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Persistent Links: Getting Started

Use this guide to learn about how to link to articles and other content in UST Libraries subscription databases


  • Persistent  links, also known as permalinks, permanent linksdurable URLs, direct URLsdurls, or purls, are permanent links to individual articles or e-books that can then be shared via email, posted on a web page, or placed on a course site in Canvas.
  • Individual databases provide their persistent links in different ways or may not provide them at all. 
  • Please note that in rare cases, some e-resources may only allow a limited number of simultaneous users. Limited simultaneous user notes are attached to each resource either in the description of the resource or in the link from LibrarySearch. If you want to use a resource for class that has limited simultaneous users, or if you find using one is causing problems, please contact a librarian
  • For further questions ask a librarian.

Proxy Me!!

In order for a persistent link to work for off-campus users, the link must include the prefix or the embedded code string

In some cases the code string will already be part of the persistent link, but for others you will have to add it. It is up to you to identify whether or not the code string is already there. Note for Factiva: all Factiva “share” links must be run through this Proxy Me widget in order to work.

Example of a persistent link that already includes the code:

Example of a persistent link that needs to have the Ezproxy code added:

JavaScript not enabled or Proxy Me widget failed to load.

Labels to look for

Databases present persistent links to articles under many different labels, so look for any language that indicates permanance. Here are some common labels:

  • Persistent link/Permanent link/Permalink, e.g.     or 
  • Embed link, e.g. 
  • Direct link
  • Durable link
  • Copy link, e.g. 
  • Cite, e.g.    or 
  • Bookmark/Infomark, e.g.  , or 

Once you locate the persistent link you will be able to copy it to paste it into your email, web page, or course site. You may need to alter it slightly, however, to make it accessible for off-campus users. See PROXY ME for instructions on how to do this.

Each database has its own HELP pages.  These pages have database-specific instructions for creating PURLs.


When a database provides a PDF (Portable Document Format) of an article, the PDF URL itself is a persistent link. Once you open the PDF, copy the URL in the browser's address bar and treat it like you would a persistent link.  You will have to make sure the code string for off-campus users is embedded in the URL to make it available off-campus.  If it's not there, review above for how to add it.



Increasingly full-text content providers are adding DOIs, or digital object identifiers, - a unique code applied to a single article.  DOIs provide an easiest and surest way of creating durable links. 

If a DOI is present,

Copy the DOI, (i.e. 10.1111/j.1467-8527.2008.00416.x) 

Add it to the end of the following string:

Now the whole DOI looks like this

By adding the https-edu string to the beginning of the DOI, you guarantee off-campus access to the article.