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December 1, 2008

PubMed: Some Links to Full Text not Working

A faculty member reported on November 17th that, using PubMed, he was not able to access the full text of articles from off-campus. Both Library IT and PubMed's IT group have been contacted, but so far (12-9-2008) there has been no resolution to this problem.

UPDATE: AS OF DECEMBER 18TH, THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN RESOLVED!! The problem disappeared once our proxy settings were re-installed.

The issue:
When accessing PubMed from off campus using our proxied URL:
which allows the user to authenticate themselves as a U of Illinois member and thus have access to the full text of subscribed journals, the user finds that some of the PubMed links to full text do not work -- in fact, they lead to a blank page.

For any given article in PubMed, you may see several different links to full text:

The Publisher's link (Elsevier, Springer, Oxford, Wiley, etc.):
Publisher link

The "Discover UIUC Full Text Linking" link:
discover link

The "Full text for Illinois" link:
Linkout link

For an example, take a look at the PubMed reference for Plant Mol Biol. 2005 May;58(1):65-73.

Until this problem is resolved, the only link that will lead to the full text of the article from off-campus is the "Full text for Illinois" link
Linkout link
-- the other two links just open blank screens!

If the article of interest does not contain the "Full text for Illinois" link, you have several other options for getting to the full text of the article:

Option One:
Go to the ORR (Online Research Resource) , to discover if we have a subscription to the journal. Do this in a separate browser window, so you can retain the citation information (journal, year, volume, pages).

Option Two:
You can drop the citation into the Library's Journal and Article Locator:
Enter as much of the citation as you know, or use the copy/paste option to fill in the information for you.

Option Three:
You may want to switch databases, using either Biological Abstracts or Web of Science. The links to full text and "Discover UIUC Full Text Linking" links are working properly in both of these databases.

Option Four:
Change the URL that is at the top of the "blank" page, so that it resolves properly!
Here's an example of a "Discover" URL that, from off-campus through PubMed, resolves to just a blank page:

If you carefully remove the SECOND instance of
(both instances are shown bolded, above) from the URL, the link will work! You would edit the above URL to:

Remember, this problem is ONLY if you are access PubMed from off-campus. If the records has a "Full text for Illinois" link,
Linkout link
this link should work fine. It's just if this link is not available that you may want to try one of the other alternatives to access the full text.

The library IT continues to work on this problem, and we hope it will be resolved soon.

Send me your email address if you would like to be notified when the links in PubMed are again working properly. - Katie Newman (

Posted by Katie Newman at December 1, 2008 12:07 PM