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Linking to Electronic Resources: Creating Durable Links: Getting Started

Guide to creating links to full-text journal articles and e-texts which are part of Himmelfarb Library's electronic collections. Links can be used in Blackboard as well as in other course materials.

Permanent Links - New for 2018

Why permanent links?

Beginning in July 2018, the library will change over several core web services to new and improved platforms. As a result, some links that have been created to library content will no longer work after July 31.  

Do I need to update all durable links?

No - some durable link formats will need to be updated by July 31, while the remaining links will continue to work into the future.  You may choose to transition these links to the new permanent link formats to further enhance their longevity.  Durable link formats which will continue to work into the future are formatted to connect users to the publisher/provider; examples of links formatted like this are:


What links do I need to update before July 31, 2018?

All links with the following URLs should be replaced before July 31, 2018: 

  • Health Information @ Himmelfarb links to EBSCO content should also be replaced:
    • Replace any link which contains site=eds-live as part of the URL.
      • Example:,uid&custid=s8987071
    • Links to EBSCO databases (e.g. CINAHL Plus with Full-Text, Health Policy Reference Center, SPORTDiscus, etc.) which contain alternate site settings (example: site=ehost-live) do NOT need to be updated at this time:
      • Example:,uid&custid=s8987071

Links with the following URLs should be replaced before August 31, 2018: 

What are the new permanent links?

To prepare for this change, the library has created a new permanent linking service. This service allows you to generate, on-the-fly, a link to a library resource that will remain stable regardless of any future changes to the platforms that content may be hosted on. These links are based on three types of standard numbers that are assigned to most of the resources we provide: PubMed ID (PMID) for journal articles, ISBN for books, and ISSN for journals and other serials.

Once you've generated the link, you should no longer need to update it in the future if the library's service platforms change -- we simply update the service on our end to point to the most appropriate location for you to retrieve the item. And if at some point we no longer have direct access to the item linked (see e.g., the link will direct you to options for obtaining the item through Documents2Go or other services.

How can I create permanent links?

We have created permanent link shortcuts for PubMed articles, e-books, and e-journals.   These links use a standard number from the item to create a link: the PMID for PubMed articles, the ISBN for books, and the ISSN for journals.  The link structure for each is similar:{type}/{number}

PubMed article example:

E-Book example:

Journal example: 

What do I do if I can't find the standard number associated with the resource I want to link to, or if it doesn't have one?

Depending on the resource, there may be other ways to create a stable link. Consult the E-Journal links and E-Book links pages of this guide to create a link to the publisher/provider or contact for assistance.

When can I start replacing our links with the new permanent links?

You can start using the new linking structure in April 2018.

Durable Link via Publisher/Provider

We recommend using permanent links described above whenever possible as these links will require the least maintenance for you.  If permanent links are not possible, you may still compose durable links to connect users directly to content on publisher/provider websites.

A durable link is composed in two steps:

1.  Obtain a direct link to the desired article or book.

  • This link should be formatted so that it works consistently and is not dependent on a specific computer or browser session.
  • Instructions for specific resources, publishers, and platforms are provided in the E-Journal Articles and E-Texts and Databases sections of this guide. 


2.  Append the proxy prefix to the beginning of the direct link; this step provides secure off-campus access to resources.

  • The proxy prefix is:
  • The form below will help you append and test the durable, proxied link.


Paste the link to your resource in the box below: (Include http:// at the front)

New Durable URL:


Example: Durable Link via Publisher/Provider‚Äč

To create a link to this article: Abate, L., Gomes, A., & Linton, A. (2011). Engaging students in active learning: use of a blog and audience response system. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 30(1), 12-18. doi:10.1080/02763869.2011.540206.

   1. Direct link to article:


   2. Proxy prefix + direct link:


Why durable links?

Durable links are hyperlinks to electronic resources (e.g. journal articles, books and book chapters, databases, etc.) which are available as part of Himmelfarb Library's online collections.  Durable links allow faculty to connect students to required and recommended readings and do not require faculty to obtain copyright permission.  
If you prefer to post files of copyrighted works in Blackboard, please consult:

Most electronic resources available via Himmelfarb Library provide 'unlimited users' access, however some resource permit a fixed number of concurrent users.  To ensure adequate access for your students, please check with Laura Abate ( or 202-994-8570) or Ruth Bueter ( or 202-994-9756) prior to assigning a reading to fifteen or more students.

Need help?

We will create durable links for you!  

Library staff are ready to help!  Send us your syllabus and we will:

  • Check for broken links and update links as needed.
  • Ensure that links work from on- and off-campus locations.
  • Add new links to materials in Himmelfarb Library's collections. 

Please contact:

The Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library
Questions? Ask us.
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