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Sharing links to e-resources

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Answered By: Katie Motush
Last Updated: Jul 24, 2020     Views: 115

When you need to share a link to any electronic resources, you need to be sure the URL is a permanent link, and in most cases, a proxied link.


For many of our databases, if you copy and paste the URL from the address bar in your web browser, the link may contain a session ID or other info that will expire or lead to an error message when someone else tries to use the same link:

screen shot of session ID error

You need to be sure you’re using a permalink. See the links below for instructions on where to find permalinks for each of our major database providers.

Proxied Link

If you’re linking to GVSU subscription content, the links may work automatically on-campus but require logging in when off-campus. In order to route off-campus users to GVSU’s central login system, your link needs to contain our proxy prefix in the URL, This will ensure the link works both on- and off-campus. Please visit the Link Fixer tool to test and adjust your link if needed.


DOI Links

Often electronic resources will list a DOI link for sharing. These links, which start with, are permanent links that redirect to the database or site where the content is published. It’s fine to use DOI links for sharing, but it’s best to test access first. Occasionally, you may find an article on one database whose permanent DOI link opens in a different database.

Summon Links

When using the "Find It!" search box to look up online articles, e-books, or other e-resources, it is possible to get a link to a search result. However, these links, which start with "gvsu.summon.serialssolutions", are not ideal for sharing, first of all because they are not necessarily permanent. Summon results are regularly updated to reflect current library holdings. Linking to a search result also adds one more step for users: after clicking the first link, they still have to click again to get to the content. Providing a direct link to the content is more reliable and less confusing.

If you have a link to a Summon result, click the title you're trying to link to, and find a permanent link to the database or platform where it is published before sharing.