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Creating Stable Links to Journal Articles

Faculty are responsible for ensuring that their course materials comply with copyright law and UW license agreements. Creating links to online resources instead of copying the files is one way of ensuring compliance.

UW students, faculty and staff are identified as UW users by the IP addresses of their workstations.  From off-campus, getting a UW IP address is accomplished by routing through the UW Libraries proxy server.  To link to journal articles from Canvas (or another website), you need to construct links to include this routing information.

1. Start with the proxy server prefix

To route requests through the proxy server, you need to add the following prefix to the beginning of the article’s stable link:

NOTE: The proxy prefix is only needed for UW restricted journals. Adding the proxy prefix to non-licensed resources may prevent access.

2. Add the web address for the article

In most cases, you can navigate to the pdf, and copy the web address that displays in the browser’s address bar (e.g.




      3. Test the resulting url in another browser

      Testing the web address in another browser (e.g. Firefox instead of Chrome) will tell you if the web address is stable, or if it includes code that makes the reading only accessible for your browser session.

      If it works, you’re done!

      If it doesn’t work, there are extra steps that you can try:

      Send us the links and library staff will create the stable links for you.

      Email eres at

      Look for a stable web address on the article/resource web page. Often there is a link that allows you to bookmark or jumpstart the article or email a link.

      Use the DOI (Digitial Object Identifier) for the article.
      Create a link by placing in front of the DOI. The stable link will look like

      NOTE: The link created using the DOI sometimes directs people to a choice of sources for the article, not all of which are available to UW clientele.

      Link to the Library Catalog record. Look for the reading in UW Libraries Search. In the upper right-hand corner of the Access Options tab, there is a Share/Save link.  Click on it and select Permalink.  Do not use the proxy prefix. The stable link will look like:

      Students will need to log in using the link in the upper-right hand corner of the page and click on the Access Options tab to access the reading.

      Post the pdf on your website only if the UW Libraries license allows it and access to your website is limited to current UW students, faculty, and staff.

      You can view the license terms by searching for the journal title in the UW Libraries Search and clicking on the “show license” link next to the online journal provider. If the license allows you to post the pdf of a journal article, it will say Copies for Reserve: allowed as part of the License Terms.


      Library staff are available to help.  Use the Ask Us link at the top of this page.