One of the major goals of the link resolver is to provide links to content licensed for the staff of the Max Planck Society. These links should lead you – the user – as close as possible to the relevant full text, e.g. by addressing the article’s abstract page. Unfortunately, not all information providers support a useful deep linking syntax and a hand full of publishers only enabled article level linking through CrossRef/DOI (see ExLibris’ target documentation). Therefore, the MPG/SFX resolver uses DOI redirects for several important information providers like Elsevier’s ScienceDirect and Nature Publishing Group.
The drawback of this solution is that DOIs sometimes resolve to another copy of the article than the requester has actually access to. The so called appropriate copy problem occurs for all kind of databases aggregating full texts from various publishers (e.g. EBSCOHost Academic Search Premier). In addition, it also happens quite often that journals move from one publisher’s platform to another and it takes some time until the CrossRef index is updated.
So what to do? While DOI links very often provide a better service, they may be misleading in rare cases. After receiving an error report from one of our users, it looks like we found a feasible solution which might be worth further exploring. The trick uses the fact that each DOI carries the information about the particular publisher responsible for resolving the target URL in its prefix (see list of doi site keys). The MPG/SFX link resolver now checks the site key to ensure that the DOI link is forwarded to the appropriate publisher for a specific target.
Anyway, some twists are possible with content moved between platforms and we are very interested in hearing about any weird experience you may have done with full text linking via MPG/SFX. So please submit a comment via the MPG/SFX feedback form whenever you are stranded far away from the full text of your interest.
Detailed background information on how MPG/SFX uses DOIs is available in the vLib project documentation.