Technical FAQ

Modified on Fri, 30 Sep, 2022 at 9:45 AM

About represents direct access to the article resolution technology for researchers and librarians.  It is both a destination resolution platform easily accessible at as well as a powerful linking syntax which can be used to dramatically improve scholarly communication by easily routing tens of millions of researchers using LibKey technology not just to a particular piece of content but to the entitled full text of that content via the authentication and entitlements appropriate to them

The Website

The first time you visit if you have never used a LibKey product before, you will see a simple look-up page where you are invited to find an article by DOI or PMID.  This page is only shown if an affiliation has not yet been set.

Simply type in a DOI or PMID that you wish to view.  Here is an example DOI to try:


Since you have not yet affiliated, LibKey will ask you to choose your affiliation or to declare yourself an unaffiliated user:

Use the dropdown checkbox and then confirm your choice to reveal the linking options.  At this point the results screen looks identical to the Format Chooser as used by LibKey Link:

More information on how the Format Chooser works can be read in the LibKey Link Technical FAQ.

If you have used before *or* with the same browser have used any other LibKey service (LibKey Discovery, LibKey Link, or LibKey Nomad) you will instead be greeted by a welcome page with your library branding:

If you arrive and the wrong institution is presented (perhaps you have multiple affiliations or have recently changed institutions, etc.) you can easily click the orange link that says "Not your organization" to come to the same affiliation screen shown previously.

Linking Syntax

The linking syntax for has been designed to be human-readable meaning that without consulting any "link builder" tools you can easily create deep links into either by hand or within a custom program you create.

Here are the following key link structures and some sample use cases for each of them:

1. Home Page
Easy to direct users to and they will either be instantly recognized by your institution from using other LibKey products or they can easily self-affiliate.

2. WAYFless Home Page{LibraryID}
The recommended approach for linking to the home page from your library website or database list.  This will automatically produce the affiliated experience saving users a potential step of affiliating themselves so they can jump right in to lookup a DOI or PMID.

This is also the recommended link to bookmark for an ILL department who wants to quickly check if an article is available at an institution if an identifier is present in the request.  Not only does it check holdings but also checks unpaywall for OpenAccess options in a single, very fast request!

3. Universal Linking Syntax{DOI or PMID}
The most powerful aspect of is its ability to create a consistent linking methodology that guides users from different institutions to the same article even though they may have different sources (aggregator versus publisher) and different authentication mechanisms.

This linking syntax is the recommended one to use for posting about scholarly articles in social media, in emails, etc., where the article link might be viewed by researchers beyond your own institution providing the greatest reach of access for that article.

This linking syntax could also be used in avenues like Faculty CV pages which are commonly viewed by researchers around the world, providing them easy access to that material through the prism of their own institutional authentication and entitlements process without any extra work on the faculty member's part!

Finally, web services that include citations could programmatically include this syntax (these services will commonly include a resolved DOI as a mechanism to get to full text like "{DOI}."  Simply replacing that with "{DOI}" can provide far greater utility for the research and a greater chance of success in connecting users to full text.

If the user is one of more than 10 million researchers in 30+ countries around the world with a subscription to LibKey, they will be able to fully use their organization's access to get to full text.  If their organization is not a subscriber, LibKey still builds in knowledge of open access alternatives so that a potential route to submitted manuscripts can be provided.  Additionally a resolved link is also provided in case the user has a mechanism to gain access external to the LibKey route (Federated Access, VPN, etc.).

4. Universal WAYFless Linking Syntax{LibraryID}/{DOI or PMID}
By inserting the library's ID into the syntax, will override any existing affiliation in the user's browser and replace it with that of the library.

This can be useful in the case of wanting to add a "lookup a DOI or PMID" in a search box right on the library's home page.  You can then utilize this linking structure with your library ID to provide a simple lookup option for your users.

Getting Started with LibKey Link 2.0!

There is a short form needed to fully configure LibKey Link 2.0 and to receive and activate your LibKey Link.

You can access that form here and our team will be back in touch soon!