A link to an article in one of the library's databases could be unique to the one session in which you searched for that article. Since databases create their links at the moment you access the link, the next time you try to use that link it may be invalid. In order for you to create a link to an article, chapter or other resource for use in HTML pages, emails or D2L, you need to create a persistent link. Persistent links or durable links are URLs that remain consistent and do not change.
Where can I get help?
MCW Libraries will create persistent links to library resources for MCW users. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request this service. If you wish, you can create links on your own. Please read on for instructions and information about linking to library resources.
There may be many reasons why you might want to link to an electronic resource rather than downloading the content and copying it. The primary reasons are copyright guidelines and licenses.
Some library resources are licensed from the resource provider. The license usually spells out what kinds of uses are and aren't permitted when downloading/copying content from the resource. Since it's sometimes difficult to find and interpret this license information, it may be safer and easier not to copy material, but rather to link to it.
When a resource is not covered by a license, then copyright law governs the use of copyrighted material. Copyright guidelines require that when using materials that are protected by copyright without permission from the copyright holder, that the user must apply fair use principles. The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. However, whether or not you are within the boundaries of fair use depends on the facts of your particular situation. Because it requires some time and interpretation to determine whether your use is a fair use, it may be safer and easier not to copy material, but rather to link to it.
Linking to electronic resources rather than copying from them also provides MCW Libraries with more accurate usage statistics. The Library collects data on how much resources are used. If you download an article and then provide copies of it, the uses beyond the initial download will not be counted. The library decides whether to continue to subscribe to resources based on several factors, not the least of which is usage. So, if all uses are not able to be counted, the usage statistics will be lower than actual use and continuing a subscription to the resource may seem unjustified.
If you create them correctly, yes. When off-campus, users may access library resources via our library proxy server. Many MCW Libraries resources (e-journals, e-books, and databases) are restricted to the MCW network address (IP address). Users connecting to library resources with outside Internet service providers such as Road Runner need to use the library's proxy server in order to be authenticated as belonging to the MCW community. Otherwise, the resource providers won't be able to determine that the user is validated to use the resource.
Therefore, the persistent links that you create must contain a proxy script. This is a prefix on the URL that will prompt the user to log in to the library's proxy server if he/she is off-campus. If the user is on-campus, the user will not have to log into the proxy server. The proxy script would go before the persistent URL and would look like this:
A proxied link looks something like this link to an article:
https://login.proxy.lib.mcw.edu/login?url= is the proxy script and
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673617324790 is the persistent URL.
Yes, links to Ebook Central books should not include the proxy script. A link to an Ebook Central book should look like this:
Also, some resources will include the proxy script automatically. For instance, we have customized the Ovid interface and STAT!Ref (choose Proxy Server for link authentication) to create persistent links which include the proxy script, so you don't have to add that in.
How you determine what a persistent link should be will depend upon the resource provider and how their platform is built. Here are some tips and features to look for: