SFX, recently acquired by Ex Libris (USA), Inc., offers a unique solution that permits context-sensitive linking between Web resources. Under the terms of an agreement between Ex Libris and EBSCO Publishing, two-way linking will be enabled between the Ex Libris SFX Linking server and EBSCOhost, EBSCO`s online search system. Firstly, EBSCOhost customers who also license the SFX server can link directly from EBSCOhost search results via SFX to an extended range of resources and services. Secondly, users of EBSCOhost and other information sources can link through the SFX server to full text in EBSCOhost databases as well as e-journal content available through EBSCO Online.
SFX Technology A Tremendous Benefit to Libraries
SFX technology allows libraries to combine electronic resources from several different systems to function as a cohesive, one-stop reference system. Reference librarians can choose content from a range of information providers and interconnect this content as desired, providing links to services that they feel are appropriate for their end users. For example, users of EBSCOhost could link from the search results to their library-defined set of appropriate resources and services which may include the full text in EBSCO Online or the library holdings in the local Catalog., eg an ALEPH OPAC from Ex Libris. The SFX technology can be purchased independently of other Ex Libris products.
According to Oliver Pesch, EBSCO Publishing`s chief technical officer, SFX will simplify electronic research in libraries accessing material from several different systems. "The SFX technology provides users with a unique tool for not only gaining access to online content, but also access to relevant resources about the content," Pesch stated. "SFX-enabled applications immediately become much more effective tools. With SFX, seemingly unrelated systems can work together seamlessly to provide the end user with a level of access to resources previously not thought possible."
EBSCO`s Huge Archive of Electronic Journal Articles Available to SFX Users
This agreement makes EBSCO`s library of more than 4 million journal articles from over 5,000 journals available as potential linking targets for SFX. SFX will perform user rights-validation using technology provided by EBSCO so that links to EBSCO full text sources only appear if the user subscribes to the database or journal in question. For subscribers to EBSCOhost, the SFX links will be available from over 75 million citations in the more than 70 databases available through this service.
Jenny Walker, Director of Sales & Marketing for the newly formed Ex Libris Information Services Division, is very excited by the opportunities afforded by this agreement to demonstrate the power of the SFX solution. "Through this agreement, the scope of resources through which the SFX user can navigate is substantially increased," Walker said. "The EBSCO archive represents a significant body of scholarly literature. The power of this information will be further demonstrated and utilized with SFX linking. EBSCO's quick adoption and implementation of the OpenURL to facilitate this linking is welcomed." For more information on the OpenURL specification see www.sfxit.com/OpenURL.
As part of the EBSCO Information Services group, EBSCO Publishing upholds relationships with nearly 1,200 publishers, and maintains a library in excess of 5,000 information sources. EBSCO Information Services provides fully integrated serials access and delivery solutions worldwide through subscription management, reference database development and production, and online multi-database access. The EBSCO Information Services group consists of EBSCO Subscription Services and EBSCO Publishing.
Ex Libris is a leading worldwide developer of high performance applications for libraries and information centers. ALEPH, the Ex Libris integrated library solution is now in over 530 installations in 41 countries. The newly formed Information Services Division will address the broader aspects of collection management with its initial focus being the further development and deployment of the SFX context-sensitive reference linking solution acquired by Ex Libris from Ghent University in Belgium. Ex Libris is a multi-national company with offices located around the world.