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Subject Librarians - Library, Museums and Press



A permalink is a permanent link, stable URL or web address that will consistently point to a specific online information resource such as an article, book chapter, e-book, or other online resource.  It is less susceptible to link rot and easily allows a reader to go directly to a particular resource (e.g., article) rather than starting at a homepage (e.g., of a journal) and then attempting to find a specific article.  Permalinks are especially useful for sharing electronic articles and books or for citing your sources

Why bother with a permalink?  Can't I just use the URL from the address bar or load a PDF directly onto my site? 

Copying and pasting links directly from the address bar on a webpage can be problematic.  Often these links are temporary and will not link back to the original source.  Using a permalink makes getting back to an article much easier.  Permalinks can be added to your Canvas site, webpage, library electronic reserves, email  or any other place you use a URL. 

Linking directly to articles in Library subscribed e-resources has the advantages of being copyright compliant and cost effective. Using permalinks to connect readers to articles also creates usage statistics that the Library examines when deciding whether or not to continue a subscription.  Reading a PDF that was loaded onto a site does not create usage statistics.  Thus, a journal that should be garnering high usage statistics will end up showing very little usage.

How do I find/create a permalink? 

Most University of Delaware databases include a permalink in the article record.  Depending upon the resource being used, permalinks may also be called a DOI (direct object identifier), a stable, durable, persistent, permanent or document link or URL, a bookmark or simply, link.

To ensure off campus access: 

Licensing restrictions require the library to ensure that only current University of Delaware students and staff can access our subscribed e-resources from off campus.  To comply with this restriction, the library uses a proxy prefix and an EZproxy server to authenticate off-campus users.  The library's proxy prefix must be added to a permalink in order for off-campus access to work.  A proxy prefix is a string of text in front of a URL that lets the EZproxy server know that you want to log in through the Library's subscription.  After clicking on a URL that includes the proxy prefix you will be asked to login using your UDelNet ID and password before accessing the resource. The library's proxy prefix looks like this and is usually at the front of a URL:  The most important thing to remember is that in order for the library’s licensed resources to work off-campus, URLs must contain the proxy prefix.

Is there any easy way to do this?? 

Yes!  Once you have identified the permalink to a UD  e-resource that you wish to include on your site, use the EZproxy URL Link Creator to create a UD authenticated permalink.  This will add the proxy prefix to the permalink for you.  All you need to do is copy and paste.

This tool reformats the permalink by adding the University of Delaware Library EZproxy prefix so that the link will work from off-campus.

Question:  What is the best way to share articles found in the library databases with my online students?  Can I upload these directly to Canvas?

Answer:  The library recommends the use of permalinks. A permalink is a permanent URL, a web address that will consistently link to a specific online information resource such as an article, book chapter, e-book, allowing a reader to go directly to the linked resource. The library has created a permalink generator which will help you to create permalinks that will reliably link off-campus users to our licensed content.  Using permalinks also helps the library track the use of journal articles.


Question: Are there times when using a permalink is not appropriate?

Answer:  There may be instances when a copyright holder does not want you to link to their work. This may be explicitly stated in their terms of service (such as the Harvard Business Review). Usually, however, permalinks are the preferred way to link to a work. Additionally, be sure to cite the original source, as this is an important requirement in scholarly work and teaching. 


Question: What is the best way to share articles that are NOT available through the UD Library with my distance students (such as those received through interlibrary loan)?

Answer:  If the library does not have access to the article that you'd like to share with your students, you can make it available through the Electronic Course Reserves service. 


Question: I have one or more readings from a book that I would like to post online for my students.  What is the best way to make these readings available?

Answer:  The library offers an Electronic Course Reserves service that can help make readings available to students via a password login.  In order to comply with fair use, Course Reserves offers some guidelines for faculty regarding how much content can be shared using this service.  If the scanned materials do not comply with these guidelines, it is occasionally possible for the Library to purchase a multi-user license for an eBook. You may wish to talk to your subject specialist librarian to see what options exist for a specific text that you'd like to use.


Question:  I have found an online PDF of a research report from a government agency that I would like to upload to my course. What copyright concerns should I be aware of?

Answer:  United States government documents are in the public domain and are not subject to copyright. You are free to upload these documents to your course site.


Question:  I have found a PDF of an article from an online magazine / professional organization.  I'd like to upload this directly to my course, as I know that the link to this might be unreliable. Is this good practice?

Answer:  Best practice is to link to these documents rather than reproduce them fully in your online course.  Articles and PDFs found online- even if they have been made available by their creators- are still protected by copyright.  If you are concerned about losing access to the content for any reason, download those freely-available articles or PDFs to your personal computer and make a back-up copy in case the articles cease to become available at some future time. If the article is no longer available, contact the author or publishing body to request permission or use under fair use.


Question:  The resources that I wish to use in my course are all for educational purposes, and students have to sign in to the LMS in order to access them.  Doesn't that mean that the fair use provisions of copyright law apply to these resources?

Answer:  See the UD Library's copyright and fair use statement, which includes the fair use checklist.  If you do decide to include something in full within Canvas and you wish to make a fair use argument for that item, we recommend that you fill out a checklist for that item in order to capture your rationale for how your use falls under fair use. 


Question:  How can I incorporate streaming media into my online class?

Answer:  The library provides access to a growing number of streaming media databases.  Many of these databases include powerful features that can help you to create clips and playlists which you can share in Canvas.  You may also want to review our Media & Copyright page.