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Creating External Links

Creating External Links in Blackboard to Full-text Journal Articles in ScienceDirect

Embedding links in Blackboard to full-text articles will enhance your students' research process by encouraging them to access the many proprietary databases available at Howard University Libraries.

The following is a general outline of the embedding process. Please bear in mind that each database differs slightly in how full text articles are retrieved. In the case of ScienceDirect, a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) technology is used for citing and linking electronic documents. The DOI allows for the article to be static and easily retrievable.

Step 1: Search the Database

ScienceDirect is a multidisciplinary database with greater focus on subjects surrounding technology and the sciences. To access ScienceDirect:

  1. Go to the library’s homepage: www.howard.edu/library
  2. Under Tools & Resources and Search the HULWebsite A-Z headings, click on Q-S
  3. Scroll down and click on ScienceDirect
  4. Perform a search and find an article you would like to link from your Blackboard course module.

DOI links will remain valid even if the content moves from ScienceDirect to another (DOI compliant) platform. The structure of a DOI link is always the same, whichever publisher the article is from, which makes it easy to use.

DOI links have the following structure: http://dx.doi.org/doi
For example, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0014-5793(02)03627-X

The DOI is found on the top left hand corner on every article on ScienceDirect.

For more information about linking ScienceDirect journals and subject areas, go to: http://www.info.sciencedirect.com/librarian_help/index.shtml

After you have searched and found the article(s) in ScienceDirect, minimize your browser’s window and open a new window for Blackboard or maximize your Blackboard window

Tip: Open two windows: one with ScienceDirect (the database) and the other, Blackboard. This will make the cut/paste activities in transferring information from one module to the more efficient.

Step 2 : Create and/or Access your Blackboard Account

If you do not have a Blackboard account at Howard University, but would like to try a 60-day trial of the course module, go to http://coursesites.blackboard.com and click on "Create an Account”.

Once you have created an account, you can login using your username/password.

If you have an account simply go to http://blackboard.howard.edu and login.

Step 3: Embedding a DOI link in Blackboard

Once you have created a course, or have selected a course in which you would like to incorporate the online resource, do the following:

  1. Scroll down and click on Control Panel
  2. Under Content Areas click on External Links
  3. Click on Add Item
  4. In the link field, type: http://dx.doi.org , this link will lead students directly to the DOI interface link.
  5. Type the name of the article, or cut/paste the name of the article from ScienceDirect
  6. In the description field insert a message such as: “To access the full text of the article, copy and paste “DOI:10000.000/j. phys.example” in field provided upon clicking on the title

You may specify whether or not you would like to post the link to the article, or in the case of ScienceDirect, the DOI interface URL.

You can also specify if you would like the link to open in a new window.

Proceed to post the external link or modify and repeat as necessary.

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