Preview the Beta of New Interface for Emerald Insight

The journal platform, Emerald Insight, is getting a major redesign scheduled to launch this July. If you’d like to look at the beta, which has only basic functionality and is not something that is ready for our researchers yet, you can see it at There is a link at the top of the beta site where you send feedback to the developers.

Identifying Articles from Weird EBSCO Database URLs

Recently, I helped a student who had grabbed the URLs from the address bar of their browser when they had found a few articles. They were wondering why the URLs would no longer take them to the articles. The student sent me the URLs hoping I could figure out how to get back to the articles they had found. Usually, when we get questions like this, it’s common to tell the student they’ll need to run their searches again because the URLs they have are useless. Actually, though, with some detective work and depending on the database, you can find your way back to specific articles from these URLs. Here’s how you do it.

I’ll use an article I found on my own for this blog post instead of the ones the student sent me. Just by reading the URL, I could see that the articles were from EBSCO databases. Here’s an example of a URL I grabbed the address window of my browser after I had run a search for articles about turtles and brought of the results up on my screen:

Scanning the URL, it’s easy to see that is from one of our EBSCOhost databases:

Next, you have to figure out which EBSCO database the student was in. All EBSCOhost databases have a unique three-letter code to distinguish them. If we look again at my sample URL, we can see a string of characters at the end that reads “db=bth.” The “db” is for “database” and “bth” is the unique three-letter code we were hoping to find. URLs commonly are structured like this with some sort of field code (like “db”) and an equals sign and then some unique identifier number or code (like “bth.”)

There is an EBSCO support page that lists all their databases with their three-letter codes. I went to that page and used CTRL-F to search the page for the “bth” code. From there, I learned that is the code for Business Source Complete.

Another thing that is commonly in these URLs for EBSCO databases is the accession number for the article. Every article in EBSCO is assigned a unique number as it is added to a database. Looking at the URL, we can see a string of characters near the end with “AN=94886700” with “AN” being the code for “accession number” and the eight-digit number after it being the accession number for a specific article.

The last step is to go into the right EBSCO database, paste in the accession number in the search box, limit the field search option to “AN Accession Number,” and run the search. Using that approach with the two URLs the student shared with me, I was able to find the articles and get the student permalinks.

If you look at an article’s permalink, you can see that it too has the database code and the accession number as part of the URL:

I think this same strategy may also work with Gale and ProQuest database URLs. I’ll look into it and do additional posts here if that is indeed the case.

Backup A-Z List of Databases and URLs

On the off chance that the LibGuides system goes down, we’d be without access to our A-Z database list. I’ve created a backup of the list in HTML and PDF formats. If you go to the Databases Overview page in our Library Services Wiki (access to this wiki is restricted to library staff),  you’ll find links to those backup files at the top of the page.

Off Campus Access to Business Expert Press Ebooks Is Restored

We’ve fixed the problem reported here on March 21 that was preventing off campus users from going from OneSearch records for ebooks from Business Expert Press to the full text on the iG Library platform. The problem turns out to be that when the database company changed the URLs slightly for all the ebooks in that collection, that new URL syntax was not shared with Ex Libris, which stores them in the SFX knowledgebase that we use to connect users in OneSearch from records to the places where full text is actually found.

Thanks to the CUNY Office of Library Services for finding a clever hack to rewrite the ebook URLs in SFX. Next, we’ll work on getting the vendor and Ex Libris to update the URLs in SFX. For now, the hacked solution we have works well enough.

Adding a Blog Post Feed in Microsoft Outlook

Yesterday I described how you can sign up to get blog posts delivered via email to you. One downside of the emails is that they only offer a snippet of the blog post; you have to click a link in the email to get to the full post on the web.

What if you wanted to have the full text of the blog post waiting for you in Microsoft Outlook? Having the full text also means that if you use the search feature in Outlook, it will find not only relevant emails but also blog posts. Here’s how you can set up the blog feed in Outlook if you’d rather get the posts that way.

Step 1: In Microsoft Outlook, click “RSS Feeds” in the left sidebar.

