already set up a customized icon display for your institution. Check your library homepage for a special link to PubMed.

Note: When you click on LinkOut icons or links in the LinkOut-more resources, you leave PubMed and are directed to the resource at an external site. Please review all use and copyright information on the resource provider’s site before using or distributing their material.

In the image below, six icons are displayed. The BMJ.com and PubMed Central icons appear in PubMed automatically (more about default icons ).The icons for MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine and the NIH library, have been activated by the user. When users click an icon, they leave PubMed and are directed to the resource at the provider’s site.

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To activate provider icons, you can either select the provider(s) as filters in My NCBI or enter PubMed through a special URL that will activate the provider icons. To learn how to select providers as filters in My NCBI, see Setting up Filters.

Activate Icons Using a Special URL

To activate icons using a special URL, enter PubMed through the following URL:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?holding=NameAbbr
Replace NameAbbr with a provider’s LinkOut User Name.

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

Activate Icons for Multiple Providers

To activate icons for multiple providers using a special URL, create a URL, as described above. Add additional User Names to the URL, separating the User Names with commas. You can activate icons for as many providers as you like.

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

All providers must be LinkOut participants. You can find providers’ LinkOut User Names (NameAbbr) in the following lists of LinkOut Providers:

When you enter PubMed through a special URL, a cookie is placed on your workstation that instructs PubMed to display the icons until 8 hours of inactivity have passed (more about cookies).

Locating NCBI Database Records with Links to a Specific Resource

There are two ways locate database records with links to a specific resource. My NCBI can display the records as a filter in the search result, or you can limit an individual search to records with links to a specific resource.

Using Filters to Display NCBI Database Records with Links to Specific Resources

My NCBI includes a filters feature that groups search results by areas of interest. For example, PubMed citations that are available at your library, or Nucleotide records with links to a particular molecular biology database can be grouped, as a filter in the results of database searches. Filters are available in a number of NCBI databases, including PubMed, Nucleotide, Protein and Taxonomy.

To display database records as a filter in the search result:

1.

Sign in to My NCBI

2.

Select the database where you want to create a filter and click the link Manage Filters

Browse Filters by selecting any of the four categories available: Popular, LinkOut, Properties or Links. You may also Search for Filters by selecting the LinkOut, Properties or Links radio button and entering the provider name in the search box.

3. After finding the provider that you would like to display as a filter, check the box under the Filter column. To display the provider’s icon in PubMed, check the box under Link Icon. You can select up to five filters for each database in My NCBI, except for PubMed where 15 filters are allowed.

The providers that you selected will be displayed as filters under “Filter your results” as long as you are signed in to My NCBI.

In the following example, the user has selected the National Library of Medicine (nlmlib) as a filter. Notice that the NLM icon is displayed below the abstract and citations available from the NLM library are grouped as a filter.

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To learn more about using filters in My NCBI, see My NCBI Help.

Limiting a Search to Records with Links to a Specific Resource

To limit a single search to records with links to a specific resource, enter the following in the search box:

loprovNameAbbr [filter]
Replace NameAbbr with the library’s LinkOut User Name.

This filter will be effective for that search only.

Using the NLM library as an example:

Search PubMed for loprovnlmlib [filter].

This limits the search to holdings included in the NLM library holdings.

This filter can be used as part of any PubMed search.

NOTE: Limiting your search in this way will not cause the provider’s icon to display. Provider icons must be activated in My NCBI or with a special URL.

Obtaining the Full Text of an Article

PubMed does not include copies of journal articles. Here are some tips for obtaining articles:

1.

Free copies of some articles may be obtained through links in PubMed. To locate these articles more easily, try limiting your search to citations with free full text available.
Note: When you click on LinkOut icons or links in the LinkOut display, you leave PubMed and are directed to the full text at an external site. Please review all use and copyright information on the full-text provider’s site before using or distributing their material.

2.

If you are a health professional or are affiliated with a hospital, university, or other institution, you should check your local medical library, or consider registering for Loansome Doc, an NLM-sponsored document delivery service.

3.

You may also want to check with your local library, or go directly to the publisher.

Additional Assistance

If you belong to a library, talk to a librarian at your institution about using LinkOut. Your local librarian will be best equipped to help you discover LinkOut resources available through your institution.

Please send comments and suggestions about LinkOut and report broken links to vog.hin.mln.ibcn@tuoknil.