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Permalinks: Introduction

Permalinks Intro -- BCC Library's Electronic Content

Definition:  A permalink is a web address that will consistently point to a specific information source such as an ebook, an article, a video, or a database. 

A permalink may also be called a stable link, durable link, persistent link, permanent link or document link, depending on the resource.

How do I find permalinks?
Most research databases include a permalink in the article record.  The terms used and the location of these links in the record vary from one database to another.  Click on the tabs above  (Ebsco, Gale, ProQuest, etc.)  for instructions on locating the permalinks for the various library electronic resources.

Why can't I just copy the URL in my browser's address bar?
Web addresses (URLs) that appear in the address window of your web browser when you search the library's subscription databases usually contain dynamically generated session-based or search-based (i.e. temporary) addresses that will not work when copied and used at a later time.

Why would I use a permalink rather than just upload the article into LMS, Google Docs, faculty webpages, email or elsewhere?
You may be in violation of copyright law or license restrictions if you post content without appropriate authorization or permission.  Using permalinks is the preferred option.  For more information about copyright law, please contact a BCC librarian. 
Permalinks are also used to help track usage.  Usage statistics help the library to purchase the right resources for you. 

How do I know if a permalink will work from off campus?
When on campus, access is transparent -- you are being authenticated even if you don't realize it -- because we recognize the IP address.  When off campus, authentication is via a proxy server, allowing us to recognize and grant access to BCC Library users.  In order for the library's electronic resources (paid subscriptions to ebooks, journals, streaming media) to work from outside our campus network or off campus, they must contain the library's proxy in the URL or web address.  This in turn will open a dialog box prompting you for a
Library ID, the 14-digit number found on the back of your BCC Campus Card.  Here's a screenshot of the prompt you will see when requesting off campus access:







Emails and Permalinks:

It's important that you always include the library proxy with a permalink because an email may be shared or read off campus.

What does the Library Proxy look like?

It looks like this - 

It is usually in front of a URL. 

Here's an example:

Here's another example:

Certain types of databases, such as open access or password protected databases, do not need to use the library proxy. 

Library Help Chat

Bristol librarians are available to help you with your research. We provide guidance in locating information and using resources available through the library and on the internet. If you need research help, using the chat box is a fast and easy way to reach out to us!


We appreciate the hard work of the awesome librarians at San Jose State University, and their generosity in allowing us to re-use content from their guide of the same name.