Click RSS feeds

Step 2. Right mouse click to open the RSS Feeds menu.

Click Add a New RSS Feed

Step 3: In the “New RSS Feed” box, copy and paste the blog feed URL and then click the “Add” button.

Paste in feed URL

Step 4. Click the “Advanced…” button.
Click the advanced button

Step 5: In the RSS Feed Options box, check the box for “Download the full article as an .html attachment” option and then click the “OK” button.

Select html delivery option

You should now see the blog posts in the “RSS Feeds” section of the Outlook interface.

Blog posts in Outlook

Workarounds When Full Text Available Link Doesn’t Work in OneSearch

If you’re in OneSearch and the green “full text available” link fails to connect you to the full text, there are a number of workarounds you might want to try.

  1. Click “Additional options for finding full text”

Scroll down the record to the “FT Options” section to find this link:

additional options for finding full text
Once clicked, a SFX menu will open in a new browser tab showing other databases where full text may be found.

2. Use the A-Z journal lookup tool from Serials Solutions to verify what database has access (for articles only)

If you’re in OneSearch, the easiest way to get to Serials Solutions is to click the “Journals A-Z” link at the top of the interface.

Link to A-Z journals in OneSearch header
3. Go to the ebook platform where the book should be

If the item is an ebook and the full text link isn’t working, try going to the A-Z databases page, connecting to the appropriate ebook database, and running the search there for the ebook.

If you’re in OneSearch, the easiest way to get to Serials Solutions is to click the “Journals A-Z” link at the top of the interface.

A to Z databases link

4. Report the linking problem

This isn’t a workaround but a plea to share with Michael Waldman and me any OneSearch record that fails to connect to full text. Every OneSearch record should have a “Report it” link you can use to quickly notify us of a problem.

Report it feature in OneSearch


Sign Up for Email Delivery of Blog Posts

Working with the Blogs@Baruch staff, we were able to set up the service again that lets you subscribe to blog posts here as they are published. On the right side of the blog, you’ll see a new “subscribe by email” box where you can enter your email address. Once you submit your address, look for a confirmation email message with a “confirm subscription” link in it that you need to click to complete the process.

Fix Coming This Week for Linking Problems in Gale Virtual Reference Library and Nexis Uni

Later this week, there should be a fix in place for the problems we’ve been seeing over the past few months with Gale Virtual Reference Library and Nexis Uni. This problem always starts with OneSearch records. When the user clicks the “full text available” link for some (but not all) records that are supposed to lead into Gale Virtual Reference Library entries or into Nexis Uni, the user is led to various dead ends.

Gale dead ends

  • a login page from Gale that looks like this one (users should only ever see our remote access login page, and that should only come up when they are off campus)
  • a remote access login page from another CUNY campus
  • a Gale page saying the item can’t be found

Nexis Uni dead ends

  • a login page from Lexis Advance (which we don’t even subscribe to)


Until the fix is in place this week, users should take note of the info from the OneSearch record for the item they want, go to our A-Z databases page, find the link for either Gale Virtual Reference Library or Nexis Uni, connect to the appropriate database, and re-run the search for that specific item.

About the Fix

The source of the problems lay in the updates made by Ex Libris to holdings info about Gale resources and Nexis Uni resources in the SFX system (a system that you also see when you encounter a “Find it! @ CUNY” button in a database record. When you click the “full text available” links in OneSearch, that action uses SFX to figure out what database has the full text and takes you directly from OneSearch to the item in the database (in some cases, the link takes to you to the search page for the database). Ex Libris is fixing errors it made in the way SFX translates incoming requests for full text linking for Gale and Nexis Uni resources into a URL made on the fly that transports the user into the appropriate database. CUNY OLS will apply this fix to our SFX server this week, and we should see the problems disappear thereafter.

Expanded Access to the Times Literary Supplement

We now have an additional level of access to TLS (Times Literary Supplement) that offers a richer experience than what we got from Factiva. If you do a journal lookup for TLS, you’ll see that there is now a link for issues from 2012 to the present from “Digital Editions from Exact Editions.”