FAQs

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What is a stable link?
A stable link is a URL (uniform resource locator) that allows users to reliably return directly to the same article or video in one of the library's databases at a later date.

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Why can't I use the web address from the address bar to link to an article?
When searching in a database, web addresses or URLs often contain session-based or search-based information that may prevent the URL from working later.  This is why many online databases provide a separate persistent or stable link for each article or record.

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How do I find stable links in online databases?
Some research databases include a stable or durable link in the article record. The label and location of these links vary from one database to another.  You also may need to use Normandale Library's Proxy Link Converter to create your own persistent link.

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How can I use a stable link?
Once you have found a stable URL in the article record, put it through the Proxy Link Converter (if necessary). Then, paste the URL into a D2L Brightspace page, an e-mail, or another document. If you will be posting the link to D2L Brightspace, please read our information about linking to library resources in D2L Brightspace.

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What is the Proxy Link Converter?
The Proxy Link Converter is a tool that adds coding (ezproxy prefix) to a stable link found in a database. If this coding is not automatically embedded in the URL, you will need to add it by using the Proxy Link Converter.  Then, the link will work from locations both on and off campus.  Note: putting a URL through the Proxy Link Converter will not allow non-Normandale affiliates to access library-licensed resources. Only current Normandale students, staff, and faculty with a valid library barcode have access to the library's electronic resources.

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How do I use the Proxy Link Converter?

  • Copy a stable link from a database and paste it into the top box of the Proxy Link Converter.
  • Click “Convert.” The proxied URL should appear in a new box below the first one.
  • Copy the new link; save or share it with colleagues, students, or teachers.
  • Note: If your link does not work, check to see if there is a more than one “ndcproxy” segment.  Remove the duplicate segment, as well as any extra spaces, and try the link again.

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How do I use library links in D2L Brightspace?
The library has detailed instructions on adding Library Links in D2L.

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How do I know if a stable link will work from outside the Normandale campus?
In order for a link to work from outside the Normandale campus, it must contain special coding (ezproxy prefix).  Check whether your link has the phrase "ndcproxy" somewhere in it.  If it does, the link is ready to be saved or shared; if it does not, the link will need to be put into the Proxy Link Converter before you save or share it.

Note: when using persistent links from off-campus, you still must login.  Enter your library barcode as the username and your last name as the password.

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Why must I login when using a stable link from off-campus?
Normandale Library's licensed databases are restricted to current students, faculty, and staff.  When accessing any online content from off-campus - including articles saved with stable links - you will be asked to input your username (library barcode) and password (last name).

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Will stable links always be reliable?
Persistent links are stable, but they are not always permanent.  Test your persistent links regularly and update them as needed.  To ensure that you will always be able to find your online materials and to conform to copyright restrictions, keep a copy of the citation information so that you can locate the resource again if the link expires. The complete citation information should include: author(s), title, publication, volume and issue number (if applicable), copyright year, and page numbers.

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Are there restrictions on using stable links?
Links integrated into D2L Brightspace and other web pages are subject to copyright restrictions and must respect the library's licensing agreements. The use of persistent links is restricted to current Normandale students, faculty and staff.

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Need assistance? Ask a Librarian or call the Library at (952) 358-8290.