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Faculty Tools: Linking to Library Resources

Online Resources for Citation and Journal Analysis and for Identifying Publishing Opportunities and Funding

Creating Links to Library Online Materials for Class Readings

It is fairly easy to create a stable link (often called a PURL, Persistent URL, or durable link) for articles, entries, and chapters found in Sawyer Library databases. That said, how databases present this function varies across platforms. Please see specific vendors' details at the guide linked below.

Creating Persistent URLs (PURLs)

Creating Persistent URLs or (PURLS)

Some (but not all) databases provide a persistent link option within their platform. See the full PURL guide for specific database instructions. If the database you are using does not provide a persistent link option, you will need to insert the following proxy link in front of the resource url:

Example from an ArtStor article:

More Information About Persistent URLS

What are persistent URLs (links)?

A persistent URL (or persistent link) is a web address that generally does not change over time. Persistent links are often used to link to articles, search results, or e-book chapters in the online library databases.



Why do we need persistent links?

To ensure that the link will work later.

Creating a persistent link ensures that the link will work when you try to use it later.

When you do a search in a database, the database creates a link to the article on the fly. This means that the link for that article could change every time you try to access it. You can imagine the frustration students feel when they're given a link and told to read the corresponding article before the next class, only to find that the link is broken.

 To ensure that the link will be accessible from off campus.

This guide will also tell you how to add a piece of code to the URL, enabling Suffolk faculty and students to access the article/item from off campus by logging in with a mySuffolk username and password.



What can I do with them?

Depending on the catalog or database, you can create links to:

  • listings for books, e-books, or DVDs owned by Suffolk libraries
  • individual articles
  • all available contents of a journal
  • search results
  • specific chapters/sections in e-books

    You can then add the links to:

  • Email
  • Blackboard courses
  • Collaborate
  • Web pages
  • Your Internet Favorites (bookmarks) list

Once the link is created, simply click on it or paste it into your browser to read the article. If you are on campus, the link should automatically open the designated article, results list, or chapter. From off campus, you must first log in with a mySuffok userID and password. Those who are not current students, faculty, or staff will not be able to access the information from off campus.


How do I create them?

See the tabs at the top of this page for step-by-step instructions for creating PURLs for the library catalog and some of our most popular databases. The instructions vary depending on the database you're using (Note: not all databases support the use of persistent links). They key is to find the persistent link for the information you want, then combine it with a formula that will enable you to access it from off-campus.


Copyright & Licensing Considerations

  1. Remember: Licensing agreements restrict off campus access to most of the online databases to Suffolk students, faculty, and staff. This is why a login is required.
  2. When sharing/posting a persistent link, you should include complete citation information with the link. This may include the title, author, publication title, volume & issue number (if applicable), year, page numbers, the database in which you found the information, and the date on which you accessed it. Not only does this comply with copyright requirements, but it also provides the information you'll need to track down the article should a link become inaccessible.


Librarian Contact

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Sarah Griffis
Mildred F. Sawyer Library
73 Tremont St.
Boston, MA
617 573 8532