Information for Service Providers

Service Providers and the OpenURL Router

As online service providers, you include OpenURLs in your services as a way of directing end users to content, e.g. scholarly articles, online.

Ideally, the OpenURL is resolved at the copy that the end user may access (e.g. because the user's institutional library has subscribed). You achieve this routing user requests through the user's institution's OpenURL resolver. In order to route a user request to the correct institution, you must know which institution the user belongs to. Service providers often maintain 'lookup' tables to link end users with institutions. The OpenURL Router enables you to offer OpenURL links to appropriate resolvers for users in UK HEIs and FEIs, without having to implement or maintain lookup tables.

The Router provides a registry of UK HE and FE resolvers, populated and maintained by the resolver administrators. Because the information is held in one location, it is easier for your customers to establish OpenURL links from your service. They may also use the Helpdesk service provided by EDINA – as may any service provider using the OpenURL Router for OpenURL linking.

The quickest and easiest way to achieve this is simply to use the Router as the base URL for all OpenURL requests, and thus rely on the Router to redirect each user to the appropriate resolver. Alternatively you can look up the resolver details held in the Router registry, and use these to create OpenURL links direct from your service to the appropriate resolver.


OpenURL is a Jisc-sponsored service, and is administered jointly by EDINA.

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