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.

Stable URLs

Faculty: providing your students with a stable URL for books, articles and electronic reserve items gives them fast access to the readings without having them come into the library. This guide talks about the nuts and bolts of constructing these URLs.


Notice: As of July 15, 2015 any URL that has in it will cease to work.  That part of the URL should be changed of

EzProxy (our newer method of authentication)

We have switched to this method  from  WAM (see box below) to this new method of authentication. Look for the part marked in red below in the URL:


Without these parts, the url will not authenticate (that is, provide an opportunity for the student to put in a password) for off campus users.  Without the password, access will be denied. You may have to add these elements to a URL to make it accessible to students.

Below is the text in red in a more copy friendly string:

Note:  There are some URLs with proxy that don't have the parts at the beginning of the URL:

These are usually generated by the target website and you don't have to edit them.

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)

The DOI can be found in: American Chemical Society, Emerald, Informaworld, Cambridge, Oxford, Sage, ScienceDirect, Springer, Wiley, most Highwire and others. Look around for the DOI (usually on the article launch page or abstract page). Add the data string in red below to the beginning of the DOI for a link that applies EZproxy authentication:

screen shot from Australian Veterinary Journal showing the DOI

Here is the red part in a more copy friendly string:

screenshot from the American Journal of botany


Article from Science

Article from the Journal of Cultural Heratige 

Article from the Journal of Labor

Article from Psychological Science

screenshot from science
For Non Cal Poly Users:
You can also make a URL that will "resolve" the DOI to an article launch page without EZ Proxy authentication: this essentially does the same as pasting the DOI into the DOI resolver: You might use this is you were making a web based bibliography for the general public: on some campuses, the link will take the user to the subscribed content.

Using the URL from the Top of the Browser

There are many cases where the only thing available is the URL at the top of the browser, and in many cases it will work.  It is just that no one can tell you how stable it will be.

Adding our EZ proxy authentication (see the top box of this page) may also make it unusable.  You just have to try it and see.

And keep testing it from time to time.

screen shot from the Biological Bulletin article


I have used the following examples for years, and they are URLs just taken from the top of the browser (but I did not apply authentication, so these are not for off campus access).

WAM: Web Access Management (our older method of authentication)

This method was used for authentication (the password system) for this library. Look for the elements marked in red below in the example URL below:

Without these elements, the url will not authenticate (that is, provide an opportunity for the student to put in a password, and therefore have access) for off campus users. You may have to add these elements to a URL to make it accessible to students.

We will be phasing out this method of authentication system - you may find that your "stable" URL using this method suddenly stops working.  It could be that you will have to convert it to the Ezproxy method above.