Tag Archives: crossref

DOI links hurt again

Some months ago, I wrote a blog entry called “SFX and DOI: sometimes just a pain in the neck” and it paid back today. My own post helped me solving a similar problem without spending too many thoughts… thank me! 😉

More details? The issue was raised on some mailing lists first and can be described in four bullet points:

  • IEEE Xplore only provides article level linking via CrossRef/DOI,
  • users from MPG do have access to IET content via Xplore,
  • CrossRef redirects DOI links for IET content to the IET Digital Library (see http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/iet-rsn:20060134),
  • but unfortunately, this is not the place where users from MPG have full text access.

Following our own instructions, we now redirect requests for full texts published on the Xplore platform only via CrossRef if the doi site key is assigned to IEEE. The downside is that only a link to the table of contents can be provided for IET content.

Example: In the MPG/SFX menu below, the link "IEEE/IEE Electronic Library" leads to the table of contents on Xplore, while the “DOI” link still resolves to the content on the IET Digital library.

Jeff Pache (IET Publishing Services & Product Development Manager) meanwhile announced that IET and IEEE will register secondary URLs pointing to Xplore at CrossRef. This is already done for some articles, see http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/ip-smt:20050087.

This is a huge improvement indeed, but – from the link resolver perspective – will resolve the problem only partially. The link resolver is supposed to figure out the appropriate copy without displaying any intermediate screens to its customers. From our point of view, IEEE Xplore requires an independent article level syntax. We requested this… let’s see what happens!

SFX and DOI: sometimes just a pain in the neck

One of the major goals of the MPG/SFX 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.