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Support - EBSCO Help

CustomLinks - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are CustomLinks?

CustomLinks are a feature of EBSCOhost that dynamically creates links from an EBSCOhost search result to related information on another web site. CustomLinks allow the library to provide seamless integration of the user’s EBSCOhost session with a library catalog, A-Z list, linking server, or other web-based services.

Examples of what CustomLinks provide:

  • Full Text: Links to full text from other sources such as database providers and publishers.
  • Library Catalog: Links to EBSCOhost results available from your library catalog.
  • Novelist: Links to books (non-catalog).
  • ILL Form: Links to Interlibrary Loan system, allowing users to request items through ILL.
  • Document Delivery: Link users to available options to purchase full text when none is available from EBSCOhost.
  • Indexes & Databases: Links to citation only providers.
  • Search Engines: Links to search engines such as Google and Yahoo.
  • Other: Links to Link Resolvers, A-to-Z Lists, etc.


Q. Why am I unable to see the CustomLink I just created in EBSCOhost?

If you just created a CustomLink and added it to the profile of your choice using the Add New CustomLinks link, it should be ready to use the next time you log in to EBSCOhost. If certain filters were set when creating the link, it is possible one of those is preventing you from seeing the link. You should check the following:

  • If you have conducted numerous searches and cannot find any links on the Result List or detailed display, check the CustomLink settings to make sure Show on Result List and/or Show on Detailed Display is set to yes.

  • If the option Hide Link if Full Text is set, you can verify that the link is displaying properly by adding and ft n to the end of your search term.

  • If the link is set to only display when it is either in or not in a collection, you can test this by searching your collection, and searching for a specific title in that collection.


Q. How do I set my CustomLink to open one new browser window and reuse that same window each time the CustomLink is clicked?

The Window Name field is is optional setting for CustomLinks that specifies the target attribute or the name of the window.

By entering the value 'name' in the Window Name field, you set the CustomLink to open a new browser window the first time the link is clicked. Each consecutive time the link is clicked, the link is opened in that same new browser window.


Q. How can I modify my existing CustomLinks to pass print ISSNs to target sites?

Administrators can create lookup tables to pass print ISSNs to OPACs, library catalogs, or other third-party resources.

To create a lookup table:

  1. Locate a title list containing both the print and electronic ISSNs of the journals you are trying to access.

  2. Copy and paste this information into a Notepad file.

    Note: The encoding of the Notepad file should be UTF-8, this can be modified under File → Save As.

  3. Upload the file as a local collection in EBSCOadmin. In the Call Number field, be sure to enter the column number where the print ISSN appears in your Notepad file. The ISSN/ISBN field should contain the column number which corresponds to the electronic ISSN.

  4. Upload the local collection file as normal.

  5. Edit the query string of the CustomLink you are using to contain the following function:


    1. Replace LOCALCOLLECTION in the function with the name of the local collection created in Step 4.

    2. The function should be inserted into the portion of the query string that passes ISSN values. For example, if you were running an ISSN search in the Ipswich Public Library catalog, the URL would appear as below:

      Here the test ISSN was 12345678. This should be replaced with the function specified in Step 5, which would appear as follows:{IfNotEmpty({CustomerLocalsLookup({issn},LOCALCOLLECTION)},{CustomerLocalsLookup({issn},LOCALCOLLECTION)},{issn})}

The function will attempt to pass over the print ISSN for a given title, and if the print ISSN is unavailable the electronic ISSN will be used.


See also:

Setting up EBSCO CustomLinks in EBSCOadmin

Related Terms: custom link, custom linking, custom links, customlinking, customlink, customlinks