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Teaching Resources: Convert a Library Resource

This guide was created by librarians to support faculty in their teaching. Direct comments to or

Convert a Library Resource

VCCS URL Conversion Tool

Use this tool to convert many but not all database urls for Bb and off-campus access.

Convert a Library Resource: 

Creating Persistent URLs or (PURLS)

A persistent URL (or persistent link) is a stable web address that will not change over time. Depending on the database, you will either need to locate the persistent link (also called: permalink, document url, record url, etc.) or convert the url using the VCCS URL Conversion Tool. In some case, you will need to do a little of both. The "exceptions" with additional instructions are listed below. 

Locate persistent URL in the:

Library Catalog 

First, click the item icon.

Then copy the URL from the address bar. This is a permanent URL to the item record.

Classic (Old Catalog) Instructions 
Locate and copy the Record Number in the item record. 
Paste the number at the end of this URL:


The following list of databases are known exceptions that require either an extra step(s) before conversion, a different proxy prefix, or a platform specific persistent link that does not require conversion. This list is updated as we learn of changes or new "exceptions". Since we may be unaware of a change, please contact the library by phoneemail or chat if you are having trouble converting a resource.

From image results page, right click the image and select Generate image URL. Add the following prefix to the front of the URL:

Britannica Image Quest

Right click on image and copy link address. Add the following prefix to the front of the URL:

EBSCO (50+ databases)
The EBSCO platform requires that you use their persistent link, called a Permalink. Locate the article/ source Permalink in the Tools column of the record.

Films on Demand
Films on Demand requires that you use their persistent link, called a Record URL. Click Embed/Link to display the Record or Segment URL.

Gale (20+ databases)
The Gale platform requires that you use their persistent link, called a Bookmark. Locate the article/ source Bookmark above the Tools box of the record.

Issues & Controversies
Issues & Controversies requires that you use their persistent link, called a Record URL. Locate the Record URL at the very bottom of the article/ source.

Locate the Stable URL at the top of the screen. Convert this URL using the VCCS URL Conversion Tool.

Locate and click on the Document Link icon in the upper right corner (clipboard with paperclip). From the new window, right click and copy the article title link. Convert this URL using the VCCS URL Conversion Tool.

Opposing Viewpoints (Gale)
Opposing Viewpoints requires that you use their persistent link, called a Bookmark. Locate the article/ source Bookmark above the Tools box of the record.

OVID Books
In the selected chapter, locate and click on the Email Jumpstart link in the top right corner. Convert this URL using the VCCS URL Conversion Tool.

OVID Journals
Locate the Email Jumpstart link from within the record. Convert this URL using the VCCS URL Conversion Tool.

Proquest (40+ databases)
The Proquest platform (40+ databases) requires that you use their persistent link, called a Document URL. From the Abstract/ Details tab, locate the Document URL towards the bottom of the record.

Wiley Online Library
Locate the DOI number at the top of the page (underneath the article title.) First, paste the number to the end of this prefix: Next, convert this URL using the VCCS URL Conversion Tool. Ex: If the DOI number is 10.1111/izy.12005, the URL to convert is


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More Information About Persistent URLS

Why do we need persistent links?
Creating a persistent link ensures that the link will work when you try to use it later, and will be accessible from off-campus.  
When you do a search in a database, the database creates a link to the article on the fly. This means that the link for that article could change every time you try to access it. You can imagine the frustration students feel when they're given a link and told to read the corresponding article before the next class, only to find that the link is broken.

What can I do with persistent links?

Depending on the catalog or database, you can create links to add to Bb, email, web pages, internet favorite (bookmark), etc.. Here's a list of ways you might use persistent links:
  • listings for books, e-books, or DVDs owned by NOVA libraries
  • individual articles
  • all available contents of a journal
  • search results
  • specific chapters/sections in e-books
Once the link is created, simply click on it or paste it into your browser to read the article. If you are on campus, the link should automatically open the designated article, results list, or chapter. From off campus, you must first log in with a myNOVA userID and password. Those who are not members of the NOVA community will not be able to access the information from off campus.

Copyright & Licensing Considerations
Remember: Licensing agreements restrict off campus access to most of the online databases to NOVA students, faculty, and staff. This is why a login is required.
When sharing/posting a persistent link, you should include complete citation information with the link. This may include the title, author, publication title, volume & issue number (if applicable), year, page numbers, the database in which you found the information, and the date on which you accessed it. Not only does this comply with copyright requirements, but it also provides the information you'll need to track down the article should a link become inaccessible.