The improvement of access to scholarly literature caused by electronic journal publishing quickly led to the wish for seamless linking to referenced articles. This article looks at the evolution of linking technologies with a particular focus on OpenURL, now a NISO standard. The implications for stakeholders in the supply chain are explored, including publishers, intermediaries, libraries and readers. The benefits, expectations and business drivers are examined. The article also highlights some novel, existing and potential future, uses, including increased user-empowerment and possibilities beyond referencing traditional bibliographic material.