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Caltech Connect FAQ

What is "Caltech Connect"?

"Caltech Connect" allows users to click on a bibliographic citation in a database, and view a list of services available for that article, which may include its online full-text version, among other resources. For more technical information, see our executive summary.

Who can use "Caltech Connect"?

Current Caltech Faculty, Staff, and Students; and JPL Staff.

JPL Staff

While JPL has access to Web of Science, Caltech is the licensee, and the two organizations negotiate licensing agreements for online journals separately. This means that the options offered to Web of Science users will reflect the campus's full-text options, including some that may not be available to JPL Staff. The reverse is also true. For instance, the JPL Library has negotiated a license for Elsevier Science Direct, but the Caltech Library has not, and that service will not be reflected in the "Caltech Connect" window’s options.

Why don't I see any buttons?

The most likely cause is that you have JavaScript disabled in your browser. If it's turned off, the buttons will not appear. Re-enable JavaScript and everything should be fine.

Why didn't I get a full-text link for my article?

There are two likely reasons: (1) there is no full-text version available (either for that journal or for specific [usually older] volumes of it, or (2) the Caltech Library does not have a license for access to full-text for that journal. In most cases, we have to pay extra for full-text access, and some publishers are charging more than we think is appropriate.

Why are there two options for full-text for some journals?

Normally, we subscribe to full-text access from the publisher, and that’s the only link you’ll find. However, some publishers have signed contracts with intermediary full-text providers, and that’s the access we offer. When both cases apply, you’ll find that you have both options for access. If one of these services happens to be down when you’re working, the other service is likely to be available.

I clicked on "Get full-text", and it appears that "Caltech Connect" has all the information that's needed, but I only got to the journal's home page (or the table of contents for the journal issue, or the abstract). Why?

"Caltech Connect" will get you as close to the full-text as it can, given the structure of the publisher's site and how predictable the "link-to" syntax for the resource is. Sometimes you'll go straight to the full-text; sometimes the best "Caltech Connect" 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 yourself after that to get to the full-text. Essentially, a full-text link in "Caltech Connect" means that full-text is available -- but you may have to do some of the work of getting to it yourself.

Why do I get only the "Go to journal webpage" option for some titles?

We offer that option in case there is no full-text licensed by the Caltech Library. A table of contents or abstract there may satisfy your needs, or you may be able to purchase full-text using a credit card at that site.

Why did I get no hits when I clicked on "Check holdings"?

The Caltech Library does not subscribe to all the titles indexed in Web of Science. If you find that we don't have the journal you want, you can go to the "Caltech Connect" window and select “Request delivery via DocuServe”, which will generate an DocuServe request form for you to complete.

When I go back to make a second selection from the "Caltech Connect" window, nothing seems to happen. What gives?

This problem is limited to Internet Explorer. When you first click on an option in the "Caltech Connect" window, IE opens a secondary browser window on top of your open windows. However, when you make another selection, that secondary browser window does not get promoted to the top again.

Can I request several items at once via DocuServe when I'm using the "Caltech Connect" window?

No. "Caltech Connect" works on one record at a time. You need to continue to use the Marked Records function in Web of Science for multiple records.

What do I do when I get a "bad URL", an "Error 404", or some other "not found" message?

If the article you need is a recent article from a journal published by Springer Verlag, it's possible that it has not yet been loaded at their website, and "Caltech Connect" is constructing a URL for the article that does not yet exist. (For about 10% of Springer journals, we've found that ISI gets the articles indexed before Springer gets the issues up on their website.) For this, there is nothing we can do. Just keep checking back until the article is there.

If it's not a Springer journal, a number of other problems may have interfered. "Caltech Connect" is a work in progress. Links are generated on the fly according to algorithms that represent our best knowledge of how to link to the resources in question. Sometimes the links may be wrong, or they may be out-of-date because a publisher has made changes to its site. We'd like to know about any problems you encounter so that we can correct them. Please use the "Send feedback to the Caltech Library " link in the "Caltech Connect" window to report these problems.

Why, when I do a follow-up search using one of the Web of Science options in the "Caltech Connect" window, does "Caltech Connect" search all of three databases, and not just the one(s) in which I originally did my search?

Unfortunately, there is no way to communicate your original database selection to "Caltech Connect" when it does the follow-up search. So you have two possible courses of action:

Why do I sometimes get a Web of Science "General Search Results--Full Record" screen when I click on a title, instead of an "Caltech Connect" window?

You probably clicked on the hot-linked title, rather than Caltech Connect. If you do this, there’s another Caltech Connect on the Full Record screen, too.

Why are there multiple windows?

When you click on Caltech Connect, an "Caltech Connect" window is generated, listing all the services available for that article. When you select one of those services, a third window is generated, and it remains the window in which all activities generated from the "Caltech Connect" window take place. Unless the Target service also spawns additional windows, there will only be three windows open for any article you’re looking at.

What does the address "about:blank" mean?

This is another Internet Explorer quirk. When you select a service that requires "Caltech Connect" to re-search the Web of Science databases, that address is displayed while the search is taking place. Once the results are displayed, the address (which is meaningless) goes away.

Why are there links to PubMed? It's not a full-text service.

In addition to being an indexing and abstracting service, PubMed is unique in that it provides access and links to the integrated molecular biology databases maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). These databases contain DNA and protein sequences, genome mapping data, and 3-D protein structures, aligned sequences from populations, and the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM).

Other information resources which provide added value other than full-text may be included in the future if we believe our campus community will want to see and use them.

Why does the number of options in the "Caltech Connect" window vary?

When you click on Caltech Connect, the system runs through Caltech's "Caltech Connect" database to see what services are available for the volume of the journal in which you found the article. What displays, then, are only those services which are available for that volume of that title. We try not to offer you service options that aren't available.