Choosing the right URL

Choosing the right link for online references

If you have used an online resource you need to include a link to it in your reference. You will need to decide which link to include – if you can see a DOI choose that first:  

DOI (Digital Object Identifier): an address to a single article that doesn’t change.  

Example of DOI 

URL (Uniform Resource Locator): the address of a resource on the Internet.  

Example of URL: NICE, 2014. Head injury: assessment and early management Clinical guideline [CG176] [online]. NICE. [viewed 02 May 2020]. Available from: 

Ebooks (e.g.O’Reilly, VLE, MyiLibrary): when you are logged into an ebook through the library the URL in the address bar of your browser is temporary and cannot be used again, so for ebooks use the beginning of the address. 

Example of Ebook link: Available from:  

Websites (e.g. newspaper articles, reports, organisational publications etc.) Copy the URL in the address bar of your browser. If you are downloading publications the URL for the PDF document is also fine to use.  

Example of website link 

From a library database or a publisher’s website (e.g. ejournal articles, theses etc.) Don’t cut and paste a link from the address bar as you are logged in and it will give anyone else an error message.   

Look for a DOI or a permanent link in the entry for the article - here are some examples: 

Example of DOI - screenshot

Permalink example - screenshot