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E. H. Butler Library, Buffalo State, The State University of New York

Persistent URLs: About Persistent URLs

Instructions and guidelines for ensuring persistent access from links to database content.

About Persistent URLs

Persistent URLs (also called PURLs, stable URLs, persistent links, or durable links) are internet addresses that remain constant. They are provided by many library online databases for consistent access to individual full-text articles when links are needed, e.g., in course management systems such as Blackboard. Because most of these are paid-for subscription databases with licensing agreements, and are not freely available on the web, proper linking using these persistent URLs is also important for copyright purposes.

For additional instructions on where/how to place URLs into Blackboard, see How do I add a persistent URL to a Blackboard course?

Adding the Proxy Prefix

For the links to articles from library-subscribed databases to work from off campus locations, the Buffalo State proxy server address MUST be attached to the beginning of the database-provided persistent URL. Our proxy server address is:

Therefore, if the persistent URL provided by the database is, for example:, you need to copy and paste our proxy server address at the beginning so the persistent URL looks like this:

Important Tips

  • Always test the persistent URL you create from both on campus and off campus.
  • While persistent URLs are consistent, they may not be "permanent," as databases and vendors occasionally revamp their procedures. Although this does not happen often, please check your links from time to time.
  • Do not add spaces to URLs.
  • It is a good idea to include the full citation (author/ article title/ journal/ volume/ issue/ page/ date) with your link.

Library systems and acquisitions

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E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State
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