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Persistent Links/Permalinks

How to create a link from Canvas or a library resource

Overview of Persistent Links

A persistent link, also known as a permalink, is an URL that connects directly to a specific online resource that may otherwise change. Within OSU Libraries, the most common permalinks lead to a full-text article in a library database or an electronic journal subscription. Permalinks that lead to OSU-limited resources (like most database articles) require logging in with ONID information.

When sharing permalinks via print documents, it may be worth shortening the permalink with a short URL generator like For online purposes, using descriptive text in the link title is more accessible.

Why Should I use Persistent Links?

  • Accessibility: Many databases include accessibility options such as text-to-speech and easy-to-read fonts.
  • Context: Many databases provide additional information about their articles, including subject keywords. Some databases also allow you to browse journals and trace citations.
  • Copyright: You can link to an article in a database or e-journal and remain copyright compliant, but you cannot always copy an article and upload it to Canvas  without permission. Failure to follow copyright law can result in fines for the department and for the University.
    You can read more about OSU Copyright Policies on their website.
  • Analytics: Most databases keep track of how often their content is accessed. Librarians use this information when making decisions about which journal and database subscriptions to renew. Let us know the journal is important to you!

How do I Create a Persistent Link?

Many databases have an option for creating a persistent link. In most cases it's just a matter of clicking a permalink button. In other cases it requires adding the proxy information that authenticates off-campus users.

Generally, you can use 1Search to generate the Permalink (see 1Search on the menu to the left). This is the fastest and easiest way to create a persistent link.

Creating a persistent link to an article in a database will differ, depending on the database. Use the links on the left to determine how to build a persistent link for the database you are referencing.  When you create the persistent link, you will need to make sure it has two important parts:

  1. The proxy URL:
  2. The article link provided by the database

The persistent link looks something like this:

In most cases, the proxy information will be included. If not, you can add the proxy URL in front of the article URL so your off-campus student will be able to log in with their ONID information.

If you copy the URL at the top of the screen and the proxy information is not included, your off-campus students may not have access because the URL does not always include the proxy information. It depends on the database.

Always test your links from on-campus and off-campus.