SFX – the OpenURL link resolver and much more

SFX® is the most widely used OpenURL link resolver, with a customer base of over 1800 institutions in more than 50 countries. Released in 2001 as the first of its kind, SFX offers a wealth of features for end users and librarians, that go far beyond basic OpenURL link-resolver functionality:

  • Menu-driven or direct context-sensitive linking to full text and other scholarly services
  • A-Z e-journal list and CitationLinker query form
  • The SFX KnowledgeBase, capturing e-resources available in the scholarly environment
  • Collection management and analysis tools
  • Usage statistics
  • UStat, COUNTER report analysis tool, including support for the SUSHI transfer protocol


Choose the solution that fits your needs

SFX can either be hosted locally or managed by Ex Libris. Choose the best solution for your needs, optimizing your IT and financial resources.

SFX for Users

A direct route to electronic full text, and much more

With SFX, a user who is interested in a specific citation found in a database or discovery system, can:

  • see immediately whether the item is available electronically and if so, link directly to the full text;
  • find out about availability in other formats and then order a copy;
  • take advantage of other relevant services, such as the bX scholarly recommender service and many more

SFX linking capabilities can be easily embedded into any OpenURL-compliant source, including a discovery platform such as Primo®, a library portal, an abstracting and indexing database, Google Scholar and a course management system.

Multiple access points to your e-collections, including the A-Z journal title list and the CitationLinker search form, streamline the information discovery process and provide an easy-to-use interface for end users. Furthermore, you can customize the interface and integrate it into your home page so that your users experience a consistent look and feel.

SFX is smarter than any other OpenURL link resolver! Combining information gathered from various sources—the context of a user’s search, the SFX KnowledgeBase that describes your collections and potential services, your OPAC and external resources such as Google Books, and preferences that you set—SFX determines the best available services and provides links to them. SFX can automatically correct inaccurate data, such as incorrect titles or identifiers, and help the users to locate the materials they need. As a result, the usage of your library’s resources becomes optimal.

SFX for Librarians

A comprehensive KnowledgeBase, web-based administration interface, and sophisticated management tools

Simple to implement

Use convenient out-of-the-box settings, or customize SFX to meet your specific needs. Your library is in full control of the look and feel of the SFX interface components—the menu, CitationLinker form, and A-Z list—and of the services that are presented to your users. The Web–based administration interface enables you to instantly access and customize the user interfaces and the link services displayed to your users. You can easily make changes and they immediately come into effect.

Easily extendable

In addition to using all the functionality that SFX provides, you can create your own functionality! SFX is an open system, and many customers create code extensions and share them with the whole community via the EL Commons collaborative Web site. SFX is highly interoperable through open interfaces, allowing seamless integration with other systems in the library.

Effective for managing your collection

The SFX KnowledgeBase—at the core of your e-collection

The SFX KnowledgeBase, a central component of the SFX link resolver, is one of the industry's largest and most inclusive knowledgebases. It supports SFX functionality with detailed descriptive, availability, and technical information about scholarly e-resources, such as e-journals, e-books, packages, and hosting platforms.

Because the scholarly publishing market is dynamic and the offerings of content providers are constantly changing, a dedicated team of Ex Libris librarians and programmers continuously updates and enhances the SFX KnowledgeBase to provide the most current information. You can easily access the KnowledgeBase via the SFX web-based administration interface to activate your resources and add local information.

SFX collection analysis tools—support for smart decisions

Using the in-depth SFX analysis tools, you can examine your collection and identify overlaps and duplicates so that you can make smarter purchasing and cancellation decisions. The analysis tools help you find the optimal mix of resources to meet your budget.

SFX statistics—knowing what your users do

SFX keeps track of all user activities. With the statistics tools, you can obtain a detailed picture of your e-resource usage, down to the title and platform. SFX usage can also be captured by the bX scholarly recommender service to generate recommendations to end-users on the basis of other scholars’ selections.

UStat—the COUNTER statistics analysis service

With SFX, you can analyze your COUNTER reports by using UStat, the Ex Libris COUNTER report analysis service. You can upload your COUNTER files via SUSHI or manually and generate a variety of reports, including cross-platform and multiyear reports.

SFX KnowledgeBase: at the heart of SFX

The SFX® KnowledgeBase serves as a central data repository to support all SFX features and services and to furnish institutional availability information to external systems. Information from the SFX KnowledgeBase is the key to linking end users quickly and accurately to the material they need and to supporting clever collection management at your library.

A comprehensive central data repository—with precisely the data you need

The SFX KnowledgeBase contains:

  • Information about E-journals, e-books, conference proceedings, and other types of scholarly materials, with descriptive metadata including peer-review indicators
  • Free and licensed title package information, e.g. e-journal and e-book collections, including coverage period for individual journals (such as year, volume, and issue) and “moving wall” gap time.
  • Configurations for citation-downloading tools, links to OPACs, links to document delivery forms, and many other services 
  • Locally added services and scholarly materials
  • The KnowledgeBase team—collecting, checking, enriching, and correcting data on behalf of our customers

The KnowledgeBase contains information about thousands of packages and over one million items—e-journals, e-books, and more, including thousands of free items. It is continuously enhanced and updated by the dedicated SFX KnowledgeBase team. The team’s librarians and developers collect new and updated data; check, correct, and enrich the data; consult authoritative sources such as the CONSER database and ISSN.org to verify and add metadata; and respond to customer requests.

Close collaboration with publishers—the key to maintaining data quality

The Ex Libris publisher-relations team works closely with publishers and aggregators to maintain an efficient flow of the data used for not only the SFX KnowledgeBase but also for other Ex Libris databases, such as the MetaLib® KnowledgeBase and the Primo Central index of scholarly materials.

Ex Libris endorses the KBART Recommended Practice. KBART- a joint initiative of NISO and UKSG - is working toward improving the data supply chain for OpenURL link resolvers and KnowledgeBases.