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*Butler LibGuides: Standards & Best Practices: Linking

Created for Butler Librarians to help standardize our LibGuides and help make sure they adhere to best practices.

Best Practices for Linking to Resources

When listing resources:

  • Whenever possible, make sure you reuse links and connect them back to the comprehensive A-Z list. This will make LibGuides maintenance a lot easier because if a change needs to be made, it can be done in one place and all other links will automatically update.
  • Fewer is better. Users will be overwhelmed by long lists of resource links. Several sources strongly warn against listing more than seven links in succession.  Remember, you don't have to create an exhaustive list - these are supposed to be the top recommended resources, and if they still need help, they should contact you. 
  • Rank by relevance. Order the databases or resource links by their potential usefulness instead of listing them alphabetically.
  • Include a short explanation for each link. Customize the explanation as much as possible. Make sure it is clear to the user why this resource is being recommended.
  • No long urls. Use hyperlinked text or friendly urls; do not leave long urls visible on your LibGuide pages.

Links vs. Hyperlinked Text

When you hyperlink within your text, LibGuides cannot gather statistics for you.  

Therefore, whenever possible, do not add links within the Rich Text/HTML option.  

Instead, please add links using the Link or Database options.

Use Database if you are linking to a resource that is within our alphabetical Databases listing on the webpage. 

If you are linking to a non-database resource, use the Link feature. Whenever possible, reuse existing links.

Add menu with link and database options highlighted

Best Practices for Linking to Books

When listing book resources:

  • Link directly to the WorldCat Discovery record.  Do not include call number information without linking to the record to show the item's status. Do not underline items that are not hyperlinks; students will assume they are links and will get frustrated.

Do not list the title and call number for a book without linking to the catalog

  • Show the cover whenever possible. Visual stimulation leads to higher use.
  • Use the permalink option so that the link will be persistent.

Shows the permalink option within WorldCat Local

  • If you add a description, keep it concise. If you borrow the description word-for-word, make sure to attribute and place the summary in quotation marks.
  • Include links to support resources. If you are encouraging people to use the print collection, link to BUAnswers questions or helpful resources about finding things in our stacks.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937

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