Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Libraries Upgrade E-Journal Access with MultiLink

In January 2009, the University Libraries embarked on a major project to overhaul how we manage access to online journals. We are now achieving a major milestone with the unveiling of SerialsSolution’s 360 Link software, which we are calling MultiLink.

MultiLink succeeds FindIt@BSU. From a user’s perspective, it works much the same way. Something that the user will notice that is different with MultiLink is a new blue button with some of the citations. Clicking the button produces a menu of links to multiple options for obtaining the citation’s full text.

In many cases, the University Libraries provide direct access to journal articles on the Web. However, when we do not have access, ILLiad provides speedy access via interlibrary loan. As always, there is an option to check the online catalog, CardCat. With MultiLink, we have added some new alternatives, including WorldCat, a global database of library resources, and Google Scholar, which indexes both commercially published and open access scholarly materials.

While the basic operation of MultiLink is not new to the University Libraries, it represents several major improvements in access to online scholarship. For example, we have implemented a 1-Click feature, where a click of the MultiLink button goes straight to a full-text article when one is available. MultiLink, as before with FindIt@BSU, is also accessible with the Citation Linker and an integrated Electronic Journals portal.

Very significant benefits arise from the fact that MultiLink and the Electronic Journals portal are integrated. Both services are driven by the same underlying database – the massive electronic journals database maintained by the Seattle-based SerialsSolutions, Inc. Prior to beginning our relationship with SerialsSolutions, Inc., the Libraries maintained links to electronic journals in three different “silos,” not an efficient arrangement. The single Electronic Resource Management System streamlines maintenance and will dramatically improve accuracy, which should translate to increased user success in finding full text.

Another improvement in electronic resource management will come with an integrated usage statistics component. This component will increase our capacity to make optimal collection and spending decisions.

For more information, contact James W. Hammons, Head of Library Technologies,, 765-285-8032.

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