Step-by-step instructions for creating shareable links

Why create shareable links?

Shareable links are links formatted to include proxy server information. This allows publishers' websites to recognize that users are members of the Tufts community and have access to library resources that we subscribe to regardless of their location. Suppose you share a link directly to a resource you accessed through the library without adding this information. In that case, off-campus users may be unable to access it, unless they are using the Tufts VPN.

Who should create them?

Anyone sharing a link directly to a library resource, like an ebook, book chapter, article, or streaming content. If you're an instructor and need to create links to library resources in Canvas for a course, you'll use the Canvas Reading List tool, which automatically formats the links. Learn more about putting electronic/digital material on reserve for your students.

How do I create a shareable link?

Follow the steps below!

To create a shareable link:

  1. Find the link for the resource.

    •  A permanent URL (also called a permanent link or permalink) or DOI (digital object identifier) is the best link to use if one is available. Most journal articles and book chapters have one of these, usually found near the top of the page or in the citation. Most DOIs look something like this: doi:10.1038/nphys1170 or If you find one, move on to Step 2.
    • If your resource doesn't have a DOI or permanent URL, use the URL in your web browser's address bar and move on to Step 2. This link isn't as stable as a DOI or permanent URL and should be verified regularly.
    • If you want to share a database in the Tisch Library, right-click on its name in the database list to copy and use the link you find there. You can skip the following steps; no additional proxy information is needed.
  2. If your link is a DOI, make sure it starts with or

    • If it does, move on to Step 3 to add the proxy information. 
    • If it doesn't, remove the "doi:" prefix and replace it with before moving to Step 3. For example, an original doi:10.1038/nphys1170 will become
  3. Add this proxy information in front of the link you found in the steps above:

  4. Share your link! A shareable link will look like this: