How the Online Resource button works

The Online Resource button will automatically appear in the following circumstances:

  • The resource type is a book and is identified as an eBook (because the url in its web address field is present in the eBook whitelist). 
  • The resource type is website or webpage. Where there are multiple web addresses, the Online Resource button will automatically point at the first web address but this can be changed.
  • The resource is a Talis Aspire Digitised Content (TADC) digitisation. The Online Resource option cannot be removed in this instance unless the TADC digitisation is withdrawn.
  • Following user feedback in April 2016, we enabled the Online Resource button to automatically appear for Articles. This can be optionally switched off if this is not the preferred behaviour at your University.
  • NEW January 2017: Customers can choose which link is preferred when there are multiple link types in an Article. You can choose from Web Address, DOI and Open URL, in any order. For example, if you want web addresses to be preferred and never DOIs, then a preference order of "Web Address, Open URL" can be configured. The default order is DOI, Web Address and Open URL. Please contact Talis Support for more information.

It is possible to manually enable the Online Resource button, and specify which of the possible links the button should send the user to. e.g. where the resource is an article, it may have a DOI link, a web address and an openURL link available - the new functionality enables you to specify which of the possible links the online resource should take the student to. If no preference is set, the button will use the first link found on the resource.



When you tick the Online Resource box the "Link to" screen will pop up, with a link already ticked for you to confirm or change.

The order the of the link the Online Resource button uses unless you manually alter is:

  1. DOI (if set)
  2. Web address (if set)
  3. OpenURL (if available)

So for instance: articles will use the Web Address if there is no DOI present and then finally Open URL if no other links exist.

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar
    Annette Moore

    Is any future development planned to extend the 'Online Resource' feature to material type 'Article'  if there is a Web address or DOI in the metadata?


    Annette Moore

    University of Sussex

  • Avatar

    Hi Annette, 

    No there isn't currently any further development planned for the Online Resource feature. The preference on what happens with articles changes from institution to institution and indeed from article to article. What is the preference at Sussex?

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    Lucy Clifford

    Are there any plans to revisit this? I suspect it is confusing for students to scan a reading lists and see online resource buttons for some items but none for articles. this must look as though none of the articles are avaialble online.

    How about adding an online resource button for all articles and, when clicked, giving the user the choice of which link to use? So when you click the button you are presented with the options:

    Check for local subscriptions

    DIrect link (if there is a web address)

    This is effectively what they see when they view an article bookmark so should be no more confusing.

  • Avatar
    Zena Amos

    Hi Lucy, 

    As previously explained we don't have plans to revisit this feature, the reason being unlike ebooks it harder to determine if something is definitely an article. It may have multiple links, which is why there is some physical intervention there to prompt a check, so the links will lead to somewhere constructive before offering the option to the student from the list view.

    We do already default to Web Address once the Online Resource button is selected, taking some of the manual effort out of the selection, then DOI if not Web Address is present.

  • Avatar
    Lucy Clifford

    Yes but, if an article bookmark has links which are visible in the Item page (whether OpenURL, Web Address and/or DOI links) why not make these links available behind the Online Resource button? Why make the user click through to the Items screen where they have to choose which of the links to click?

    I would think that most articles *are* available online so why not assume that an article is available online and show the button and allow us to manually hide the button for the small number of articles that aren't online?

    Related to the problem of an article possibly not having a link that will lead somewhere constructive, I've complained before about not being able to hide the OpenURL link when we *know* it will fail. If you fixed this problem and allow us to hide the OpenURL link where an article is not available online, it would also resolve the potential problem of the Online Resource button possibly not working.

  • Avatar
    Zena Amos

    Hi Lucy,

    With journals, there can be different links and the system cannot definitively know that the link is taking the student directly to the resource. With eBooks, we maintain a whitelist of providers. Where we indicate an eBook it is because we have recognised a link on the resource to a whitelisted provider and confident that the link will take the user to the actual resource. This cannot be guaranteed for journals which is why it is left up to the person bookmarking to decide.

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    Peta Hanley

     I would also like to see an automatic check of the online resource box, when a web address or Doi is present, as many people will forget to check the online resource box.  I can see no problem with this as if bookmarking is working correctly, wherever it is bookmarked form must be giving some access. Even if the user cannot get through to the article, they still wouldn't be able to by going one further step into the record!.

    This would be also for document types and proceedings, really anything where the web address is present.

    If this is not possible then the next best solution would be to add a field in the reports that indicates whether the online resource box is ticked or not. Then it could be a maintenance task to fix these, as otherwise they cannot be found.

    Online is very important at Deakin as many of our units are taught in the Cloud, so all the help we can get the better.





  • Avatar
    Zena Amos

    Hi Peta, Lucy and Annette, 

    We are reviewing our thoughts on the approach to the Online Resource Button, if we decide to make a change to this will we keep you updated accordingly. 




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