Cut to the Chase... Q: Just what is a persistent link? A: A persistent link is a link that heads directly to a site and doesn't change. EBSCO and Proquest use these to provide direct links to articles. Just put the link in your address bar and go.
Q: That's great and all but why can't I just use the link in the address bar? A: When you are in databases like Proquest and EBSCO, the link in the address bar has a session id as a part of it, which has your search history. After you leave EBSCO, the session ends and the link won't work anymore. So that URL won't help you provide a link for your article in an assignment or to share a article with your teammates on a project, but a persistent link will. For example, the following is a persistent link to an article in EBSCO's Academic Search Premier taken from the article's citation (I wonder where it goes?):