Linking to Licensed Resources

Using licensed resources the right way

The best way to make an article available to your students in Canvas is either to set it up as an electronic course reserve (via the Library) or to link directly to the article in one of our licensed resources. The Library subscribes to over 650 article databases and more than 60,000 individual electronic journals and books. Many of the items you wish to post to your Canvas page may already be in electronic form. Although downloading PDF articles from these licensed resources for your own scholarly use is acceptable, the licensing terms often restrict using those same PDFs on course websites such as Canvas. Posting a PDF file rather than linking to articles may violate the licensing contracts resulting in the loss of access to a resource for the entire University community.

Why Link

Linking saves you from having to pay copyright permission fees or performing and relying on a fair use analyis to comply with copyright laws.

Many of The Library's subscription licenses prohibit downloading the PDF of an article and then uploading it to Canvas but they do permit direct linking to the article.

How to Link

Copying the URL in a subscription database from the address bar in your browser does not always give you a link that will work for your students. Too often it includes information specific to your search session that will not work for a different person or at a different time.

Below are instructions for how to find a more persistent link in commonly used databases, or you can always post a question to the Library's Ask-a-Librarian for assistance.

  1. Find a licensed version of the article or book chapter you wish to post
    • Book chapters:
      Search for the book title in the Library Catalog. If an electronic version is available, there will be a link in the record.
    • Articles:
      Find a database or ejournal that contains the article. If you have a citation, search the E-journals list or Library Catalog by journal title to see if the Library has it in electronic form or find a database in your field using the Database Finder and then search the database for your article.
  2. Find a permanent (sometimes called "persistent") link to the article you need.
    Different databases put these permanent links in different places on their webpages. Examples:
    • JSTOR: Click on Article Information on your search results page and look for the Stable URL at the bottom of the page or on the Bibliographic Info tab.
    • Ebsco databases: At the bottom of the page with the full citation there is a field labeled Persistent link to this record.
    • ProQuest: At the end of the Indexing (document details) there is a field labeled Document URL
    • Project Muse: Click on the View HTML option for your article and copy the URL from the address bar in your browser window.
  3. Ensure the link will use the proxy server
    Check the link to make sure it contains this: at the beginning. Why? This ensures that you and your students will be able to access the links from off-campus.

    If your URL does not already include the proxy prefix, use the form below to automatically add it.

  4. Copy and paste the proxified permanent link into your Canvas course site
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