MPG/SFX Server: Using COinS
Why care about COinS?
Today, the MPG/SFX link resolver is quite well integrated into information resources licensed by the MPG. But, many resources freely available do not offer SFX buttons because they don't "know" you as a user. Thus they do not know either which link resolver you might be interested in. Consequently, you have to bridge the gap to the full text yourself.
COinS are a possible solution to this problem and some internet resources have implemented the standard to enable links from their references to your link resolver (see a selection of COinS implementers below).
What are COinS?
ContextObjects in Spans (COinS) is a method to embed bibliographic information about available references into the HTML code of a web page by using a "span" element. Span elements are hidden in the HTML code and therefore internet users won't notice COinS unless they have installed a modern browser software (e.g. Firefox) and a specific extension which discovers the hidden information. COinS re-use the elements defined by the OpenURL standard, e.g. the article title is marked as "rft.atitle". This is how HTML code looks like with COinS element included:
<span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rfr_id= info%3Asid%2Fdev.livingreviews.org%3AePubTk&rft.aulast=Frolov&rft.volume=71&rft.d ate=2005&rft.jtitle=Phys.+Rev.+D&rft.atitle=On+one-loop+correction+to+energy+of+spinn ing+strings+in+S%285%29&rft.genre=article&rft.pages=026006&rft.auinit=S.A."> </span>
The COinS Generator can be used to create COinS manually by entering the bibliographic metadata for a citation.
How to get COinS working with Firefox?
Note: Mozilla Firefox offers the most convenient way to display COinS. These instructions describe the installation of a specific COinS extension. For help on Internet Explorer, please check the instructions below.
It just takes three steps to make your Firefox browser "COinS" aware:
Step 1: Install the OpenURL Referrer provided by OCLC Openly Informatics by following the link "Download Firefox Version":
After the installation is completed, you are asked to "Restart Firefox". This will close and re-open all browser windows.
Please note: If the download does not start automatically after clicking the link, you probably need to add "www.openly.com" to the list of sites from which downloads are allowed. To do so, please select the "Edit Options" button from the yellow banner at the top of your Firefox window.
Step 2: Configure MPG/SFX as your institutional link resolver. From the Firefox program bar choose "Tools -> Add-ons" and select the options available for the "OpenURL Referrer". Add a new profile with following settings:
Link Server Base URL:
Step 3: Test your setup. You should now see an MPG/SFX Button below:
How to get COinS working with Internet Explorer?
News: OCLC released the OpenURL Referrer for Internet Explorer in October 2007. This browser extension seems to be slightly more comfortable and stable than using bookmarklets as suggested before.
Option 1: Install and configure OCLC's OpenURL Referrer
Step 1: Download the OpenURL Referrer
from the Openly Informatics homepage: Download IE version. Launch the application "openurlref.exe" and
restart your browser.
Please note: Detailed installation instructions are available at the bottom of the OpenURL Referrer homepage.
Step 2: After the installation is completed, you will find a new entry called "Insert
OpenURLs" in the "Tools" as well as the context menu. Selecting this command
will replace all COinS stored in the code of the HTML document currently loaded by an OpenURL link. Test it
on this page and you should see a button below:
Step 3: By default, the OpenURL Referrer directs all OpenURL requests to the WorldCat Registry, but you may configure the browser extension by editing following settings in "C:\Programme\OpenURL Referrer\openurlref.htm":
[...] var baseurl = "http://sfx.mpg.de/sfx_local"; var button = "http://sfx.mpg.de/sfx_local/sfx.gif"; var alttext = "Fulltext and other MPG-specific services"; [...]
Option 2: Use Bookmarklets
By using bookmarklets, you can interpret COinS with your Internet Explorer, but unfortunately this way is less comfortable than the OpenURL referrer add-on. To install a MPG/SFX bookmarklet, right click on the link below, select "Add to Favorites", accept the security warning and choose a folder to store the bookmarklet.
favorite will replace all COinS stored in the code of the HTML document currently loaded by an MPG/SFX button. Test it on this page and you
should see an MPG/SFX button below:
How does Zotero use COinS?
The firefox extension Zotero enables you to collect, manage and cite information resources relevant for your scientific work. Citation information stored in a COinS is recognized by Zotero and can therefore be be transferred easily to the collections stored locally. Every MPG/SFX menu provides a COinS, thus Zotero places a small icon at the end of your location bar. Clicking the icon downloads the reference to your Zotero database:
Systems and interfaces using CoinS:
- Wikipedia, see notes section in the article about Sickle-cell disease
- WorldCat, see full record page
- HubMed, see results list
- CiteULike, see German homepage
- Living Reviews in relativity, see search result
- vuFind, see search results from the vuFind installation at Georgia Tech
- Libero, see search results from the library catalog of the university of Konstanz
- Mendeley, see record page
- Nationally Licensed Databases hosted at GBV, see record
- D5 MPI-INF Publications, see results page
- Code4Lib journal, see information
Further information and tools:
- COinS Documentation - specification of COinS standard
- COinS Generator - enter bibliographic metadata of a publication and create a COinS
- Zotero - Firefox extension for reference management
- OpenURL Referrer from Openly Informatics - Firefox extension to replace a COinS by an OpenURL link
- CrossRef Citation Plugin for WordPress - which supports COinS metadata as well