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Imelda Vetter


Education News from Sterne Library

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Persistent URL:
Direct Linking to Full Text Articles and Other Documents in Sterne Library Databases

Did you know that many databases allow you to create links to specific articles or books? These databases feature a persistent URL or link for each full text document or record. You can imbed these links in Blackboard Vista, allowing students to retrieve these articles directly, no scanning or search instructions necessary.

Persistent Uniform Resource Locator (PURL)


A Persistent URL is a URL that remains consistent over time. A PURL may also be referred to as a stable URL, a durable URL, a persistent link, or a durable link.

Purpose and Use

Having a PURL for an item allows you to share the link to that item with the certainty that the link will work.

Syllabus, Learning Modules, and Assignments

  • On the Blackboard Vista platform, faculty should provide the PURL to an electronic item when sharing the resource with students in the syllabus, the reading list, an individual lesson, or an assignment, for example. It may help to review the resources at the UAB Academic Institute which is the information center for the use of Blackboard Vista in academic courses.
  • Students who are working on group projects may wish to share electronic resources with fellow group members; they could do so by providing the PURL.

Course Reserves

When placing an electronic item on course reserve, faculty should supply the library circulation department with the PURL of the item. Fill in the "Complete Call Number" box on the Course Reserve Request Form with the PURL. The forms may be found on the library website:

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Prefix URL for Remote Access

To allow remote access to documents, it will be necessary to add a prefix URL to the PURL for articles, books, images, or other documents from the UAB licensed databases. Using the prefix URL takes the user to the Blazer ID login screen if he/she is using an off-campus computer. This prefix is

Thus, the construction of the URL for remote access consists of: the prefix URL followed by the PURL.



  • Prefix URL:
  • PURL:
  • URL for remote access:

2. Springer Link

  • Prefix URL:
  • PURL:
  • URL for remote access:
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Persistent URL for Sterne Library Local Catalog

The local catalog contains bibliographic records for books, journals, audio and video recordings, newspapers, and magazines. There is a PURL for each record. It is found next to the label "Link to this page." The prefix URL described in the previous section is not needed for local catalog records.

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Where to Find the PURL in the Sterne Library Databases

Note: Remember to preface the PURL with the prefix URL ( for remote access.
Database/Vendor Location of PURL Label
Alexander Street Press The browser URL is the PURL. Browser URL
ARTstor On the results page, click on the caption under an image to view the full record. Click on the "File properties" tab. Image URL
Classical Music Library On the results page, click on the "View static URLs" icon under track. Static URL
EBSCO On results page, click on the title of the article. Persistent link to this record (Permalink)
Gale Depending on the Gale database, one of the following will apply:  
1. On results page, click on the title of the article or "View full-text article" icon. Click on the "Bookmark this Document" link. If you choose the "PDF" full text version, click on "Bookmark" in the upper right left corner of the PDF. 1.Bookmark URL
2.In Opposing Viewpoints, click on InfoMark in the upper right hand corner. 2. InfoMark URL
3. In some databases, the InfoMark icon InfoMark icon.indicates that the browser URL is the PURL. 3. Browser URL
IEEE/IET Electronic Library On results page, the PURL is directly under the citation, or click on the "AbstractPlus" link. Digital Object Identifier*
JSTOR On results page, click on "Article Information." Stable URL
MLA and ABELL On results page, click on the title of the article, the "Full Record" (Bibliographic Record) icon, or the "Full Text" icon. Durable URL for this page or Durable URL for this text
NetLibrary 1. On results page, click on the "Show Details" link; then click on the "Full Metadata" link. 1. and 2. Product ID**
2. If in the "View this eBook" mode, click the "eContent Details" tab.
3. Or point to the bibliographic record for the e-book in the local catalog. This record will contain a link to the full text of the book. 3. Link to this page
Project Muse The browser URL is the PURL. Browser URL
ProQuest On results page, click on the title of article, the "Abstract" link, the "Full text "PDF" link, the "Text+Graphics" link, or the "Full text" link.  
1.Click on "Copy link" at top of page. 1.Durable link for this document
2. Scroll down to Indexing (document details). 2.Document URL
ScienceDirect*** On results page, click on the title of the article. DOI*
SpringerLink On results page, click on the expanded view to see the full citation. DOI*
Wiley InterScience On results page, click on the "Abstract." link. Digital Object Identifier (DOI)*
Wilson Web On results page, click on the title of the article. Persistent URL

*To turn a DOI into a PURL, add the DOI string to the end of this prefix:

**In order to construct the PURL for an e-book, add the Product ID number to the end of this prefix:

***Currently, the PURLs of articles from Science Direct only work on campus.

If the database you are using is not included in the list above, or if you need help concerning the information in this guide, contact a reference librarian.

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Imelda Vetter, Reference Librarian for Education
Created: August 2008
Updated: January 2009