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Link Directly to Online Articles, Ebooks, & More: Detailed Steps


The following steps take you through finding an article in a database, specifically Academic Search Complete from EBSCOhost. Directions for other databases vary somewhat, so refer to the Database Specific Tips tab for brief guided help in getting direct links from several others.

Step 1

Step 1-Determine Library Holdings

Books: Identify whether the Library has an online subscription to the book by searching Research@UWW. There is not a unified list of all the ebooks the library subscribes to, although many are listed there. If you don't find it there, check individual ebook databases such as Ebrary Academic Complete Collection and the other ebook databases the library subscribes too. 

Articles: Identify whether the Library has an online subscription to the periodical that contains the desired article, a database that provides full text of the article, or print/microform holdings of the periodical issue containing the article. This is the example below.

The quickest way to do this is using the Journals Search, which will locate all the periodicals the library has online and in print. Type in the periodical title and select the search button. The results show a list of periodicals we have, including dates covered and location for each. Links are provided when the the source is online. The links lead either directly to the desired online journal or to a database. In either case you can then browse or search for the article. Details about using some specific databases are listed on the Specific Database Tips tab. You may read more about locating periodicals in the How to Use the Find It and the Journals Search guide.


  1. From the Library homepage click on the Journals tab on the large box
  2. Type in the periodical title. In this example it is Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education.
  3. In case you don't find the one you want follow these suggestions:
    • If there is an ampersand (&) in the title try replacing it with the word "and"
    • If there is a colon (:) in the publication title, try typing only the words before it
    • Omit any initial articles, such as a, an, the, le, etc.
  4. Notes:
    • If the library does subscribe to the periodical, click on its title to see which dates we have. Check the date of the article against the listed dates to see if it is available at any of the listed locations.
    • If the Library does not have the periodical article you need in any format, you may choose to order it via Interlibrary Loan. When it arrives, you can load the PDF into Canvas or D2L.

Step 2

Step 2-Locate Item

If the Library subscribes to what you seek in:

  1. Online formats:
    Click on the provided link. Because what happens at this point varies, examples for several of the major databases are listed on the Specific Database Tips tab. Search or browse for the desired item in the database that has opened. Often, the quickest search is by title phrase (using part of the article title). Some databases, such as in this example, bring up a list of journal volumes and/or issues, which may be browsed by date
  2. Print or microform formats:
    You may use a library scanner to scan an article or chapter to create a PDF and email it to yourself. Due to copyright restrictions, entire books may not be scanned and distributed.

Step 3

Step 3-Copy and Paste URL/link

Often you will come to screen that offers a direct link to the article and perhaps associated HTML coding. Copy and paste this into D2L or a webpage, including HTML coding if needed. In the "Content" section of D2L, use the "Insert a Quick Link" feature to easily insert a working link. You do not need to know or use HTML coding when doing this.


In the above journal there is an article titled "The Quest for the Holy Grail or Hunting the Snark? Bridging the Quality-resources Divide on Effectiveness and Efficiency," which was located in the Academic Search Complete database from EBSCOhost®. This direct link to its record,uid&db=a9h&AN=2043966&site=ehost-live&scope=site will take you there.

On the right side you will see the word "Permalink." Click to get the needed direct URL/link, then copy and paste this into D2L or a webpage. It is important to do this, as the link in your browser's address box is session specific, so it will not work later.

Step 4

Step 4-Add EZProxy Coding

To enable off-campus access for UW-W students, faculty and staff, the library's EZProxy® server address < > must be included at the front of the URL for each article from one of our proprietary databases or ejournals. This will result in a proxy login prompt for off-campus users requesting their Net-ID and password. It will allow them to access the article from off-campus. Depending on where this link is placed, HTML coding may also need to be added. Sometimes, as in this example, the coding is automatically included.


EZProxy® coding:

Is already included:,uid&db=a9h&AN=2043966&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Step 5

Step 5-Shorten URL (required for D2L only)

To make sure the URL will work in D2L you will need to use a URL shortener such as, or similar site


Change this:,uid&db=a9h&AN=2043966&site=ehost-live&scope=site

To this:

Step 6

Step 6-Include Citation

The library recommends including the full article citation to the link for identification of the work. One reason for this is that if the link fails, students will be able to look up the journal themselves using the Journal Search, and from there get to the article you have assigned.


This citation information was presented in the Academic Search Complete database from EBSCOhost®:

The Quest for the Holy Grail or Hunting the Snark? Bridging the quality-resources divide on effectiveness and efficiency. By: Livingstone, George, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Jun99, Vol. 24, Issue 2, p. 249.

You could use it as is or change it into your preferred citation format.

Step 7

Step 7-Add Note

Because few databases allow links directly to the scanned text of an article (PDF), you will probably need to link to the item's record or HTML version of the text. If this happens, you may wish to add a note to your link suggesting that students read the PDF version of the article, and explain how to open the PDF.


After clicking on this link, please click on the PDF Full Text link to read this article.

Step 8

Step 8-Test Link

If possible, test your link from off-campus before the semester begins.

Step 9

Step 9-Help

If you cannot find a direct link, or one that works, please contact a Reference Librarian for assistance at 262-472-1032 or

Video Tutorial

To see a video on locating stable, direct, or permanent links in EbscoHost and ProQuest, please go to this Finding Permalinks in Library Databases tutorial.