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What is SFX?


SFX is used by some publishers to provide links between electronic resources, i.e. between journal citation indexes (e.g. Web of Science, SocIndex) and the full text of the article. It is used when a particular journal article is not available in the database you are using but may link through to another subscribed database where it is.  The SFX icons may look different but provide the same linking facility.  Generally, you will see the following:-  or

By clicking on an SFX link you will see a window listing links to the database(s) where you can access the item you want in electronic full-text, or you can check the Primo Electronic Library for available print copies.

If there is no full text option listed in the SFX menu, generally that means that the University does not subscribe to the article.  Occasionally there may be a technical error with the SFX server, Primo, or the database you are using, that prevents the correct information from being transmitted between resources. Try checking Primo for the journal title and if still unsure please contact our Information Desk staff in the Library for advice.

I have been linked to the journal title and not the article….

You may find occasionally that you are passed to the publisher’s home page rather than directly to the article you want. There are usually 2 reasons why this happens:-

  • The publisher’s site is not set up to “deep link” to the article   OR
  • There was not enough information provided to the SFX record from the citation to make the direct connection

In either case, simply scroll through the table of contents of the journal to identify what you need. Please let library staff know about specific titles or publishers that cause problems.

If you are outside the university network you must check for any information about off campus access – you can do this by clicking the Details tab below the database name in Primo and then scrolling down to view the Access Policy details.

Modified 14/09/2021