SFX is a link resolver that helps you connect from our online tools (like the Barton catalog or literature databases) to the full text of items which are often in a different location online (like e-books and journal articles). The letters “SFX” used to stand for “special effects,” but now SFX is just the product’s name.
SFX sometimes also links you to other services, such as requesting PDFs from our Library Storage Annex or via Interlibrary Borrowing, if MIT doesn’t own the full text.
You can tell that the SFX service is available when you see special SFX buttons that look like this:
More about SFX
SFX buttons will appear for e-resources licensed for the MIT community.
- Anyone using a computer on the MIT campus will be able to access most resources through the SFX button.
- MIT community members have off-campus access using Touchstone.
There is overlap among our electronic journal collections and databases, so sometimes you will find that the full text is available from more than one source.
A full text link in SFX means that full text is available, but you may have to follow a few extra links to get to it. SFX will try to get you as close as it can to the full text of the article. Often, because of the structure of the journal publisher’s web site, SFX can’t link directly to the full text. Sometimes the best SFX can do is to take you to the table of contents or the journal’s home page, and you’ll have to navigate the publisher’s site to get to the full text.
The SFX option for checking availability in Barton: the MIT Libraries’ catalog
is a convenient feature that works most of the time, but it isn’t 100% accurate. Think of SFX as a convenient shortcut most of the time, but if it turns up no results, you should try searching Barton yourself. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, Ask Us!
If the article you need is a very recent article from a journal, it’s possible the article has not been loaded on the journal publisher’s web site, so SFX cannot retrieve it. Unfortunately, you have to wait for the publisher to add it to their site. Another problem could be that our SFX links are not functioning properly and need to be updated. Ask Us!
about any problems.
The OpenURL resolver address is: “http://owens.mit.edu/sfx_local/” version 0.1.
If you have more questions about SFX, Ask Us!