Persistent Links in Electronic Resources

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A persistent link is a static URL for a specific article retrieved from a database. Think of a persistent link as the permanent ID for this particular article in this particular database. Other terms for persistent link include “Stable URL” and “Document URL.” Copying and pasting this URL (into Word, or WebCampus, as examples) allows a user to go directly to this specific article by clicking on the link, and not having to re-execute the search. Most of the databases in the FDU Online Library create these persistent links, though some of the smaller databases do not. All EBSCO, ProQuest, and Gale databases, as well as JSTOR, create these persistent links. ScienceDirect and Wiley Interscience use DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) which are very similar to persistent links, but not quite. More on DOIs later.

A persistent link is specific to the particular database where you initially found the article (e.g., CINAHL). Clicking on the link will take you back to the article within CINAHL, even though the same article may be available in another EBSCO database as well. A digital object identifier (DOI) is a more universal identifier. When you click on this link the system will show you all the possible databases which hold this article, even those databases to which the FDU Library does not subscribe. You then need to select which database you wish to go to in order to retrieve the article.

The screen shots found later in this document show where to find these persistent links and DOIs in the various databases.

Perhaps some examples will help:

Example 1: A persistent link from Academic Search Premier (EBSCO):

(Ignore the little "padlock" icon that MediaWiki automatically inserts in the middle of this and other URLs. This should be one continuous URL.)

This URL does, and always will, point to an article entitled “The Art of Brush Calligraphy” in Academic Search Premier. From this Word document, you can click on this link and it will take you directly to this article. If this URL was placed in WebCampus, students could use it to go directly to this article from their course in WebCampus.

Important: It should be noted that this URL also includes our EZproxy “prefix” that allows users to access this article remotely after logging in with their FDU Webmail and ID. EBSCO is currently the only vendor which is set up with this EZproxy “prefix”. All other vendors’ persistent links would need to have this prefix manually added by the user in order to access the article remotely. We are investigating how to automatically add this prefix to other vendors’ databases.

The EZproxy prefix is as follows:

Example 2: A persistent link from InfoTrac One File (Gale):

If the link was copied and pasted exactly as shown here (as it is presented in the article), the article could be accessed from on campus. You would need to add the EZproxy prefix in order to access the article remotely. The edited URL would look like this:

Example 3: A digital object identifier (DOI) from ScienceDirect:


And a DOI from Nature:


Instructions on the ScienceDirect website indicate that to use a DOI, you must first open your browser and go to:

Then enter the DOI in the search box. This should take you to the specific article.

I have not yet found the DOI to work consistently in our environment, but wanted to make you aware of its presence. I will keep you posted on using this format.

Please contact Mary Marks ( if you have questions regarding the use of persistent links.

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