In Stacks, administrators have the option to configure an Outbound search feature. This feature enables end-users to conduct searches directly from the main search bar and view the search results outside of Stacks. It is particularly useful for catalogs or services that do not currently have an integration to display search results within the Stacks user interface.
By setting up Outbound searches, administrators can expand the search capabilities of Stacks by allowing users to search for content in various catalogs or services beyond the scope of Stacks. This provides a seamless experience for users, giving them access to a broader range of search results while still utilizing the main search bar in Stacks.
Deconstruct a URL
When configuring an outbound search, you will need to deconstruct the URL so the parameters of can be properly entered into Stacks. For this example we'll use thee search results URL from a Google Scholar search using the search term "engineering" below. Note: Parameters are separated by the ampersand (&) symbol.
- Identify the Base URL
The base URL is the protocol and domain name of the external catalog, for this example the base URL is: https://scholar.google.com/
- Identify the Search Parameters
The search parameters are the components of the URL that are directly before your search keyword(s), but exclude the domain. For this example, the search parameters would be: scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=
- Identify Extra Parameters
The extra parameters are shown in the portion of the URL directly after the search results, in this example the extra parameters are: btnG=
- Identify any Fragments
Fragments are what follow the a hashtag (#) in the URL. In this particular example, there are no fragments.
This is just a single example that explains how to deconstruct the URL. Some catalogs may include URLs that are rearranged which may take some time to get right. During the trial / implementation phase, please ask your Implementation Project Manager for assistance with deconstructing URLs or contact EBSCO support.
Configure a Custom Outbound Search
After deconstructing the Search results URL from the external catalog, the components will need to be configured in the Outbound Search dashboard page following the instructions below.
- Navigate to the Outbound Search dashboard
(Main Dashboard > Integrations > Outbound Search)
- From the Type drop-down list, select Custom.
- Following the steps to deconstruct the URL, take the components and complete the fields in the Add New Outbound Search from as required. There may be scenarios where you are not including extra parameters or fragments.
- Click the Save button to apply your changes