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Linking to Library Resources: Using Direct Links

Find and create Direct Links to e-journal articles, e-book chapters, and other online content.

Find Direct Links

Dynamic vs. Direct Links

The URL for a full-text online resource retrieved from a UNH e-journal, e-book, or database is either a dynamic or a Direct Link

Dynamic URLs are created when you do a search that brings you to a full-text resource. A dynamic URL is temporary and generally doesn't work when copied and tried again. Often these links are temporary and will not link back to the original source. If you share this kind of URL, the student may not be able access the resource. 

Instead, using a Direct Link (also called DOI, PURL, stable URL, permanent link, permalink, or durable link) in LibGuides, Canvas, etc. provides a more reliable URL. Many vendors and publishers provide direct links that we can use and share with fewer access issues.

Why use Direct Links and are they reliable?

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, etc.

  • 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, tables, and other materials which can be helpful to the student.
  • Another important reason to link directly to an article are usage stats, which are collected by library staff. Seldom 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.

Direct Links should remain consistent as long as the library has access to the e-book, e-journal, or database. However, some Direct Links do expire for various reasons, such as vendors occasionally removing content, or changing platforms, so it is important to test and update your Direct Links regularly.

Proxy Direct Links for off campus access

To enable access from off campus, add the following proxy prefix to the Direct Link:



Sometimes the vendor will provide a link that already has the proxy embedded. These links don't need the proxy prefix:

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 Access Issues

What works well in one browser sometimes fails completely in another. For example, if you’re using Microsoft Edge, try Firefox, Safari, or Chrome. Clearing your browser's cookies can often resolve the issue. Or the browser's security settings may need tweaking.

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