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Persistent Links in FDU Online Databases Guide: Sharing Articles, eBooks, Streaming Media, and More.

How to find persistent links in the library's databases.

General Guidelines For Sharing Resources

Regardless of format (articles, eBooks, streaming media, images, etc.) when sharing any online resources with a student or colleague, to avoid potential copyright violations, it is best to provide a link to the resource rather than downloading and sending a copy of the item. 

No PDFDo not share PDFs of articles, eBooks, etc. unless you own the copyright to the content within.

Yes linkShare links to protect you and the university from copyright infringement. 

Copyright is open to legal interpretation, there are no absolute standards. The guidelines below are generally accepted in practice. It is always safest to share links to information than to make copies and disseminate it other ways.  

Does not violate copyright:

  • Sharing links to online video content from sites such as YouTube or Vimeo
  • Sharing links to freely available articles found on the open web from legitimate publishers or content providers..
  • Sharing links to library database results, whether it's eBooks, articles, or streaming media.
  • Sharing links in Webcampus or via email. 

Potentially violates copyright

  • Downloading and sharing online video content from sites such as YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Sharing links to, or downloading known pirated materials such as videos, textbooks, and articles.
  • Downloading and sharing articles or other content from the open web, even if it is freely available. Exceptions include resources whose copyright specifically allow sharing such as many resources using Creative Commons licensing. More about Creative Commons
  • Downloading and sharing results from library databases.
  • Uploading copyrighter material to Webcampus or sending it via email. 


All library resources with few exceptions, allow you to link directly to a result for sharing purposes. 

1 Persistent Links

When sharing library content make sure you are providing the persistent link, sometimes known as a permalink, persistent URL, or stable URL. This will ensure the link remains active and accessible for the foreseeable future. Most of the time you cannot use the URL in your browser address bar. This is known as session link. This link will stop working once the session times out.

Most library resources provide a persistent link option as one the options from the results page. For more information on persistent links visit:

2 Off Campus Access

Once you have the persistent link you will need to verify it is accessible for students both on and off campus. To do so you will need to add a proxy prefix to the link. This prefix lets the vendor know off campus users are affiliated with FDU and will redirect them to the FDU login before providing them access to a resource. Without this prefix off campus resources have no way of knowing who is clicking on their link.

Some library resources automatically apply the proxy prefix. You can find a list of these resources here under the Smart Linking heading. 

If a link already starts with like in the example below from Films on Demand, then it has been proxied and should work on and off campus.

Proxy Link Generator

You can copy a link from any library resource and use the link generator below to create a link which will work on and off campus.

Paste (or type) the article's link:

Converted Link

3 Test the Link

It is always a good idea to test the link before sending it to someone else. 

You can share links to any freely available content on the open web as long as you feel the content of the link is legitimate, i.e. not an illegal copy or coming from a questionable site. When in doubt, the library can help investigate a site to determine if the resource is legitimate.

1 Persistent Links

For most information you find on the open web the URL in your browser's address bar serves as the persistent link. Keep in mind if you are accessing content you have a personal subscription to, the link will most likely be specific to you and you probably should not be sharing it in the first place.

Be aware some sites on the open web will give you limited preview access to their articles, they seem like they are accessible to everyone but the site then cuts access off after a proscribed number of views. These can be problematic and should not be relied upon.
For example: Without a subscription the New York Times will provide you 5 free article views per month.

2 Off Campus Access

Open web resources do not require any sort of manipulation to be available on or off campus.

Check List

Is the resource a library resource or is it coming from the open web?


Library Resource

____  Locate the persistent link.

____  Make sure the link is accessible from off campus by adding a proxy prefix.

____  Test the link.


Open Web

____ Is the resource legitimate? i.e. not an illegal copy of a textbook.

____ Is the resource truly freely available or is it only a free sample? 

A Note on Library eBooks

If you are using an eBook from the library as one of your course texts please make sure to check the title is available for multiple users. The vast majority of our titles are available with unlimited access however there are still a few thousand with limited user access, such as one viewer at a time.

To determine if a book's access level you can look at the book's record. It will list its access level either under Availability or Concurrent User Level.

unlimited access

Example of an unlimited access title.


limited access

Example of a limited access title.


If you believe the title will have significant use, i.e. it's a core text for your course, we can investigate increasing the user level if it is possible. Please contact Rob Wolf (