University Libraries

Electronic Resources

Redistributing library electronic resources (such as PDF copies of journal articles) by making copies, emailing them, or posting them online (even in course websites) is not usually permitted by our license agreements with publishers. Please see the University Libraries' Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources.

It is always okay to provide a link to legitimate copies of works you'd like to share with others - be it a library copy, or something that is freely available on the public web.

Linking Methods: Creating Persistent Links to Licensed Content

Most license agreements for electronic information resources do not grant unrestricted rights to download and re-post content on a local host (e.g., Moodle courses, locally-developed databases, etc.). Therefore, as a rule of thumb, link whenever possible.

This page illustrates two methods to create persistent authorizing links to licensed content. These links, when most successful, are able to connect the user at the document- or article-level. Both methods use the Libraries' SFX (Find It) link resolving system. Both methods assume that one is starting with a known item that can be verified in a database and/or a complete and reliable bibliographic citation. In order of recommended use, these methods are --

1. Use of “Find It-Enabled” Databases
2. Use of the Libraries’ Citation Finder

If you have questions about creating persistent links send e-mail to infopoint@umn.edu

Method #1: Use of “Find It-Enabled” Databases

This method begins with turning to the generally high quality metadata provided by Libraries-licensed indexes and databases that are OpenURL-enabled.

Step 1: Select and search an appropriate Find It-Enabled database for a citation to the document/article that you wish to link to.

Step 2: Locate the relevant citation and click on the Find It buttonbutton presented in the database’s record display.

findit generator ebsco

Step 3: By means of the Find It menu generated, determine and test full-text availability for the document/article needed. If the full-text link(s) tests well, click on the Find It Link Generator link further down the menu.

Find It Link Generator

Step 4: From the Find It Generator page, copy the long link presented in the scrollable box and paste it behind the link text that you have created on your online syllabus, course page, web bibliography, or other web page. Test the link. Note: the embedded link will always return to a Find It menu, from which the user will need to click on the full-text link(s).

find it generated citation link

Method #2: Use of the Libraries’ Citation Finder

Step 1: Go to the Libraries’ Citation Finder and complete as many fields as possible, but at minimum provide journal title, year, volume, issue, and starting page number (all those elements that are routinely expressed on the Find it menu). Click the “Go” button.

Citation Linker

Step 2: If multiple titles match your search, select the matching title and click on the Find It icon.

citation linker multiple records

Step 3: A Find It menu will be presented, as seen below. Now click the Copy Citation or URL link for the “Find It Link Generator.”

Citation Linker Findit Results

Step 4: From the Find It Generator page, copy the long link presented in the scrollable box and paste it behind the link text that you have created on your online syllabus, course page, web bibliography, or other web page. Test the link. Note: the embedded link will always return to a Find It menu, from which the user will need to click on the full-text link(s).

find it generated citation link

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This web site presents information about copyright law. The University Libraries make every effort to assure the accuracy of this information but do not offer it as counsel or legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice concerning your specific situation.