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Course Reserves: Linking to Electronic Resources (PURLs)

Information on the electronic and print materials that are put on reserve for various course required reading lists

Permanent Links to Licensed Library Material

Although linking to already licensed Library materials in online courses is a separate process from the Course Reserves process, it still plays an integral role in building out required and recommended readings for students in Blackboard.  It is important to know where to find persistent links to these materials in order to incorporate them into course syllabi.

About Permanent Links

What is a Persistent URL (PURL)?

Persistent Links, also known as Permalinks, PURLs, or Stable URL’s, are URL’s that link directly to electronic resources such as journal articles, ebooks, or databases.  These links remain stable and consistently connect to specific resources like the ones mentioned above.  It is critical to include persistent links while steering students to materials in course syllabi, within learning management systems such as Blackboard, or within a e-Reserves system.  This will create an easy and seamless way for students to access online materials without any problems or interruptions. 


How do I find a persistent link in the library databases?  Most databases have an icon for persistent links somewhere on the page of the resource.  Often times this icon is a clipboard image or a chain link image.  Clicking on the icon will create the persistent URL for that particular resource.


** It is important to remember to add the proxy server prefix to the beginning of the persistent URL.  For example:

Green= proxy prefix   Blue= persistent URL


Below are instructions on finding persistent links in the Naval War College Library’s most used databases:

Click on the YouTube video below to learn more about Permalinks:


What if the database I found an article in doesn’t have a persistent link icon?

Many databases do not have an easily available persistent link.  Many times you can find a stable URL listed in the abstract of an article, on the bottom of the page where it lists the location the article was retrieved from, or through a DOI—which is a unique alphanumeric string assigned to an individual digital object.  If none of these options are evident in a database, simply copy and paste the URL in the web address box—just keep in mind that this URL may not stay stable over a long period of time.

Reserves Contact Information

Course Reserves is a unit of the Information and Access Services Department.  Staff may be contacted at the Service Desk in the library if you need assistance.



(401) 841-6512