Linking to e-journal articles

How to create ‘stable’ links to e-journal articles that will not go out of date, and that will work from off-campus, for use in Moodle reading lists.

This is a three-stage process :






Alternatively, see our more general guidance on creating reading lists.


Find the article


The easiest way to find out whether an article is available online to LSE users is to use the search function on the Library website (in the General tab). Just type in the title of the article and check the results to see if there is a link to “Journal Article: Full Text Online”.


If not, you can also search for the journal title using the Library e-journals page, then browse for the article. There are other ways of searching for articles, but this way you can be sure that you and your students will have access to the full text.


Find a stable URL


For most e-journals, the web address (‘URL’) of the article that you see in the browser address bar is not stable; i.e. it may work for you right now, but it may not work tomorrow, and it might not work for other users. To make a link that will always lead your students to the correct article, you need to find a stable URL (also called a persistent URL or permalink).


Some e-journal providers give you the stable URL up front. Many others use a system called DOI (digital object identifier) to refer to the article. A few require you to construct the stable URL yourself. In practice, you can use the following approach:


    1. Look for the words ‘stable’, ‘persistent’ or ‘permanent’ link/URL and copy the address provided.


    1. Look for a DOI and refer to Using DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers)


    1. If all else fails, refer to: Creating stable URLs for each e-journal provider


Adding the ‘gate’ prefix


You should now have a stable URL. However, this will probably only work when you (or the students) are on-campus, because the e-journal provider needs to know that you belong to the LSE. To make the link work off-campus you have to add a ‘gate’ prefix to the URL, so that you can be authenticated as an LSE user. The prefix means that students will be asked to enter their LSE username and password before they are taken to the article.


The ‘gate’ is as follows:


So, for example, the stable link:



would become:



Moodle’s e-journal link fixer


Help is at hand to make this process less onerous. The “E-journal link fixer” block in Moodle allows you to paste in a DOI or stable link, and it will add all the necessary prefixes to create a fully formed link that you can use in your reading list.


To add the block to your Moodle course, turn on editing and find the ‘Blocks’ menu at the bottom of the right-hand column in Moodle. Choose “E-journal link fixer” from the list. The resulting block is only visible to you and other Moodle editors.


A useful handout


Our print-out-and-keep guide Linking to e-journals (PDF) provides a useful summary of the different things you need to remember when linking to e-journal articles.