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UConn Library's LibGuides Standards and Best Practices — Using Links

A guide to help you create and edit your subject, course, topic and general purpose guides

Using Links

► Links are treated different in v2. Instead of creating thousands of copies of all type of links, LibGuides centralize linking using two type of Assets management system, Links Assets and Databases Assets (also called A-Z list). The advantage of this system is that instead of copying the same link in hundred of guides and later on needed to update all those links if they change, now we can reusing Links using the Links and Database Assets options, which allow us to update all links as once!

► Friendly URLs are also different in v2. Not only can you create a friendly URL for the main guide but each page in the guide can have a friendly url, which make it easier and nicer to share with your users.

We discourage the practice of adding links to Rich Text Box since those links cannot be managed by the Links Assets and Database Assets Indexes. This leads to duplication and difficulty tracking statistics or broken URLs. So, do not create lists of links in Rich Text Boxes (links, databases, eBooks, or research guides). Use instead the Links Assets or Database Assets in the Add/Reorder menu.

 

If you need to add links in a Rich Text Box, make sure that when you use the Add Link menu  (link icon) to leave the link target as <not set> (the system will be our template default). Do not use any of the other options in the Target menu since they do not follow accessibility standards.

Best Practices Using Links

Add new links (not in the system) as Link Assets. Do NOT use this option to add links for databases.

screenshot use proxy

  • Proxy all links to library-subscribed resources. When creating a link asset, simply check yes for "Use Proxy" and the proxy prefix will automatically be added.
  • Do NOT proxy RDL links (rdl.lib.uconn.edu) or freely available resources. Doing so can disrupt access to the resource.
  • Give each link a short description. Always have the description "display beneath item title."Image showing the Description Display option to choose, which is Display beneath item title.
  • Order link lists by relevance rather than alphabetically or by vendor.
  • Link to the specific page needed by the user whenever possible.
  • Test your links in a different browser to ensure that they are permalinks not specific to your own browser session.
  • Use the RDL link for any new Database Asset, not the vendor's database link. RDL links are stable.

Reuse existing link

Reuse link assets whenever possible. When someone updates the master link, all the reused/mapped links updated globally to match. Before creating a link, always check if someone else has created the link first!

As important as it is to add links to your guides, it is also very important to regularly check for broken links in your guides. To do so, use the Link Checker Tool (Tools►Link Checker)

 

  • You can sort the list by guide owner or type of asset (Links, Databases, Books, Widgets)
  • You can edit/update the broken link
    • If the link is still working or if you update it, check the box for the link and select "Dismiss Selected" so the Link Checker knows that it has been fixed
  • You can delete links that you don't need anymore by clicking on the trash can icon
  • You can except links to be checked if you know that the link will always be maintained such as databases by selecting the Add to Exclusion List icon
We highly recommend to finish reviewing/checking all your links the month before classes start.

 

Note: Please note that any link placed inside a Rich Text Box cannot be checked by the Link Checker, so you need to check them manually.

To learn more about how to use the Link Checker and all its function check the LibGuide Help Guide on the topic.

Sometimes it is necessary for a guide owner to add links directly into a Rich Text Box to give context to your content. Just remember that whether as Link Assets or Rich Text, links should open in the same window. This optimizes for accessibility and mobile devices and is consistent with the behavior of browsers and most websites. (Remember, users can always right-click a link and select "Open in New Tab." This is their choice.)

If the links are for library resources, add the EZproxy prefix.

You are ready to paste your link now!

Links should make sense if the anchor text is read by itself. This helps with accessibility. Avoid phrases like “click here” and “more”.

  • UNCLEAR: Go to this US Government source for comprehensive homeowner data by clicking here.
  • CLEAR: The US Government provides comprehensive homeowner data.

Add/Reorder Drop down MenuWhen creating lists of databases, use the "Database" Option from the Add/Reorder drop down menu.

Type the name of the database to locate it in the Database Assets list (A-Z List). Select the database and save. You can repeat this step as necessary. If the database link you are looking for is not in the list, contact LGMT so we can add it to the A-Z list.

If you want to create a list of guides related to your main subject or course guide, instead of using the Link Option, use the Guide List option from the Add/Reuse drop down menu. Use this option avoid the creation of duplicates links of the same guide in the Links Assets directory. If the links for the guides changed, it will be reflected in your guide list immediately.

If you want to make list of books (print or electronic), use the Books from Catalog option instead that adding them as links in a box. This option allows you to use ISBN to pull out the book metadata and, if available, the book cover.

  • For ebooks, use the permalink to the ebook in the Primo record (e.g. ProQuest Central) to connect users directly to the book.
  • For print books, use the permalink to the Primo record to link to the bib records so users can see availability and use the Request Item for InterCampus request.

 

Tip: If the publisher description is too long, feel free to edit the description to highlight the value of the book or customize your own description to something short and concise. If you are listing several books with long descriptions, instead of having descriptions for each books, consider an explanatory note on the top of the list about the value or usefulness of the titles listed, and then just list the book titles without descriptions.

 

Friendly URLs make guides easier to find or share. URLs should be short yet descriptive. URLs should include only alphanumeric characters, dashes, and underscore characters. All guides should have friendly URLs. Friendly URLs for Pages in a guide are optional but highly recommended for Accessibility. The screenshot accompanying this page shows where to go to edit URLs.

Create friendly URLs

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