Skip to Main Content

Persistent Links: Persistent Link FAQs

Bethel University Library Contact Info.

Research Assistance

Check Out / Reserves

Acquisitions / Interlibrary Loan

Additional contact information via:

     Chat / IM

Guide Acknowledgements

Portions of this guide are adapted and used with permission from David Moore, Electronic Services Librarian at University of Alabama Huntsville.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Persistent Link?

Persistent links are URLs provided in many online resources that allow users to link directly and consistently to the online article, document, book, etc. These links are called many different things, depending on the resource--stable link, permalink, durable link, persistent link, permanent link, document link.

Where can I use persistent links?

You can copy and paste them directly into online syllabi, Moodle, an email, etc.

Why should I use a persistent link rather than just upload the article into Moodle?

Legal: The library has paid for subscriptions to full text content that include copyright permisssion IF you link to the content within those databases rather than simply post the text. To download, store and distribute copyrighted materials online (e.g. in Moodle) requires permission of the publisher and/or author. The use of persistent links from our subscribed resources does not require such authorization.

Statistical: There is no way for us to count uses of content uploaded directly into Moodle, but we are able to count uses in database & journal publisher interfaces. If you are uploading PDFs instead of linking into databases, you are helping underrepresent usage for your subject area. Usage data is a very important driver of which resources we subscribe to, and which we cancel.

Why can't I just copy the URL in my browser's address bar?

Web addresses (URLs) that appear in the address bar of your web browser when you search the library's subscription databases usually contain dynamically generated session-based or search-based information that will not work when copied and used at a later time. Owing to this fact, many online databases provide a separate persistent link in each record for an article.

How do I find the persistent links?

Most research databases include a persistent or durable link in the article record. Remember that the terms used and the location of these links in the record vary from one database to another. Use the Finding the  persistent link tab in this guide for detailed information on how to locate persistent links in many of Bethel's subscription databases.

How do I know if a persistent link will work from outside the BU campus network?

In order for a link to an article to work from outside our campus network, it must contain special coding that will allow BU users to access the article using their Bethel Community Account. Follow these steps to determine if your persistent link will work off campus: 

Does the URL or link that you found have the word "ezproxy" somewhere in it?
If yes, the link is ready to be saved or shared.


If no, the link will need to be put into the Link Generator before you save or share it.

Steps for Finding & Using Persistent Links

  1. Verify that our library has subscription access to the publication (journal, newspaper, e-book) from which you'd like to post.

  2. Locate the article.

  3. Find the persistent link within the article record.

  4. Check to see if the persistent link contains Bethel's proxy info that enables off-campus access.

  5. If the link doesn't have the proxy info, add it to the beginning of the URL:

  6. Post your link--Moodle, email, etc.