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The Wonders of Persistent Links

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By Holly Christman
MLS, Reference Librarian

Imagine this scenario: You did your research yesterday and found the perfect article for your paper. Today, you have time to read this perfect article in detail, but you didn’t save it!

You try to retrace your steps: sign in to a library database, enter keywords, click ‘search.’ Nope, can’t find the article in the results page. Choose another database, same keywords, click ‘search.’ Review the results. Still not there! Alas, you can’t find the article! What to do? Contact the library at http://library.gcu.edu/AskALibrarian or call 602-639-6641 (toll free 800-800-9776 x6396641) and we can help you retrieve the article.

But what you can do in the future to avoid this happening again? The answer is persistent links!

A persistent link, permalink, document URL, jumpstart or durable link is a link generated by the database you are searching in that is specific to the article you want. Regardless of what you call it, this stable link will always take you back to that exact article.

A word of caution: Don’t always copy and paste the URL from the address bar! Even though you are on the article page, most of the time this is a temporary address generated by the server; it will not take you back to the article later. If a persistent link is available, use it!

Here is a quick overview of how to find the persistent links for a few of our favorite database platforms.

EBSCO– EBSCO is probably the most commonly used database platform we have at GCU.  When you are searching all the databases with LopeSearch or when you are searching in one of them, such as Academic Search Complete, you are on the platform from EBSCO.

To find a permalink for an article in an EBSCO database, simply follow these steps:

  1. Enter your keywords and perform a search
  2. Click on the title of the article
  3. Look to the right where the tool bar is located and click on the icon that looks like small silver chains labeled “Permalink”
  4. The permalink will display above the article title. Copy and paste the link provided and save it somewhere you can easily access later, like an email, note pad or Microsoft Word document for example
    1. Another option is to click on the email icon. An email is sent to any email address you provide; which can include the citation, PDF file and the permalink!

ProQuest– ProQuest is another library database vendor at GCU.

To find a permalink in a ProQuest database, follow these steps:

  1. Enter your keywords and perform a search
  2. Click on the title of the article
  3. Scroll down passed the abstract to where it says “Document URL.” This is the persistent link for the article.
  4. Copy and paste the link provided and save it somewhere you can easily access later, like an email, note pad or word document for example.

But what if you’re not using EBSCO or ProQuest? Have no fear. The library has a guide that will help you locate or create permalinks for the other databases offered at GCU.

Well, now that you know how to find the persistent links for any article, you’ll never have to worry about losing that important article again!