SilverLinker and Electronic Reference Library Release 4 Breakthrough technology from SilverPlatter Information

Reiner Klimesch

SilverLinker is SilverPlatter's solution for the integration of bibliographic references and the corresponding full-content articles, wherever they exist. SilverLinker enables direct access from SilverPlatter's bibliographic citation databases to thousands of Internet-available electronic journals and the full text of hundreds of thousands of articles. And SilverLinker also facilitates access to full text available via local holdings and/or document delivery suppliers.

How Does It Work?

SilverLinker uses release 4.0 of SilverPlatter's client/server ERL (Electronic Reference Library) technology. Using WebSPIRS 4.0, a gateway and client for accessing databases via Netscape, Microsoft Internet Explorer and other WWW browsers, you can simultaneously search multiple SilverPlatter bibliographic databases. Once your search is completed and you have defined the set of results best matching your search criteria, you are presented with the following access choices:

  • navigate directly to the precise point within the electronic journal and display the article cited in the bibliographic database;
  • retrieve the library holdings information contained in the library holdings message;
  • link to a Web-compatible OPAC to dynamically check holdings;
  • order the document via a preferred document delivery supplier.

At the heart of ERL and SilverLinker is knowledge navigation: enabling end users to access authoritative reference information across any network, from any location, and to full content where ever it may be located. ERL 4 consolidates SilverPlatter's existing technology but also serves as the platform for moving SilverPlatter into a new era where the CD-ROM becomes less important and Internet/Intranet tools become the focus. With a focus on the Web it is not surprising that we offer a new, significantly enhanced search and retrieval client for the Web, WebSPIRS, which also serves as the vehicle for our new current awareness services. ERL 4 includes enhanced functionality for existing products and introduces new products such as WebAdmin, a web-based administration tool and the Holdings Conversion utility for integrating static holdings.

The SilverLinker Database

For access to publishers' electronic journals online, SilverLinker is available as a link database. The SilverLinker database is a normal ERL database filled with links, which integrates with existing ERL bibliographic databases. It is very easy to install, and behaves as any other SilverPlatter database. SilverLinker is currently available as a single, multi-disciplinary link database. In the future, we may offer subject-specific link databases.
Each link consists of an article level URL for the publisher's Internet site, and appears in the bibliographic database citation as a button. All you need to do to read the article is click on that button. We currently offer some 300,000 links to more than1600 unique journals, from 60 SilverPlatter databases (see our Website at for further information).
SilverLinker enables access to a variety of publisher sites. We are currently negotiating with all of the world's largest scientific publishers. To date we offer links to Academic Press (IDEAL), Springer-Verlag (LINK), SwetsNet, John Hopkins University's Project Muse, Kluwer Academic Publisher, de Gruyter, NRC Research Press and Catchword. Visit our web site for more information.
To use the SilverLinker database, you need to have ERL 4 installed on a network, or access an ERL server through an Internet subscription. In addition, you must use WebSPIRS as your search client. Navigation is extremely simple with the WebSPIRS interface– all the user needs on his desktop is a standard Web-browser that supports Javascript – WebSPIRS itself can be installed on a central server.

Web Links to your OPAC

If your library has a web-compatible OPAC, you can also link directly to detailed holdings records in your library's OPAC. Our solution integrates with all major library systems. To date, we have demonstrated working links to Innopac, Aleph, Dobis/Libis, Amicus, PICA, Libris, BibSys, Virtua, and Talis. Links have also been made to other proprietary systems such as the CatBib Union list of s erials in Portugal.

…But we have not forgotten your library's Static Holdings

You may want to use our Static Holdings Solution (using HCU/Holdings Conversion Utility), if you already have a form of automated serial holdings: i.e. a sophisticated serials management system, with data held in MARC/ASCI, or with data readily available from subscription agents. Using HCU to convert these static holdings, you can display holdings messages in all of SilverPlatter's ISSN-based bibliographic databases.

Links to Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan

If the article is not available on the Internet or in your library, you are given the option of ordering it from a preferred document delivery supplier. One click on the document delivery button will link you directly to an order form from the supplier.

The Power of ERL Technology

Building on the strengths of SilverPlatter's ERL (Electronic Reference Library) Technology, SilverLinker is an effortless move to the full-text environment for librarians who are investing in electronic resources.

So What are the Benefits to You as an Enduser?

  • Complete Desktop Access
    You can search your favorite SilverPlatter databases and link from bibliographic records directly to full-text articles, your library's holdings, and document delivery. Researchers can build a bibliography and read the articles, right at their desks.
  • Real Time Access
    No more spending hours in the stacks or searching microfiche to find the article you need. The SilverLinker database allows researchers to link from a bibliographic record to the full content of articles hosted at publishers' web sites in real time. With a single, consolidated search, you can view the bibliographic reference and link to its full text. You'll be linked right to the article itself, not just the journal or its table of contents. Or simply click to find out if your library has the journal you want, or to have the document delivered.
  • Index to the World
    SilverPlatter's vast selection of over 250 multi-disciplinary databases are an index to the world's literature and provide the best gateway to every kind of full text.
  • Remote Access and Local Control
    SilverLinker is designed to combine the ease-of-use, control and integration of your local systems with direct access to remote information. You can control access rights for end-users without restraining desktop functionality.
  • Unlimited Growth
    SilverLinker provides access, via scores of bibliographic databases, to thousands of online journals hosted on dozens of remote systems! You will also be able to link to online journals hosted at your location in Release 2, coming later this year. As the number of online journals continues to grow, so do your full text links.
  • Cost-Effective
    SilverLinker products and services provide cost-effective, value-added solutions which do not require duplicate subscription fees or limit you to particular journal titles. You choose the titles and purchasing method that works best for your organization.
  • Time-Saving
    No need to locate and maintain URLs for the enormous variety of publisher host systems. We provide links to full-text articles that are dynamically created and displayed. These links are updated each time you search.
  • Familiar Interface
    Users are supported with constant enhancements to the SPIRS interface with its powerful functionality and customizable tools.
  • Price and Delivery
    The SilverLinker database is available for a special introductory price of $1000 through the end of May 1999. The price includes a site license for unlimited simultaneous use.

The SilverLinker Database is available with weekly Internet updates (ftp) using QUIKdata, or alternatively with monthly updates on CD.
Please check our Web-site at for current information, including a Guided Tour that will quickly teach you the essentials of SilverLinker!


With ERL and SilverLinker, you can offer true knowledge navigation. There is freedom to:

  • Do cross-database searching
  • Choose only those journals the users need
  • Access online journals on remote or local hosts
  • Link seamlessly from a bibliographic record to the full text article.

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