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Making Sure Your Links Always Work: Stable Links

This guide provides instructions on how to grant access to library resources within Learning Management Systems like Moodle. Many library database agreements do not allow for the storage of full-text articles (PDFs) within the LMS itself. But there is a w

Introducing "Stable Links"

When adding links to academic resources, it's pretty important to make sure they work for everyone. To achieve this, you need to ensure you are creating 'stable' links. These are web addresses that directly link to online journal articles and other resources. Stable links, also known as durable, persistent, or permanent links, remain unchanged even after the session ends, ensuring reliable access for all users.

Why can't I just copy web address from the browser?

Copying the URL directly from the browser while viewing a full-text article in a database might seem convenient, but it can lead to problems with the link's stability. Here's why:

  1. Session-specific information: The URL generated when you're logged into a database session often includes additional data unique to your session, such as session IDs, client IDs, browser information, search terms, and other temporary identifiers.

  2. Unstable link: Because this session-specific information is embedded in the URL, it makes the link unstable. It may work fine for you during your current session, but it may not work for others or in the future. For example, if someone tries to access the link later or from a different device or location, they might encounter errors or be unable to access the content.

  3. Database-provided persistent links: To ensure a stable and reliable link, it's recommended to use the persistent links provided by the database. These links are specifically designed to lead directly to the resource without any session-specific information. They are meant to remain unchanged over time and across different users and devices.

By using the database-provided persistent link, you can avoid potential issues with link stability and ensure consistent access to the resource for yourself and others.

When a link contains ""

You might notice that, in some databases, the UoW ezproxy address appears in the middle of the URL (highlighted below).

It pays to have the ezproxy prefix at the beginning of the URL to create a better "persistent link". To convert, paste the URL into Link Converter 2.

Alternatively, the URL can be modified manually by removing the highlighted section (above example) and adding the University of Waikato ezproxy prefix:

Many database-providers include persistent links within the database but they may need modifying so students can access off-campus via authentication.

NOTE: There are exceptions – please contact the Library if in doubt.

What's a bookmarklet?

If you use Firefox, Safari, Chrome or Opera, you can drag the provided link up to your bookmarks toolbar. You can rename them to whatever you like by right-clicking and choosing 'edit name'. It will convert your current url to include ezproxy, and the result will be saved to the clipboard.

For more info, Use bookmarklets to quickly perform common web page tasks.

Bookmarking the link converters

Drag any of the links below to your bookmarks bar.