Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Mystery Explained: The Cookie Problem with Link Resolvers

A long standing issue we've had with our link resolvers (SFX, and now 360 Link, do the same thing) is the situation where the 1-Click banner displays but instead of the article appearing below you get a message about settting cookies and following the login link in the error message doesn't resolve the issue. A recent question on the Summon Users discussion list provide an explanation of what is happening.

Apparently some publishers (Wiley, Springer and Lexis for example) have a setting in their web publishing systems that does not allow a cookie to be set if their page is called as part of a frameset. The 1-Click banner is a frameset calling the publisher's page. Technically it's an issue with the P3P header setting. P3P = Platform for Privacy Preferences. The consensus appears to be that IE and Safari are affected.

If you are ever confronted with this situation simply click on the 'Article not displaying? Completely lost? Need help?' link which will display the Find It menu showing all sources of full text. then click on 'Show Article' for your publisher of choice, displaying the full text without frames. Oddly enough once you've done this 1-Click works for all other articles from problem publishers for the duration of your session.

The long term solution is for problem publishers to change their settings. Many institutions and Serials Solutions itself have lobbied publishers to do this, so far with little success.

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