How to Link to Articles in Subscribed Databases

The following instructions are designed to produce reliable and stable links to content in library-subscribed databases that can be accessed both on and off campus. Use these guidelines only for subscribed library content (articles in electronic databases which the library pays for, such as ProQuest, JSTOR, Elsevier ScienceDirect, Oxford Journals Online).

Step 1: Use the Most Reliable URL You Can Find

  • Whenever possible, use a persistent link or permalink rather than copying the URL from the navigation toolbar. The permalink is designed to remain consistent even if the website navigation changes.
  • To identify a persistent link, go to the article record (go to 'View Record' or 'View Abstract') and look for a reliable URL within the item record. e.g.
    • in ProQuest databases, use the "Document URL";
    • in EBSCO databases, use the "Permalink";
    • in ScienceDirect, right-click on the DOI at the top of the page, then select "Copy Link Location."

Some databases do not offer a reliable link somewhere in the article record. In these cases, it is a good idea to test whether or not the URL in the navigation toolbar will work when you forward it. To test it, just copy the URL and paste it into a different browser than the one you are working in (e.g. look up the article in Firefox, then copy and paste the URL into Google Chrome). If it works in the second browser, it is likely to work for those with whom you are sharing it.

Step 2: Add the Library's Proxy Prefix to the Start of the URL

      The library proxy prefix is: 

  • Note: Some databases (like EBSCO) automatically include a proxy link in their permalinks. If you see the terms "proxy" and "stfx" near the start of your permalink, you can skip this step.
  • If you give students the link you have identified in Step 1, this link will only work on campus. In order for a link to one of our subscription databases to work off-campus, the library's proxy prefix must be added to the start of that URL.

If you have any questions about this, please contact the Liaison Librarian for your department.

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