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Walden University Writing Center

Where instructors and editors talk writing.

Providing Accessible References to Global Readers

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With many changes in APA 7 focusing on the move to digital accessibility, it is important to understand the issues proxy servers can present readers and researchers. This will often require students to make modifications to DOIs retrieved from some databasesincluding the Walden Library databases, to ensure they are accessible to all readers.  Please read below for further explanations and action items for how you can ensure the DOI numbers you include in your reference list are accessible to all readers. 

proxy server is an application that acts as a middleman between those seeking resources and those providing resources. Walden students (the seekers) are likely to see this in the databases of the Walden Library (the provider), which houses all journal articles and research that Laureate holds fair use licenses.  

When including the proxy server (i.e., https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/doi.org/10XXXX) in the DOI provided to the reader, the writer only makes this research accessible to those with a specific login to this system. In this case, a Walden login would allow Walden students access to this research through the Walden Library databases. Instead, writers should remove this proxy server to provide the non-specific DOI (in URL form as per APA 7 guidelines) that will allow all readers, including non-Walden students, to access this specific research.   

To provide the most accessible link for your reader regarding a DOI URL, eliminate ezp.waldenlibrary.org from the URL. It should read simply as follows: https://doi.org/10.XXXXX  

Here is an example:  

As you can see from the above example, the first link will bring the reader to a login page before allowing them to access these materials. If the reader does not have an active Walden login, they will not be able to access these materials. However, once the proxy server is removed and only the active DOI hyperlink is included, this research becomes accessible to anyone with an internet connection.  

Removing the proxy information from a DOI is an important step to provide accessibility to all readers of our research, and it also aids in future accessibility as the non-proxy DOI numbers and URLs will always be accessible, even when removed from, or moved to, different internal servers. 


With this rule in mind it is also important to note the recent APA 7 change that requires all DOIs to be presented in an active URL form. This may mean altering the DOI URLs you have from the Walden Library databases to follow the URL format, along with removing the proxy server information.  

If you ever are unsure if you are omitting the correct information you can also check your sources on www.crossref.org/guestquery to see and verify the correct DOI URL, without any proxy server attached. You can also learn more about formatting DOI URLs on our website and through the examples on our Common Reference List Examples page. 

Meghan K Barnes holds a BFA in Professional Writing & English, an MFA in Nonfiction Literature, and a MAT in Post-Secondary Adult Online Education. These degrees lead to multiple opportunities including a Fulbright Scholarship to study the nonfiction work of Sylvia Plath in England, three Pushcart Prize Nominations, and four book publications.

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