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SCALE - Textbooks

Using Permalinks

Definition:  A permalink is a web address that will consistently point to a specific information source such as an ebook, an article, a record in the catalog, a video, or a database. 

A permalink may also be called a stable link, durable link, persistent link, permanent link or document link, depending on the resource.

How do I find permalinks?
Most research databases include a permalink in the article record.  The terms used and the location of these links in the record vary from one database to another. 

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.

Why would I use a permalink rather than just upload the article into LMS, Google docs, faculty webpages, email or elsewhere?
You may be in violation of copyright law or license restrictions if you post content without appropriate authorization or permission.  Using permalinks is the preferred option.  For more information about copyright law, please see USCs Copyright LibGuide.  Permalinks are also used to help track statistics.  Usage statistics help the library to purchase the right resources for you. 

How do I know if a permalink will work from off campus?
When on campus, access is transparent -- you are being authenticated even if you don't realize it because the IP address is recognized.  When off campus, authentication via a proxy server, allows the resource to recognize and authenticate authorized users.  In order for the library's electronic resources paid subscriptions (ebooks, journals) to work from outside the campus network or off campus, they must contain the library's proxy in the URL or web address.  The user will then be prompted to log in.  

Please contact your library to find out more information on the correct permalink for your institution.    

Certain types of databases, such as open access or password protected databases, do not need to use the library proxy.


San Jose State University has instructions on locating the permalinks in many journals and databases.


Information on permalinks derived from San Jose States Permalink page.

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