Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Faculty Webpage: Linking to E-Journal articles

Why create links?

What is a durable link?

  • A link that will consistently deliver access to an e-journal or e-book regardless of if the user if on- or off-campus
  • A link that connects the user to the copy of an e-journal or e-book provided by Himmelfarb Library

Why should I use durable links instead of PDFs?

  • Durable links connect students to required and recommended readings and do not require faculty to obtain copyright permission. 

What does a durable link look like?

  • A durable link combines the proxy prefix which hooks the link into Himmelfarb Library: with a stable URL for the item (example:  The two components are combined with no spaces:
  • Durable links may also be created by using a standard number from the item to create a link: the PMID for PubMed articles, the ISBN for books, and the ISSN for journals.​
    • PubMed article example:

  • DOI example:

  • E-Book example:

  • Journal example: 

If an e-book as limited simultaneous users online, can I create a PDF and load it to Blackboard?

  • No: creating a PDF and loading it to Blackboard may violate copyright as this could affect the sale of the original work.   Please contact the Himmelfarb Library Reserves Department by email or telephone at 202-994-2962 so that we can assess options. 

Where can I learn more about copyright and 'fair use' of materials?

How many users/copies/seats are available for specific books or articles?

  • Most electronic resources available via Himmelfarb Library provide 'unlimited users' access, however some resource permit a fixed number of concurrent users.  
  • To ensure adequate access for your students, please check with Ian Roberts ( or 202-994-3685) prior to assigning a reading to fifteen or more students.

Creating links to library articles & books

In cases where it's not possible link by using a standard identifier (i.e. DOI, PMID, ISSN, or ISBN), you may still compose durable links to connect users directly to content on publisher/provider websites.

A durable link is composed in two steps:

1. Obtain a direct link to the desired article or book.

  • This link should be formatted so that it works consistently and is not dependent on a specific computer or browser session.
  • Instructions for specific resources, publishers, and platforms are provided in the E-Journal Articles and E-Books and Databases sections of this guide.


2. Append the proxy prefix to the beginning of the direct link; this step provides secure off-campus access to resources.

  • The proxy prefix is:
  • The form below will help you append and test the durable, proxied link.


Paste the link to your resource in the box below: (Include http:// at the front)

New Durable URL:

Example: Durable Link via Publisher/Provider​

To create a link to this article: Abate, L., Gomes, A., & Linton, A. (2011). Engaging students in active learning: use of a blog and audience response system. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 30(1), 12-18. doi:10.1080/02763869.2011.540206.

   1. Direct link to article:


   2. Proxy prefix + direct link:


Need help?

We will create durable links for you!  

Library staff are ready to help!  Send us your syllabus and we will:

  • Check for broken links and update links as needed.
  • Ensure that links work from on- and off-campus locations.
  • Add new links to materials in Himmelfarb Library's collections. 

Please contact:

The Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library
Questions? Ask us.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The George Washington University