Linking to full-text articles and e-books

Rather than posting individual documents to the Learning Management System (LMS), or emailing them to students, you are encouraged to use links to those documents. This is always the safer route to prevent violation of copyright.


Linking to electronic books


  • Step 1: Access an electronic book in the Library Catalogue.
  • Step 2: Under the item’s "Details,” locate the "Permalink" URL.
  • Step 3: Copy the "Permalink" URL. This provides a permanent link to the record in the Library Catalogue, from which users may connect to the full-text e-book.

Note: Due to licensing limitations, vendors may restrict the number of concurrent users of an e-book at a given time.


Linking to journal articles


  • Step 1: Find the full-text article in electronic format.
  • Step 2: Identify the available persistent link that you would like to use (DOI, OpenURL, Persistent Links).
  • Step 3: Paste, email or embed your link.


Choosing a persistent link

Types of persistent links to full-text articles include: (1) Digital Object Identifiers (DOI), (2) OpenURLs, and (3) Other persistent links offered by database vendors.

Both DOI and OpenURL are widely adopted standards which strive to better identify digital objects, and to give persistent access to these objects independently of the platform on which they are found, and regardless of future location or ownership changes.


(1) Finding a digital object identifier (DOI)

DOIs are most commonly found in scientific literature and are less likely to appear in articles published prior to the early 2000s. There are two ways to determine whether your article has been assigned a DOI:

  • A DOI is displayed with the article information.

    If a DOI URL is not already provided, create one by adding the Library proxy prefix ( and DOI prefix ( in front of the DOI.

    • Ex.:
  • When no DOI is displayed, search the citation information in Crossref to see if the article has been assigned one. Once you have located an article’s DOI, create a usable link by following the instructions above.


(2) Finding an OpenURL

The OpenURL opens the SFX Menu window, showing you the sources through which the article is Available Online.

  1. Identify the OpenURL through two ways:
    • If you have located your article through the Library Catalogue, click “Online Access” and “Open in a new window.”
    • If accessing an article through another database, click the Afficher/GetIt icon.
      SFX Button
  2. Copy the URL of the SFX Menu window or right-click the page with your mouse and select Properties (in Internet Explorer) or View Page Info (in Mozilla Firefox).

    Note: Not all publications permit access from the OpenURL directly to the article. Instead they may link solely to the main publication page, requiring the user to select the issue and subsequently the article. For this reason, it is important to accompany an OpenURL with full citation information.


(3) Finding other persistent links

Many, but not all, databases offer a stable way to link back to a specific article. Unfortunately, there is little or no consistency between how one vendor presents a persistent link from another vendor.

  1. Identify the persistent link. A label such as "Permanent link to this record", "Stable URL", "Durable link", or "Linking options for this record" would likely refer to a persistent link.

    Note: In general, the URL that appears in the address box of your browser is not a persistent link; this is a dynamically generated URL that is specific to your search session.

  2. Copy the persistent link. To ensure off-campus access for users, include the proxy prefix ( prior to the article URL.
    • Ex.:


If you have any difficulty with the above instructions, please contact your Subject Librarian.

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