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Linking to the Library's Electronic Resources from Blackboard

Instructors can link directly to most of the libraries' electronic resources from class web pages, including Vista Blackboard. However, because our e-resources are available through subscriptions and licensing agreements, not part of the "free web", it is important to construct links carefully to ensure that they will work for all students, whether on-campus or off-campus.

Additional Resources:


Library Link Maker
The libraries use a proxy server to authenticate off-campus users, so that licensed resources recognize them as members of the University community (see Off-campus Access).  All links to licensed resources need to include a prefix that routes them through the proxy server.  Library Link Maker is a simple tool that adds that prefix to a URL.  To use the Link Maker:
  • Follow the appropriate directions below to get the "base" url.
  • Go to the Link Maker (
  • Click the "Reset All Form" button to make sure there is no leftover data.
  • Enter your first name, last name, and email address.*
  • Paste the URL in to the box, including the "http://" at the beginning.
  • Click "Create Link"
  • Copy the link from the New Link box to your web page.
  • If you need to make more links, click Reset Links to clear the link box.

* Why do we want your name and email address?  It helps us with troubleshooting if a link goes bad!

To Link to:

Electronic Journal Issues and Journal Articles:
  • Search for the desired journal using the Catalog or e-journal lists.
  • Once the journal is accessed through GetIt, search or browse by volume and issue to find the desired issue or article.
  • Copy the link from the browser address window.
  • Follow the directions above to process the link through the Library Link Maker  to add the proxy server prefix
  • Paste the link into your web page or into the form for adding a URL to WebCT or Blackboard.

NOTE:  It is not always possible to construct a permanent link to a specific issue or article; some e-journal collections only allow title-level links.  In that case, it may be preferable to have an article put in our E-reserve collection.


Databases and Electronic Reference Resources:
  • In the libraries' lists of Databases, or from one of our Research Guides, locate the resource you wish to link to.
  • Right-click on the link to the resource and select "Copy Link Location" (Netscape) or "Copy Shortcut" (Internet Explorer).
  • Then paste it your web page or into the form for adding a URL to WebCT or Blackboard.

URLs copied from the libraries' database or e-reference lists, or our research guides already include the proxy server prefix, so it isn't necessary to use the Link Maker.


Electronic Books:
Drexel's electronic books are included in the libraries' Catalog. To add an e-book link, simply copy the "Click for Resource" link in the catalog record, and paste the link into WebCT or Blackboard. As with databases, the Library Link Maker is not necessary for catalog links, as the proxy server prefix is already attached.


Electronic Reserves:
PDF-versions of journal articles, book chapters, etc. can be placed on electronic reserve (see Putting Print and Electronic Material on Reserve).  To link to items on electronic reserve for a course, search the Course Reserve module of the Catalog by instructor name or course number then copy the link from the browser address window.


Some database and e-journal systems include their own utilities for creating links to specific journals, articles, or databases. Those can be used in place of the instructions above for creating links. For example:


ProQuest Databases:
  • From search results, select the articles for which to create links.
  • Click on "View Marked Articles".
  • Select "Email Marked Articles"
  • Select any format to include the link, then email to yourself.
  • Cut and paste the URL from the email message, and use in the Library Link Maker to make a complete URL with the proxy server prefix.


OVID Databases and Full-text Journals:
  • From any OVID Full-text article, journal issue list, or table of contents, select "Email Jumpstart".
  • Fill in your address, and email the link to yourself.

"Jumpstarts" to saved searches (see OVID: Saving Searches and AutoAlerts) can also be emailed in the same way. These OVID "jumpstarts" already contain the proxy server prefix and do not need to be put through the Link Maker.


Test, Test and Test Again!
Always test your links from on-campus and off-campus to ensure that they will work correctly for your students.  If you use the same resources from one term to the next, always re-check the links -- resource addresses sometimes change!


If you Need Help:
Please contact our Electronic Resources Librarian (, or a Reference Librarian who works with your subject area. 


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