Magazine article Information Today

EBSCO Publishing Offers Full Text through PubMed's LinkOut. (News Break)

Magazine article Information Today

EBSCO Publishing Offers Full Text through PubMed's LinkOut. (News Break)

Article excerpt

EBSCO Publishing (http://www.epnet.com) has announced that full-text materials in EBSCO's biomedical databases, such as the Biomedical Reference Collection and Nursing & Allied Health Collections, are now available via links from PubMed (http://www4.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed). PubMed, developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), has MEDLINE's bibliographic information at its core.

In addition to MEDLINE's bibliographic information, however, PubMed also has citations, abstracts, and links contributed by participating publishers of biomedical literature. Publisher-supplied links from PubMed citations take users to the e-journals stored at the publishers' Web sites, where access may be dependent upon subscription or other fees. Linking in PubMed falls under the jurisdiction of LinkOut (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/linkout), a feature that allows information providers to supply links to their Web-accessible resources from citations or other data in PubMed and additional Entrez databases (http://www.ncbi.nih.gov/Entrez).

EBSCO Publishing's announcement brings to our attention the fact that publishers are not the only game in LinkOut. Whereas LinkOut initially began with links to e-journals, other information providers have also begun taking advantage of this powerful, free tool. According to Kathy Kwan, coordinator of the LinkOut project, anybody can participate in it.

Anyone can participate, and many do. In this regard, EBSCO Publishing is not unique, as many other information providers, including other aggregators and libraries, also make their full-text materials available via LinkOut. The catch, of course, is that such full text is only accessible for affiliated users. There is the possibility of free full text through links to such resources as BioMed Central (http://www.biomed central.com) or PubMed Central (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov), but full text for free is certainly the exception.

EBSCO Publishing actually began hooking libraries' EBSCO Publishing content up to NLM's PubMed approximately 60 days before the February 14 announcement. According to Robert Preston, EBSCO Publishing's sales manager for special libraries, "NLM was cautious about this whole thing, but it turned out to be a painless experience."

When asked why EBSCO Publishing decided to become a LinkOut provider, Preston said that it just made sense for his company. "We figure it's just another value-added service. It's a quid pro quo relationship. We're actually providing a service that allows NLM to market itself."

EBSCO Publishing seems to be one of the first big aggregators to climb on board, but it may not be the last. Kwan noted: "We welcome other aggregators. It's a voluntary program, and we hope people know about it." Kwan went on to say that libraries have expressed interest in the possible participation of aggregators such as ProQuest (http://www.proquest.com). Time will tell who chooses to join the ever-expanding list of LinkOut providers.

This list of providers continues to grow (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/journals/ actvie_providers.html). Three were added in late February, bringing the total to 455, a number that includes publishers, aggregators, libraries, and other information providers.

The benefits of LinkOut are clear. …

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