“It should just work”: access to library resources #anzreg2019

“It should just work”: access to library resources in Discovery layers and Open Web searching
Kendall Bartsch, ThirdIron (Gold Sponsor)

Link resolvers cumbersome, often claim “full-text available” but… it’s not…. Or there are too many options so confuse users who just want the text. Perception from users that the button “almost never works”. Suggestion to “just do what SciHub does”. Various other solutions like ResearchGate, Academia.edu, Reddit, #ICanHazPDF – sharing and piracy “steal” an estimated 20% of usage from publisher sites. [Some of this because link resolver clunky, much also because people aren’t members of libraries that can afford what they want.]

ThirdIron reinvented a linking syntax LibKey. Based on:

  1. article metadata – essentially a dark archive of Crossref, but also metadata from other sources too. Vet, correct, normalise, maintain data (tells CrossRef about mistakes they find), and incorporate open access metadata including OADOI.
  2. entitlements data – tools to import holdings data across different vendors who all represent holding data differently
  3. library authentication/fulfilment

When a user requests an item, all this is put together by LibKey and results in the PDF or abstract URL.

LibKey Discovery: This can be integrated into various discovery layers including Primo: links could be “download PDF”, “view issue contents”, “read article”, etc (recently including if in html only not PDF).

LibKey Link: Want to also expand service into anywhere else you’d use an OpenURL base url, eg Google Scholar, or linking from Web of Science, reference lists etc. Can fall back to regular link resolver. (This is coming soon.)

LibKey Nomad: Linking from web searching – browser extension that can be downloaded by individual or installed on an enterprise basis.


  • increasing delivery of PDFs
  • libraries reporting fewer support tickets
  • libraries estimating savings of researcher time

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