Answered By: Aine Meehan
Last Updated: Wed,Mar,2018     Views: 288

Some staff and students are copying a session url from the EBSCO databases or from EBSCO Discovery Service and while the link works for an hour or two , it eventually dies and will not link to anything but a dead page. You need to use a permalink (persistent link) when linking to library resources. If you are using these links in Moodle please be advised that your students cannot access them.

What are the EBSCO databases?

  • Academic Search Complete 
  • Business Source Complete 
  • eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) 
  • Regional Business News 
  • UK & Ireland Reference Centre 
  • ERIC 
  • GreenFILE 
  • Teacher Reference Center 
  • EOLAS (searches all of the above and more)

What is a permanent link (permalink) and why should I care?

Also known as stable links, durable links, persistent links, permalinks or even purls these will directly link to the resource without changing or dying. Permalinks can be used to link to journal articles, ebooks, print books, Moodle pages, and other resources, creating a permanent link to that resource. 

Why can't I just copy the link from my browser?

URLs that show in the address bar of your browser are not  always permanent links. Most vendors use dynamically-generated links via scripts that run within a search session, so that the link you see will change each time you run a search. This is what happens with the EBSCO databases, if you copy the link from the browser it might last a week or so, but if any student tries to open it after that they get a dead webpage. 

Example of A BAD link:

This occurs when you open the article page or the pdf and copy the url from the browser. 

screenshot of dead link error

Why can't I just upload or e-mail a PDF of the article or book chapter?

You may be in violation of copyright law or the usage license from a supplier if you email or post a PDF or other content directly. Using permalinks also makes sure that only users that are allowed to view the content will be able to do so, since they need to be a registered student or staff member to access them. Also some journals do not allow you to download the pdf for example some content from Harvard Business Review. 

Instructions for copying the permalink

  1. Open the article page in EBSCO
  2. Click on the permalink icon (paper clip) to the right of the page
  3. A section appears just above the article title with the permalink which you can copy and paste into Moodle or e-mail or a word document etc. On campus students will be able to open the article by clicking on it both on an off campus. 

screenshot of ebsco page


Instructions for making the link work off campus 

That's the great thing about the EBSCO links, all of them automatically work on an off campus once you use the permalink.

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