Why GetFTR and FAQs

GetFTR enables rapid access to published journal articles any time, anywhere, on any device. It aims to solve well-known access issues, as researchers work in an ever-increasing multitude of locations and find the research they need through multiple platforms and services. 

GetFTR has been developed to provide accurate, real-time entitlements information from participating publishers to enable a rapid path to the final published journal article, or a best available version. It integrates into scholarly platforms and discovery services and uses trusted authentication paths to enable a fast route from platform to published research. 

GetFTR continues to develop its service offerings and use cases – it actively seeks participation and feedback to continue to shape its use and ensure its benefits can be realized. Read on for our FAQs or go straight to our sections for publishers or integrators if you’re interested in using or integrating GetFTR.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Get Full Text Research (GetFTR)?

Get Full Text Research (GetFTR) is a free-to-use solution for discovery services and scholarly collaboration networks that provides researchers with faster access to the published research they need, whether subscription or open access.

The service provides real time entitlement checks so that researchers can easily determine which content their institution has made available to them, when both on or off-campus. By clicking the GetFTR link, they can rapidly access research from participating publisher websites. Libraries and researchers do not need to opt-in, register, or download any new software. An initial group of five publishers have sponsored its development of GetFTR: American Chemical Society, Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis Group and Wiley.

Who can use GetFTR?

Discovery services, such as search engines, databases, reference management tools and scholarly collaboration networks can integrate GetFTR into their platform to provide users with fast, streamlined access to published content. GetFTR checks entitlements and provides researchers with rapid access to the research they need, enabling integrators to link directly to the most up-to-date and best available version of the content. GetFTR relies on authoritative publisher entitlements data with zero configuration effort for libraries. 

GetFTR is open to all publishers and providers of online discovery services, who are encouraged and invited to take part in GetFTR’s development to maximize its benefits for the research community. Register your interest now.

How does GetFTR work?

GetFTR provides:

  • An API where entitlements from all participating publishers can be checked.
  • Direct, deep links to full text content, which automatically signs users in if necessary
  • Links to alternative versions of that content for non-entitled users, if provided by publisher partners
  • A simple, consistent user experience for discovery services to use on their sites and that researchers recognise
  • Links returned for open access, free and entitled subscription content, supporting ever greater dissemination of research to a global community

The GetFTR service is built on trusted technology and builds on existing industry standards such as DOIs and SAML. 

Behind the scenes, the GetFTR API allows discovery tools to check user’s institutional entitlements in real time against publisher’s authoritative records. 

Publisher’s then provide discovery services with Smart links, which incorporate the well-established federated authentication method to provide the user with a streamlined pathway to research even when working off campus, whilst also supporting traditional IP authentication when on campus.

What makes GetFTR different from other features and tools that offer rapid access to research?

Unlike other solutions, GetFTR provides researchers with accurate, real-time entitlements information from participating publishers’ websites and rapid access to the trusted, publisher-approved source of information.

GetFTR can be used on devices both on- and off-campus, from any browser, without the need for additional software, removing technological restrictions that limit the effectiveness of other solutions.

Researchers, and libraries, do not need to take any action to use GetFTR, beyond clicking the GetFTR link in discovery services and collaboration networks that have integrated with GetFTR.

How much does GetFTR cost?

GetFTR can be integrated free of charge into discovery tools, scholarly platforms and library management systems. There is no cost for libraries, institutions, researchers or integrating platforms. GetFTR is sustained through financial contributions from participating publishers on a tiered structure, which you can read about here.

Our tiered structure is designed to align price with the value that publishers receive from GetFTR with (on average) recent publications being accessed and benefitting from GetFTR the most.

We have recently adjusted the pricing model based on feedback from publishers looking to adopt GetFTR and continue to welcome any feedback.

Who is participating in GetFTR?

GetFTR is currently being used by a number of publishers, including American Chemical Society, AIP Publishing, American Society of Civil EngineersElsevierFuture Science Group, Rockefeller University Press, Springer NatureTaylor & Francis Group and Wiley (and this group is always growing). 

Scholarly platforms and discovery tools who have integrated GetFTR include AtyponCHORUS, Cactus, Figshare, Digital Science, DimensionsMendeley, My Science Work, ReadCube PapersResearcher, Semantic Scholar, Silverchair and SN Experiments. The list of integrators who have incorporated GetFTR entitlement checks and smart links into their services is always growing. Keep up to date with who is on board on our community pages.

With every new partner, we’re refining the GetFTR service, making it even better for users. We’re always welcoming new partners, so please register your interest for the latest updates or to start a discussion with our development team.

Can GetFTR track what users are searching and reading?

No sensitive personal information is passed to GetFTR, and no information about the user’s search terms is revealed.

GetFTR receives DOIs, end user IP addresses and information that uniquely identifies the user’s institution. GetFTR uses this information to only pass requests to publishers for entitlement checks.

GetFTR does not, and will not, track individual users or analyze data at the individual user level, and does not and will not make user-level data available to any third party. In addition, it requires participating publishers to commit to not tracking users with the information received from GetFTR or combining this with other data they may have.

GetFTR has no visibility to what links a user clicks in a discovery service; when clicking on GetFTR links, the user goes directly to the publisher’s website and is redirected to the user’s home institution for authentication. GetFTR is not involved in article retrieval in any way.

What resources do you provide that would assist with my implementation?

We provide you with access to your self service portal, which enables you to securely access your credentials for GetFTR, personalised dashboards to monitor the service, technical FAQs to support your implementation, and options to test the GetFTR API, its responses, and error codes.

You can also request access to our demo website, a lightweight discovery service, where you can explore the GetFTR UX.

We can set you up on Slack so that our technical team can answer any integration questions you might have.

If you’ve got questions on any of these options our team is on hand to help at support@getfulltextresearch.com.

Do you have an advisory board?

We have an active advisory board who meet every month and provide valuable feedback from across the research community, helping shape the development of GetFTR from announcement to pilot to full launch and beyond.

What are the benefits of GetFTR for publishers?

Publishers have to handle lots of queries and complaints from librarians and users about getting access to subscription content, especially for users working off campus. As a consequence, their users increasingly turn to alternate versions, illicit sources, or research that is not accurately linked to data/research resources. With GetFTR, publishers can put their readers first, improving user experience through the streamlined access to high quality, published research, connected to the original data sources, whether subscription or open access.

As a publisher can I participate?

Yes. GetFTR is a collaborative project with an open invitation for any publisher to take part in GetFTR’s development and implementation. If you’d like to get involved, please register your interest here.

What formats and versions of articles are supported?

GetFTR smart links provide direct access to full-text content, with format (PDF, HTML and/or ePub) determined by the publisher.

The smart links enable users to gain direct access to content provided by their institutions without having to navigate the publisher’s sign-in or Where Are Your From (WAYF) pages.

Can non-entitled users access content?

Currently, users don’t see any GetFTR indicator for subscribed content if the service cannot confirm their entitlement. In future development, publishers will be able to choose to provide access to an alternative version of non-subscribed content. 

Is Open Access and free to view content included in GetFTR?

Yes – GetFTR indicators will appear for Open Access and free to view content on participating websites for all users, regardless of their institution.

What are the benefits of GetFTR for discovery services and scholarly collaboration networks?

The GetFTR service fully integrates into discovery tools and scholarly collaboration networks, enabling researchers to easily see what content is available to them, via a GetFTR indicator, from within those environments. GetFTR smart links then provide users with streamlined access to research on participating publishers’ websites.

Unlike other features and tools that are trying to solve this problem, GetFTR provides researchers with accurate, real-time entitlement information from participating publishers’ websites and a seamless pathway to the trusted source of information which works for all subscribing institutions by default. GetFTR can be used on devices both on- and off-campus, from any browser, without the need for additional software, removing technological restrictions that limit the effectiveness of other solutions.

Will there be an impact on my response times as an integrator?

There should be no impact on the response times of content records. However, the GetFTR indicator button can take up to 1-2 seconds to load.

Is GetFTR integrated with existing access solutions such as Kopernio, Google Scholar, Libkey etc?

GetFTR is not currently integrated with these solutions, however, we believe GetFTR can successfully co-exist with these services and provide a base level of access that just works without the need for institution-specific configuration. We’d love to hear your ideas on how these services can benefit from GetFTR. If you’d like to get involved, please register your interest here.

What is Federated Authentication?

Federated authentication, sometimes referred to as ‘Single sign on’, ‘Shibboleth and OpenAthens’ or ‘SAML-based authentication’, is an authentication method in which the user indicates which institution they are from and then uses their institutional credentials to sign in. 

Discovery tools and scholarly platforms can also leverage the work being done by SeamlessAccess.org to ease the user journey through the federated authentication process by introducing a consistent authentication experience across websites.

Do I need to implement Seamless Access or Federated Authentication as an integrator?

No, as an integrator you can use Deferred Authentication rather than SeamlessAccess (RA21) or Federated Authentication. You will need to implement an institutional lookup and selection widget, enabling users to select their institution and you to provide GetFTR with an institution identifier, when making calls to the GetFTR service.

What are the benefits of GetFTR for librarians?

Librarians handle lots of queries (and complaints) from users about getting access to library collections, especially when working off campus. They see users increasingly turn to less trustworthy versions or illicit methods to gain access to the content they need. Coupled with this, librarians face the challenge of having to constantly know how different publishers’ authentication works, and in turn are burdened with the responsibility of educating their users on these various systems and processes. In some cases, they are also tasked with manually entering entitlement data into discovery systems, absorbing time, library budgets and potentially putting their institutions at risk.

GetFTR helps solve these challenges by eliminating the need to enter entitlement data manually, removing the need to continually educate user communities on how to gain access to library content and to understand the numerous ways publishers’ authentication processes work.

Does GetFTR work with library link resolvers?

No, not yet. However, we are actively exploring how this use case could be supported in the future. Discovery services are free to use GetFTR alongside support for link resolvers or other methods of accessing the full text.

What are the benefits of GetFTR for researchers?

Researchers use a variety of search engines, databases, scholarly collaboration networks, discovery platforms, and library portals to find published research relevant to their areas of interest. They feel uncertainty, experience frustration and waste time browsing results and clicking through to publisher websites, not knowing if they will have access to the research. This experience drives many researchers to alternative online sources that may be unreliable, may distribute research illicitly, and may lack useful supporting materials (such as data) to aid them in their work. GetFTR solves this problem.

When viewing content pages or search results on a discovery tool or scholarly collaboration platform, researchers can easily tell which full text their institution has made available to them via the GetFTR indicator. They can then follow the smart links provided by GetFTR to rapidly access that content on publisher websites.

For users who do not have access based upon their institutional affiliation, participating publishers can choose to provide access to an alternative version of the content, which will go beyond the abstract, enabling the user to better understand the nature of the material (e.g. a preprint).

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