This paper describes the OpenURL Framework, both the original ‘de facto’ standard version 0.1, and the NISO standard Z39.88-2004, ‘The OpenURL Framework for Context-Sensitive Services’. The explanation is illustrated by examples from Zetoc, a journal article and conference paper current awareness service available in the UK. Various emerging novel uses of the OpenURL Framework are described. Evaluation studies indicate positive reader appreciation of OpenURL technology providing direct access to discovered articles.