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IDL 6543 - Teach Online

What are Persistent Links?

You can add links from your course pages to library databases, online journals, and full text articles. Unfortunately, simply copying and pasting the URL from the browser address bar will often not work. Many of the hyperlinks to articles in electronic databases include a session ID that expires after a short time. To get around this problem, many of the databases have ways to create a persistent link that students will be able to use as long as they are connected via OpenAthens or have logged into the campus network.

What is Open Athens?

OpenAthens is a service the library uses to connect UCF students, faculty and staff to subscription resources. You can create persistent links to articles, journals and, in some cases, searches. The exact method varies from database to database. If you wish to link to a database not covered here, check the help files for the database or contact Tina Buck (Electronic Resources Librarian).

Creating Persistent Links for Off-Campus Access

There are two primary ways to access library resources off campus:

  • Using OpenAthens to authenticate users through UCF
  • Using links formatted with a token to authenticate users through UCF.

The method used is dependent on which database provides access to the resource.  The majority of resources will use OpenAthens, however Ebsco, ProQuest, Gale, and Kanopy use a token embedded within URLs. 

Off campus access using OpenAthens

Off-Campus Access to library resources via OpenAthens 

There are two ways to create persistent links using OpenAthens.  First you can use the OpenAthens link generator. This method is the most reliable way to create a link.  The second option is to add the UCF OpenAthens stem to a permalink for the resource.

OpenAthens Link Generator

To use the OpenAthens link Generator:

  1. Go to  
  2. Paste a permalink or stable URL  for the resource you would like to link to in the box and press enter.
  3. Copy the generated URL.
  4. Use the copied URL to link to the source.

Multiple URLs can be created at one time.

screenshot of OpenAthens Link Generator


UCF’s OpenAthens Stem

In most cases, you can simply add UCF’s OpenAthens Stem in front of a permalink and it will work.  To create a persistent link using the UCF OpenAthens stem:

  1. Open Notepad or the simple text editor of your choice.
  2. Copy and paste the UCF OpenAthens stem: 
  3. Locate and copy the permalink or stable URL for the resource you would like to share.
  4. Paste the copied link directly after the = sign at the end of the UCF OpenAthens stem.  There should be no spaces between the end of the UCF OpenAthens stem and the permalink or stable URL of the resource.

Example OpenAthens Link: 

***Test every link you create. If it doesn’t work, try the OpenAthens Link Generator Tool.*** 

Creating links using a token

Creating links using a token

Some databases do not need to go through OpenAthens.  If you would like to share resources hosted by Ebsco, ProQuest, Gale, or Kanopy, you will not need to convert the links before sharing.  These permalinks include an account ID (aka token) that the site uses to recognize UCF and to launch our Federated ID login.  To share resources from the following databases:

  1. Go to the resource you would like to share.
  2. Make sure you are logged in with your UCF credentials (typically you will see "Access provided by University of Central Florida" somewhere on the page).
  3. Locate the permalink or stable URL provided by the database.
  4. Verify that the required token is incorporated into the link provided. 



The URLs include “custid=current”  



ProQuest, including Ebook Central.

The URLs include “accountid=10003”  or "/lib/ucf/"





The URLs include orla57816 




They URLs include ucf. 


The DOI Method for Journals and Articles

For any database provider that displays an article's DOI (Digital Object Identifier), you can use the following formula to link directly to the article.

OpenAthens Login prompt:  




DOI:  (example)  10.2202/1469-3569.1335


Linking to Databases

The best way to link to a database UCF Library subscribes to is to copy the link from the Databases guide located on the library's website. Each entry on the Databases guide has a Friendly URL which will automatically prompt users to log in as needed. Use it to link to any of our subscribed databases. The library maintains the links and authentication behind the Friendly URLs. 

Databases List:  


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