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How To Create Links to Academic Library Databases

First, make sure there is a stable or persistent URL for the article you have found. Check the database's results list for words or phrases such as "Persistent URL", "Stable URL", "InfoMark", "Document URL", or "Permalink." These URLs may be shared without using the Link Converter.

Then determine whether the persistent link you have found will work from outside the AWC campus network (off-campus). A simple way to determine if the link will work is to check for the term "libproxy" in the URL. Does the URL or link you have found have the word "libproxy" somewhere in it?

If yes, the link will work outside the campus network and is ready to be copied, saved, or shared. If no, the link will need to be put into the Link Converter before you save or share it. Instructions are below:

  • Copy the URL from the database
  • Paste the URL into the top box of the Link Converter
  • Click "Click to Create Persistent Link." The new URL will appear in the bottom box.
  • The converted URL is now your persistent link and can be copied, saved, or shared for later use.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why can't I just copy the address from the address bar to save a link to an article?
Web address, or URLs that appear in the address bar of your web browser may contain session-based or search-based information that causes the URL to not work later. This is especially true of the URLs that appear when searching a database. This is why many online databases provide a separate persistent or stable link in each record for an article.

2. What is a persistent link?
A persistent link is a URL that will remain stable over time and allows a user to access the linked document later.

3. How do I find persistent links in online databases?
Some research databases include a persistent or stable link in the article record. Please note that the terms used and the location of these links in the record vary from one database to another.

4. How do I know if a persistent link will work from outside the AWC campus network?
In order for a link to an article to work from outside the AWC campus network, it must contain special coding that will allow AWC users to access the article using their AWC credentials. Follow these steps to determine if your persistent link will work off campus.

  • Does the URL or link that you have found have the word "libproxy" somewhere in it?
  • If yes, the link is ready to be saved or shared.
  • If no, the link will need to be put in our Link Converter before you save or share it.

5. What is the Link Converter?
The Link Converter is a tool that will add coding to a link found in a database that will allow it to be used from outside the AWC campus network if it is not already embedded in the URL.

Putting a URL through the Link Converter will not allow non-AWC affiliates to access online library-licensed resources. Only AWC students, faculty, and staff with valid AWC accounts have remote access to library-licensed electronic resources.

6. How can I use the Link Converter?

  • Copy the link from a database and paste it into the top box of the Link Converter.
  • Click "Click to Create Persistent Link." The resultant URL will appear in the bottom box.
  • To copy the new durable link, use the "Copy Persistent URL" button on the Link Converter (for best results, do not highlight the URL and copy it into your document).
  • Tip: Look at the newly created URL. Does it have two "libproxy" phrases in it? If so, the URL will not work. To correct the link, one of the complete duplicate segments (e.g. libproxy.azwestern.edu:8080/login?url=) must be removed.

7. How can I use a persistent link?
Once you have found a stable URL and put it through the Link Converter (if necessary), you can paste the URL into Blackboard or other documents. Tip: Avoid saving URLs in Microsoft Word documents. Word often adds extra code that can render the URL useless. This is especially true when you copy a URL from Word into a web interface like Blackboard. Always try to copy and paste the URL from the Link Converter directly into the destination document.

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