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Shiffman - Anatomy Timesaver: Blackboard

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Persistent Links

(See PDF at the end of this section to PRINT A HANDOUT)

Blackboard - Persistent Link to Full Text in WSU Libraries  

What is a Persistent Link?  

Persistent links or durable links are web addresses or URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) for documents that remain consistent and do not change over time. Links to articles in library databases are often dynamically created, but you cannot just copy and paste the URL from the address box into Blackboard. Additionally, links to articles in restricted library databases need to include the EZ Proxy prefix so off-campus authenticated users can remotely access restricted resources.  

Why Use Persistent Links in Blackboard?  

·         Ensures compliance with licensing agreements and copyright rules required by the University

·         Allows the library system to collect accurate statistics on journal usage necessary for making decisions about library expenditures  

How to Create a Persistent Link  

1.     Identifying a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

The DOI is a standardized method for identifying an electronic object. Publishers are increasingly using DOIs to uniquely identify articles, book chapters, or any other “objects” in their databases because it is platform independent and will never change.  

Look for the DOI or “doi” in the bibliographic record or the full text article. The format for a DOI looks something like this:

   Article first published online: 11 APR 2011

   DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01098.x


1)     Not all articles have a DOI number. While the majority of articles published today do have   DOI numbers, older articles may not have them. Some publishers are adding DOIs to their older articles, but it is a slow process. If you need a DOI created, contact the publisher.

2)   Databases (e.g. PubMed) provide the DOI number for some article, but not consistently across databases.


2.     Look Up DOI

If you cannot find the DOI in the bibliographic record or the full text article page, use the Free DOI Lookup Tool to retrieve one.

 Go to . The tool provides three ways for you to locate a DOI:

 i.               If you have bibliographic data for an item and would like to find the DOI, please use the Bibliographic Metadata Search. Fill in the form and click the button “Search” to retrieve a DOI.


1)   You must supply either first author name or first page number. It is recommended to use journal title and ISSN as well.

2)   If you have high volume inquiries and would like to have an automated batch process, contact for assistance.

ii.             If you only have an article title and author, please use the Search on Article Title. Fill in the form and click the button “Search” to retrieve a DOI.

iii.             If you have the text of a bibliographic reference (e.g. Frye MA. Clinical practice. 2011 Bipolar disorder--a focus on depression. New England Journal of Medicine. 364(1):51-9.), you may use Automatic Parsing of a Formatted Reference. Copy and paste the citation in the form and click the button “Search” to retrieve a DOI. Note: Currently this form only supports ONE reference at a time.

3.     Create a Persistent Link Using a DOI

a)    Go to Blackboard and click the course you have created.

Under  “Control Panel” > “Course Tools” > select, “Create Article Link

b)   Enter or paste the article DOI into the box and click the button “Generate Link”.

      The persistent link will be generated and displayed on the screen.

c)    Copy the link and click the button “OK”. Then paste the link into a content area of your choice.

Students are then taken to a page where they can select the PDF link to access the full text of the document.


Example: If the DOI for your document is 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01098.x

The hyperlink would be:

Where: is the WSU Proxy Authentication Script  is the DOI resolver script

10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01098.x is the DOI

Remember, you must include the following prefix in the persistent link for remote access.

The persistent link generated from Blackboard includes it automatically.


More information about DOI:


4.     Follow Instructions on the Screen to Access Full Text Articles

-       Select institutional subscriber if necessary 

-       You may be asked to use your WSU AccessID and password for authentication for remote access off-campus 

-       Review publishers’ page to find PDF, HTML or other full text link. Different publishers will vary location of link



Contact Shiffman Medical Library for further assistance

313-577-1094 |


Created by Wendy Wu

Shiffman Medical Library

 April 15, 2011

Modified 5-9-11 by L. Draper




Subject Guide

Katherine Akers's picture
Katherine Akers
Shiffman Medical Library
Mazurek Medical Education Commons, 232C