Is it possible to create a link that goes directly to a specific article in a database?

It is possible to save a link that provides a direct path to a specific article in a database (or other item, like a film or image). Having a direct link can be useful if you wish to read the article later, or if you wish to share the link with a UIndy colleague or student. Instead of accessing the database again and re-entering your search terms, you can just click on the link and go directly to the item.  Direct links are also useful for creating a reading list in which each citation links to the full text of the cited article.

For faculty, providing a link to an article often is a better choice than providing a copy of an article or pasting the full text into an ACE course. The link is more convenient, and more important, lets you bypass any consideration of whether your use of the material complies with copyright.

There are two main components in a direct link:

  1. The  item’s “persistent URL.” The persistent URL is a unique Internet address associated with the item.
  2. The library’s “EZ Proxy prefix,” which you may need to append to the item’s persistent URL. The EZ Proxy prefix routes the user through a UIndy server and authenticates the user for access to the database that contains the item. (If off campus or on the wireless network, the user is prompted to enter his or her UIndy username and password.) Without authentication, access to the database and its contents would be denied.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1.  Find and copy the item’s persistent URL. The method for finding this URL will vary depending on your database (see examples below).

    Example A. If you are in an EBSCO database, the persistent URL for an aritcle is found by clicking on the "Permalink" icon in the right margin of the "Detailed Record" page for the article. Often, these links are quite long, so the easiest way to copy one is to highlight it, then use the "Copy" command or Ctrl-C.

    Note: To enlarge the image below, and any other images in this FAQ, right click on the image, then select "View Image" from the menu that appears.

    Example A: Persistent link in EBSCO database 

    Example B.
    In Gale databases, the persistent URL for an item is found by clicking on the “Bookmark” for the article/item. 

    Example B: Bookmark in Gale database


    Example C.  In the Films On Demand database, find and copy the “Title URL” for the film or film segment. 

    Example C: Title URL is the persistent URL 

  2. Paste the item’s persistent URL into your desired location (for example, in a Word document or in your ACE site). (CTRL-V is a “paste” command that makes this easy.)

  3. Next, check the persitent URL to see if the following EZ Proxy prefix code appears at the beginning of the item’s persistent URL:

    If the prefix is already included, your link is ready for use. If you do not see this prefix, you must add it to the front-end of the persistent link. (Note: This prefix is already included in links from Films on Demand and EBSCO and does not need to be added manually.)

    For example, if the item’s persistent URL is,US,):FQE=(PI,None,5)G1538$&portalId=G1538&version=1.0&userGroupName=uniind&source=gale

    then your direct link should look like this:,US,):FQE=(PI,None,5)G1538$&portalId=G1538&version=1.0&userGroupName=uniind&source=gale

    Note: If you are pasting the link into an ACE course site, make sure to set the link properties to "Open in New Window.”  The article will then open in a new window and not within the frame of ACE.

Authentication Details

Anyone using the direct link from a computer that is off-campus or on the campus wireless network will be directed to a log-in page first, where he or she is prompted for his/her UIndy username and password. Once the user authenticates by entering a valid UIndy username and password, the page with the item opens.  Anyone using the direct link from an on-campus computer on the wired network will not see a log-in page, and will link directly through to the item.