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Michigan State University

Stable Links for Electronic Resources

This is a how-to guide for creating permanent, stable links to MSU-owned full-text articles from online journals, e-books, and streaming video or other media.

Licensing Restrictions: Stable Links Don't Provide Full-Text or Cannot Be Shared in Course Content

To comply with copyright and meet licensing agreements, you must use the appropriate stable link to share article-level content from e-journals or databases. Do not upload the PDF of a journal article into D2L or other course-related materials. 

However, some e-journal publishers do not allow full-text access to articles using stable links, or sharing a stable link in a learning management system (i.e., D2L) or via other course-related materials may be prohibited. If you encounter an e-journal platform that does not allow use of stable links for integrating into your course content, you will need to access the article using the library's online catalog

For example, you may see similar messages when attempting to use a stable link that doesn't allow full-text access or sharing in course content (see images below):


Providing "Stable Links" when Stable Links Don't Allow Access

  1. If a stable link to an e-journal article does not allow full-text access or is prohibited from sharing in your course, you will need to use the Permalink.
  2. Locate the article in the e-journal using the Journal Articles option ( or the E-Journals page (
  3. Navigate to the year/volume/issue/article desired and look for Permalink option.  This is most likely located on the right of the screen near the bottom of the column.
  4. Use the Permalink as your stable link and instruct the students to navigate to the full text of the article on their own (most likely a PDF Full Text option on the left).