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Linking to Library Resources: Introduction

Persistent links enable users to provide links to key information resources from library databases to colleagues and students in reading lists, email messages, online course outlines, and VinUni Library course pages.

The URL for a full-text article retrieved from a University Libraries licensed database is either dynamic or persistent.

Dynamic URLs are created when you do a search that brings you to a full-text article. A dynamic URL is temporary and usually doesn't work when copied and tried again. If you provide the URL to others within LMS (Canvas) or by email, for example, they usually can't access the information.

A persistent or durable URL (also called PURL, stable URL, persistent link, or durable link) is an internet address that remains constant. Many University Libraries licensed subscription databases provide PURLs which can be inserted into LMS (Canvas) and web pages so students can link directly to full-text articles. Using PURLs rather than storing articles in LMS(Canvas) or on a web site avoids copyright compliance issues.

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is an unique alphanumeric string assigned to digital objects and will not change over time.

Persistent links should remain consistent as long as the library maintains a subscription to the database. However, some persistent links have expiration dates, and vendors occasionally remove content without notifying the library, so it is important to test your persistent links regularly and update as needed.

To ensure that you will always be able to find your online materials again, and to conform to copyright restrictions, include the article citation as noted in the Copyright Information.

In order for persistent links to work from off-campus, the Library's proxy server prefix must be added to the beginning of the persistent link provided by the database. Please refer to the Off-Campus Access Information (Proxy) below.

Persistent links are links that remain constant. They are provided by many online library databases to ensure consistent access to full-text online articles, electronic books, etc. Persistent links to resources will remain active as long as the item is included in the database, or as long as the library maintains a subscription to the database.

Please refer to the Finding Persistent Links section of this guide.
Other names for persistent links include: permalink, document link, copy link, article stable URL, and bookmark.

 Copying and pasting links directly from the address bar on a webpage can be problematic.  Often these links are temporary and will not link back to the original source.  Using a permalink makes getting back to an article much easier.  Permalinks can be added to your Canvas site, webpage, library electronic reserves, email  or any other place you use a URL. 

Linking directly to articles in Library subscribed e-resources has the advantages of being copyright compliant and cost effective. Using permalinks to connect readers to articles also creates usage statistics that the Library examines when deciding whether or not to continue a subscription.  Reading a PDF that was loaded onto a site does not create usage statistics.  Thus, a journal that should be garnering high usage statistics will end up showing very little usage.

Be aware of copyright restrictions when linking to library materials, or electronic resources licensed by the library.

1. All library resources have been licensed by the college. Most content is permissible for use in classrooms, however it is best to check the Copyright or Terms of Use information included on the database website. You may also contact Library staff with any questions.

2. Persistent links to library resources can only be given to VinUni faculty, students and staff.

Off-Campus Access Proxy

Off-Campus Access Proxy

  1. To enable access from off-campus locations, you will need to add the following prefix to the persistent link:


        2.   Should the database's permalink contain the prefix within it, it will work off-campus without adding the necessary prefix.

For example

Note! If you are creating a link via remote access outside your university network, you do not have to add the proxy server address - it will automatically be included in the URL.

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