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4) Find Journal Articles: Persistent Link FAQs

A University of Lethbridge Library guide to finding journal articles.

Persistent Links - FAQs

What is a persistent link?

Have you ever saved a link to a full-text article or another electronic resource only to find that it doesn’t work hours or days later? This is because it may only be a temporary link, not a persistent or permanent link.


Many subscription databases and publishers now offer links that allow you to save the Internet addresses or URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) of full-text articles or other electronic materials as persistent links. 

Other terms used for persistent links are permanent links, stable links, durable links, PURLs (Persistent Universal Resources Locators), Jumpstart and DOIs.

What is a DOI?

Some databases assign a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) to journal articles. DOIs are permanent addresses given to objects of intellectual property such as electronic journal articles. They are the most reliable type of persistent link as they will not change over time. [More info]

Where can I use a persistent link?

Persistent links can be used in Moodle and in other locations such as webpages, email, Word documents and PowerPoint slides. 

Will persistent links always be reliable?

Persistent links should require little or no maintenance, however, some persistent links have expiration dates; therefore 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 and the database where the article is located so that you can find the article even if the link expires. The complete citation information should include: author, title, publication, volume and issue number (if applicable), copyright year and page numbers.

Are there restrictions on using persistent links?

Documents integrated into systems such as Moodle and web documents are subject to copyright. Incorporating permanent links must respect Library licensing agreements and conditions of use. Use of persistent links is restricted to currently enrolled U of L students, faculty and staff.  

Will persistent links work from off-campus?

In order for U of L students, faculty and staff to view licensed materials from off campus, they must be connected to the University Library network. All users will have to provide a University of Lethbridge username and password.

Are persistent links available for every database?

Not all databases offer persistent links. For those databases that do, the method of creating them may vary.

If you know the vendor or provider for a particular database, click on the relevant vendor in this list, look for the words "Persistent Links" and click on the link "Instructions for creation".

If you don't know the vendor or provider for a particular database, go to the Databases by Title list, scroll down to find the relevant database, click on [More], look for the words "Persistent Links" and click on the link "Instructions for creation".

How do I edit a URL to get through the proxy server?

If a URL is downloaded that won't let you back through the proxy server, you can edit it so it will automatically open.

For example: if is what gets downloaded, it is missing the proxy information so you need to edit it to become:  the important piece being the

If this step doesn't work, try the Library's EZProxy Link Generator.


If you need help creating persistent links, please contact us via Ask Us or contact your subject librarian.

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