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Can I Include the URL of References


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I am a research student in Telecommunication engineering and majority of my references are taken from IEEE publications. As many members are aware, IEEE publications are usually closed access and I get online access to them through my university library institutional log in. The issue is my reference management software includes the URLs of the papers available to my bibliography list at the end of my papers or proposals. While going to the URLs will not really open the papers (unless you are doing so from specific IP addresses), does it in anyway violet any implicit copyright or terms my institute has with IEEE?

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If the reference is a printed journal, even if you somehow have online access to it, you do not have to put the URL, especially if it cannot be used to verify the source by an outsider reading your paper. Reference it like a journal article or whatever it is. I wouldn't worry about the URL unless it is a webpage with potential to change content (and include access date in reference)... Especially n your circumstance, the URL is only accessible by people at your specific library or program.

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If I understand you correctly, this is something that is true for most journals -- you need a subscription in order to access materials from the journal/proceedings/etc. Some people might have personal subscriptions, but like you, most people will have access through their institution's subscription. IEEE is a big name, so I would be confident the majority of schools will subscribe to most of their publications.

 

Usually, in a bibliography (at least in my field), we don't include the URL even if we accessed the article online, and even if the journal is online only. So, you might want to just delete the URL from your bibliography (or edit your reference management software to disable the URLs) since they won't be useful to someone outside of your school. If you must include a URL in whatever document you are submitting, I second PsychGirl1's suggestion to include the DOI. You can write the DOI as a URL like this: http://dx.doi.org/10.1000/182  (where you replace the numbers with your actual DOI, of course). The DOI is a short and also permanent link to the paper and it will be up to the reader to ensure they have proper access to the publication!

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Thanks a lot Latte for your elaborate explanation. Certainly I can adjust the settings of my reference management tool, but I was just wondering whether the URL is necessary or acceptable or doesn't matter or undesirable. I am getting the impression that it's presence doesn't matter in most cases and so unless my reference is just an webpage or blog (which is rarely the case in serious research), I will just turn it off.

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