Linking to Articles
Creating Persistent URLs (PURLs)
Persistent links, also called durable links, are internet addresses or URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) that remain consistent and do not change over time. For example, our library home page can always be reliably reached at /sites/default/files/_library. It is a persistent or durable link and has a PURL (Persistent URL). However, a link to an article in one of the library’s databases could change each time you try to access it (unless you know how to reconfigure it), because databases often create their links at the moment you access them.
Having a persistent link to an item such as a full text article located within a database allows you to share the link to the article with the knowledge that the link will work later and not end up in a frustrating dead-end for the person(s) to whom you provided it.
Faculty or students might wish to provide a link to an article within WebCT or Library reserves, on a web page, in a Power Point presentation, on a hyperlinked Microsoft Word document, or in an email.
Students may be asked by their professors to add persistent links to bibliographies whenever eJournals are cited. This, in turn, allows the professor easy access to examine the references cited by students in term papers.
Remember, access to most library full-text databases are limited to CSULA faculty, students and staff by licensing agreements and copyright guidelines.
Persistent links for resources accessed via CSULA Library collections consist of two parts. One is the address for the item desired and the other is a proxy script (http://mimas.calstatela.edu/login?url=). The proxy script points the address to the library’s proxy server and allows CSULA community members to authenticate and use the resource from off-campus. Here is a sample showing how you would put the proxy script in front of the PURL that you copied from your source.
PURL for article:
CSULA proxy script plus PURL for article:
After creating the PURLs, make sure to test the link from on- and off-campus. Retest every few months, as necessary, to verify that the link still persists and has not become obsolete.
Faculty, make sure your students have, and know how to use, their CSULA NIS username and password. Explain how NIS accounts are used to provide authenticated access to subscription library resources.
Contact Holly Yu at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.