Tag Archives: sfx-sources

How to set MPG/SFX links in the ADS

Users of the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) can configure their ADS preferences to link to the electronic resources available to them through their library subscriptions. The MPG/SFX server has recently be added to the list of Library Link servers offered by ADS.

To activate MPG/SFX buttons in the ADS, please:

  1. log in to your personal account (or create a new one),
  2. go to "my Account" and choose the "Library Link Settings",
  3. from the pull-down of available Library Link servers, select the entry for the "Max Planck Society"
    ADS preferences
  4. and save your settings.

Your ADS preferences are stored as a cookie in your browser and will remain active until you sign off the system.

MPG/SFX got deep indexed by Google

End of 2008 we noticed that the Googlebot started to deep crawl the MPG/SFX link resolver by following distinct OpenURLs. This finding was surprising because we haven’t expected any free available website to promote deep links to dynamic pages created by the MPG/SFX server. There are some indicators that the assumption could have been wrong, e.g. Yahoo’s Site Explorer meanwhile counts 5,365 Inlinks to "sfx.mpg.de" in total. This deserves some additional checking!

In addition, I just learned from a post on the Google webmaster blog, that the web form offered by the MPG/SFX Citation Linker could have been used to crawl the server as well. But this is not very obvious because I’m pretty sure that Google doesn’t rate MPG/SFX as a "high-quality site".

The cause remained undetermined; however, the number of requests from Googlebot had significant impact on the statistics created for the SFX service. Therefore, we refined the robots.txt last December to disallow indexing of the relevant directories and started to forget about it… until today. Today, we learned from a feedback that any Internet user may accidentally stumble about an empty MPG/SFX menu and doesn’t feel well served – which is totally understandable. Unfortunately, it looks like Google’s index still includes a high amount of links to "sfx.mpg.de":
Google search result

Hm, it looks like modifying the robots.txt is not a very straightforward way to remove content from Google. Meanwhile, we used the URL removal request tool offered by Google Webmaster Tools. Let’s see if this will reduce the number of superfluous requests.

One week, two new OpenURL sources

Sometimes, it’s really worth asking content providers for OpenURL support – even it may take some time and effort to identify the appropriate contact person. This week was pay-off time and we activated links to the MPG/SFX link resolver on two additional information platforms:

  • Credo Reference has been licensed recently to provide MPG staff with full text access to 150 reference books. OpenURL links to the MPG/SFX server are offered for the references in selected articles, see example.
  • BioOne launched a new platform some weeks ago and mentioned "Open URL compliance" in the the corresponding announcement. The revised user interface provides OpenURL links for all literature cited (see example), but the implementation requires some improvements – in particular for books and book items.

Time to start the weekend!

Bringing MPG/SFX buttons to your reference list?

Two questions from my mail inbox today:

Can I add MPG/SFX buttons to my individual reference list? And if yes: Does this make any sense?

The answer to the first question is straight forward: Yes, you can link every reference to the corresponding MPG/SFX service menu. This requires you to create OpenURL links including all relevant bibliographic information and to add these links to the HTML code of your reference list. Our OpenURL generator (in German) may help you with this task.

But there is no definitive answer to the second question. Obviously, a link to the MPG/SFX resolver is especially helpful to staff of the Max Planck Society because the menu will offer relevant services for this specific target group. But users outside the MPG IP ranges are not assisted in such a comfortable way. The only help provided is a link to OCLC’s OpenURL Resolver Registry which can be used to redirect the request to a local resolver.

If you want to share your reference list with the public, you may consider adding COinS alternatively. COinS (“ContextObjects in Spans”) provide a measure to embed bibliographic information into the HTML code of a web page. Afterwards, the information can been used by your browser to display links to an OpenURL link resolver (such as MPG/SFX) or to download the record into a reference manager.

Further reading:

Activating reference links on HighWire Press

Some time ago, we learned that the HighWire Press platform supports the activation of OpenURLs in the reference sections of selected journals. This allows us to link these references to the corresponding MPG/SFX service menus, e.g.:

screen shot of reference section in PNAS

Users from MPG will now find MPG/SFX links on following HighWire-hosted journal platforms:

Please note that OpenURL links are currently displayed for selected journal references only, but Oxford University Press already announced:

Future releases will include functionality to display OpenURL links for a wider range of references (for example, books) as well as additional metadata fields in OpenURL-encoded links (e.g. issue values).

… that sounds promising!

Missing MPG/SFX in PubMed?

NCBI PubMed is a resource free available to everybody without any subscription or registration. Therefore, we cannot specify MPG/SFX as the default link resolver for all users from the MPG – as we do so for resources on subscription base. Anyway, entering the database via a special URL allows you to access MPG/SFX services directly from PubMed’s record pages:


If you don’t want to remember the above URL all th time, you may choose one of the following entry points which set the parameter automatically:

A note for MPG librarians: If you are providing a link to PubMed from your library’s homepage, you may want to update this as well 😉

Enabling OpenURL links in the reference section of APS PROLA

You would like to request the MPG/SFX link resolver directly from the references cited by an article published on the APS PROLA platform? This is possible, after you activated the feature by

  1. going to http://prola.aps.org/openurl
  2. entering "http://sfx.mpg.de/sfx_local" as your OpenURL setting and "Save"
  3. enjoying PROLA’s OpenURLs, e.g. from Phys. Rev. E 60, 3361 (1999)

OpenURLs in reference section of APS Prola

Update: Meanwhile we learned that APS PROLA intends to provide the OpenURL setting at institution level as well, but this will require some more time. Good news, anyway!

Are MPG/SFX buttons where the party is?

The vLib team works hard in the background to add MPG/SFX buttons to all the locations where they may be helpful for users from the Max Planck Society (MPG). This includes

  • results list of reference databases licensed within the MPG (e.g. the Web of Science) and MPG library catalogs (e.g. on the Aleph server),
  • eDoc – the institutional repository of the MPG,
  • reference lists published as part of journal articles (e.g. at Cambridge University Press or IEEE Xplore) as well as
  • free available resource like Wikipedia by using a small browser plugIn which interprets CoinS

An overview on MPG/SFX enabled resources is available in the vLib documentation, but we need your help for investigating further locations. Please inform us about those interfaces where you actually missing this option!