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Linking to E-resources @ UNH: Creating Direct Links

Instructions for creating direct links to e-journal articles, e-book chapters, and other online content.

Guide Contents

What is a Direct Link?

What's in a name? Call it a persistent link, permalink, stable URL, durable link, PURL or DOI, that which we call web addresses by any other name would be as vast as the unchangeable sea.

When you're in a full-text database, the URL you see in the address bar of the browser window may only be valid during that session. Links that providers designate as "persistent" are set up to work even if the files get moved to a different server.

Even so, you should periodically check the links you create since the Library's subscriptions may change or a provider's content may change.

Why use a Direct Link?

Why use a direct link rather than scanning or downloading the document and uploading into Canvas or other server? Copyright, licensing agreements, accessibility, discoverability, usage statistics...

If you link directly to an article online, you are not taking on the copyright liability of downloading it; also many of the library's licensing agreements prohibit the uploading of content elsewhere.

Database providers offer value-added resources. They often offer the article both in HTML and PDF, and are made to be accessible. EBSCOhost articles, for example, offer text to speech option for their HTML full-text articles, and their PDFs are ADA compliant.

Databases also often provide links to related articles, metrics, and other perks which can be helpful for the curious student.

Another important reason to link directly to an article are usage stats, which are collected by library staff. Little-used resources are at a higher risk of being cancelled. Linking directly to the resource means that the library receives accurate reporting of the usage.

Creating a link in mycourses/Canvas

IT has created a Knowledge Base article on the best way to set up reserve readings in mycourses/Canvas. It is available at:


If you are having problems using mycourses/Canvas, call the IT Help Desk at 862-4242.

Why use mycourses/Canvas?

A mycourses page is set up for every course taught at UNH whether you add content or not. Student expectation of the use of mycourses and online content is very high. It allows access to content despite the weather, the hour, or the distance from campus.

Accessing online content via mycourses is an important component in copyright compliance; the authentication process guarantees that only students enrolled in the class are able to view the material.

Troubleshooting connection problems

What works well in one browser sometimes fails completely in another. For example, if you’re using Microsoft Edge, try Firefox, Safari, or Chrome. Sometimes security settings may prevent connecting.

Try the UNH VPN

Especially if you are off-campus, using the UNH VPN (which will make your computer act like it would if it was on campus) may solve the problem. The library's Technical Support page has instructions and links for using the UNH VPN; you will want to use the All Traffic configuration. This page ( also links to a form to report an access problem.