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Electronic Resources Help Guide: Persistent Links and DOIs

Persistent Links

Persistent Links

When linking content from a library database, make sure you use a persistent link rather than the url in the address bar.

Persistent Links show up in various places, depending on the database, for instance, in ProQuest the persistent link shows up on the abstract/details of the record:


The persistent link is also known as a document URL, persistent URL, PURL, durable link/URL, or stable link/URL.

Digital object identifiers (DOIs)

DOIs are digital object identifiers. If a database provides a DOI for a full-text article in the item record, you can use it to make a persistent link. Just copy the DOI and append it to this URL:

Some databases that include DOIs are Web of Knowledge and CSA Illumina.

Here is an example:

A screenshot of a DOI in Web of Knowledge

The persistent link for this article would be:

If you're having trouble creating a persistent link for a full-text article, try looking up the DOI at

Permanent URLs

In some databases, the URL in the address bar is a permanent link.  It is difficult to know if a URL is permanent, but here are some helpful clues:

If the words "session" or "temp" appear in the URL, it is likely not permanent:

However, URLs for PDFs are usually permanent and can be treated as persistent links:

Project Muse is an example of a database that provides a permanent URL with its PDFs.

Sometimes, the help section of a database tells you if a URL is permanent.  The best thing you can do is test the link yourself.

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