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PubMed Outside Tool

Setting Up PubMed Outside Tool

Any libraries using the National Library of Medicine (NLM) LinkOut via Submission Utility or LinkOut Local to connect users with their subscribed full text journal content, will need to migrate to Outside Tool (which will be known as Library LinkOut going forward).  Check the list of Outside Tool institutions if you aren't sure which version you are currently using. The NLM is consolidating its programs into a single service. If you aren't linking users to your library resources through PubMed records, this might be a good time to consider adding that service.


After the Set-Up

Once the link has been set up by NLM, they will send you a special URL to use for PubMed along with account information and instructions for maintaining your Outside Tool and how to subscribe to the library-linkout announcement mailing list. 

Create a button or link to the special PubMed URL from your library website. Replace your current PubMed links (in your catalog, on subject pages, etc.) with this URL and send a general announcement so that other departments in your institution can update their websites and personal computers. Users can then activate your Tool in two ways, by accessing PubMed through the URL or by using My NCBI. 

When a user enters PubMed through a special URL, a “cookie” is placed in the workstation. This cookie instructs PubMed to display your Outside Tool icons. To use Outside Tool, the workstation must be able to accept cookies. The cookie will expire after 8 hours of inactivity. To reactivate your icons, the user must enter PubMed through the special URL again.


Contact NLM Customer Support at with any questions. Please include your Username/Name Abbr in all future correspondence about your Outside Tool service.