Sending database links to patrons

A recent message from a service provider:

“I’ve been having intermittent problems sending working links to Ebsco databases to patrons over Askaway. I’ll send a link to search results or a journal article and they will be sent to an Ebsco page where it asks them to pick their server. This is not the database homepage or a university off-campus log in page.”

If you’re running into this kind of problem, you’re probably sending patrons links copied from the address bar in your browser. Those URLs usually do not include institutional proxies, and when patrons follow them from off-campus, they will get redirected.

The solution to this is the Permalink. Databases will typically include permalinks to both articles and search results – you just need to know where to look. The following demonstrate permalinks in EBSCO databases.

Examples:

E.g.:

Unreliable link via address bar: http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=3&sid=354281f8-be99-4a03-9636-256ede3f589a%40sessionmgr102&hid=128&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=120566051&db=a9h

Reliable permalink: http://proxy.lib.sfu.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=120566051&site=ehost-live

Permalinks to journal articles

On the article’s record page, you’ll see a Tools menu in the sidebar. Clicking the Permalink option opens a text box near the top of the page, with a URL to copy. This permalink includes the institution’s proxy information, and will send patrons to the right place without redirection.

Permalinks to search results

You can also send permalinks to search results. On the search result page, click the Share button. Choose Use Permalink, and copy the URL that appears.

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