Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Internet Explorer 11 Will No Longer Be Supported as of November 20, 2020. Read More...

Distance Learning: PURLs


Include bibliographic information with the PURL
Persistent urls can sometimes be dodgy. Including bibliographic information about the article with the link will help users find the article in the database if the persistent url acts up.

If you email a PURL...
PURLs are lengthy. If you email a PURL, know that some email programs break PURLs into lines and only make the first line a live link. Tell email recipients to copy and paste the entire URL from the email message, instead of clicking on the link.

What is a Persistent URL (PURL)?

The URL for a full-text article retrieved from the FAU Libraries licensed databases is either dynamic or persistent.

Dynamic URLs are created when you do a search that brings you to a full-text article. A dynamic URL is temporary and usually doesn't work when copied and tried again. If you provide the URL to others within LMS or by email, for example, they usually can't access the information.

A persistent or durable URL (also called PURL, stable URL, persistent link, or durable link) is an internet address that remains constant. Many FAU Libraries licensed subscription databases provide PURLs which can be inserted into Canvas and web pages so students can link directly to full-text articles. Using PURLs rather than storing articles in LMS or on a web site avoids copyright compliance issues.

Faculty: Link from LMS (Canvas)

To create a link to a library resource within LMS:

  1. Copy the PURL from the database for that article, book chapter, etc.
  2. Insert the PURL into your LMS course area according to LMS instructions.

To access the article from off campus, RPI proxy server information must precede the article URL.  Some databases include this information with the persisent link, others require you to add it.

Proxy server prefix:


An RPI ID and password are also required for remote login.

For detailed instructions on PURLs for a specific resource, Ask a Librarian.

This page was copied (with permission) from the following LibGuide, with changes made for use with Canvas:


Be aware of copyright restrictions when linking to library materials, or electronic resources licensed by the library

  • Items integrated into your LMS course area or web pages are subject to U.S. copyright law (Title 17, US Code). N.B. Storing documents in LMS or on web sites may violate copyright law.
  • For specific information regarding licensing restrictions, consult the terms and conditions provided by the publisher or vendor
  • The text of your link must include author, title, publication, volume and issue number (if applicable), copyright year and page numbers