Our OpenURL service is used primarily by library link resolvers but can also be used to look up metadata records. Please note that OpenURL retrieval includes only bibliographic metadata.

On this page, learn more about:

OpenURL access

Access to the OpenURL service is free, but does ask that you identify yourself.

  • Use your email address to identify yourself. You don’t need to register this with us in advance, but you do need to include it in your query.
  • Librarians: if you need to use OpenURL with your library link resolver and that system requires a username and password, we can provide you with Crossref account credentials. Learn more about metadata retrieval for librarians (where you can also request your credentials).

Access using an email address

You need to include your email address in the pid parameter of the OpenURL request. Note that pid is not the same as PID (persistent identifier, such as a DOI or an ORCID iD).

For interfaces that require a key, your email address is your key.

Use the format below but include your own email address instead of JOURNAL%20OF%20PHYSICAL%20OCEANOGRAPHY&volume=32&issue=3&spage=870&date=2002

Log in to the library link resolver using the Crossref account credentials we provided.

OpenURL metadata queries

The OpenURL query interface uses metadata to identify a matching DOI, and redirects the user to the target of the DOI.

For example, this query contains an author name, a journal title, volume, issue, first page, and publication year: JOURNAL%20OF%20PHYSICAL%20OCEANOGRAPHY&volume=32&issue=3&spage=870&date=2002

The OpenURL query interface matches the query with a metadata record and redirects the user to the relevant persistent identifier landing page at<0870:CT>2.0.CO;2.

The OpenURL Query Interface can accept these parameters:

Citation metadata parameters

  • issn
  • title (journal title)
  • aulast (family name, preferably of first author)
  • volume
  • issue
  • spage (first page)
  • date (publication year YYYY)
  • stitle (short title, which may be supplied as an alternative to title)

Other parameters

  • pid (your email address). Note: pid (personal id) is different from PID (persistent identifier)
  • redirect (set to false to return the DOI in XML format instead of redirecting to the target URL. The default is true)
  • multihit (set to true to return DOIs for more than one content item if our system does not find an exact match. The default is false)
  • format (set to unixref to return metadata in UNIXREF format)

OpenURL results

By default, an OpenURL match will direct the user to the landing page registered for the matched metadata record.

In most instances, only a single identifier will be returned. If more than one identifier is returned, the user will be directed to a list of all available DOIs. For example, the query:ández&date=2009

will return multiple results.

Retrieving metadata

OpenURL may be used to retrieve metadata records by setting the redirect parameter to “false”. By default an OpenURL response uses the XSD XML format. The UNIXREF format may be requested by setting the format parameter to “unixref”.

Example metadata queries

This query will return an XSD-formatted XML metadata record:**&redirect=false**&

There are multiple matches for this query, when multihit=true the metadata record is returned for all results:

Setting multihit=exact will return no matches:

Example DOI queries

We support DOI queries formatted as OpenURL version 0.1 requests:

Open URL query

Crossref query

Like metadata queries, DOI query results are returned in XML format.

NISO 0.1 or 1.0 URLs

We also support NISO 0.1 and 1.0 URLs as well as some common deviations. In general it supports the San Antonio Profile #1, including in-line, by-value, and by-reference. In the presence of a url_ver= Z39.88-2004 parameter this service will operate on a info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx context format with referent formats info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal or info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:book.

Simple reverse lookup

Retrieve metadata for a DOI

A journal article lookup of a common receptor for coxsackie B&rft.jtitle=Science&rft.aulast=Bergelson&rft.auinit=J&

Page owner: Jennifer Kemp   |   Last updated 2020-April-08