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Link Directly to Online Articles, Ebooks, & More: Home


Direct Links

What is this?

When linking to online materials, such as articles and ebooks, you will most often need to find and use a direct link. This is because the link shown in the browser's address bar usually doesn't work after a few minutes, as it is a temporary, session specific link. These direct links are also called durable, permanent, persistent, or stable links. Sometimes the database provides a direct, stable link, and other times you need to create one. 

Why does it matter?

You will want to provide students with direct links to articles in electronic journals, magazines, and newspapers, and online books to which the Libraries subscribe. Your students can click on it an unlimited number of times to access the content. Everyone can use it and it does not expire, as long as the Library continues to pay for the subscription. The Library provides access to over 10,000 eperiodicals and 113,000 ebooks, many through online database systems such as EBSCOhost® and ProQuest®.

Faculty and staff may also provide direct links to materials listed in Research@UWW and to Research@UWW searches. It is best to link to online articles and books in their "native" database; however, for instances when this is not possible providing a link to the record in Research@UWW is the next best option. There is no limit to the number of times one can link to a record in Research@UWW.

Why can't I just download the PDF and put that in Canvas? 

Technically, you can download the PDF of a resource and upload it to Canvas. But the Library does not recommend that method for one major reason: we need to see accurate usage statistics to make purchasing and renewal decisions for subscriptions. If you download a resource and supply it to your 20-student class, that appears as 1 use in our usage statistics. If you provide the link and all 20 students go to view it, that appears as 20 uses -- a much more accurate portrayal of what is being used in your classes. 

The instructions given on the Detailed Steps page are are very thorough, so if you are familiar with using direct links, you may wish to jump to the Database Specific Tips page.

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