Linking to Library Resources

Canvas allows instructors to post complete articles as well as links to those articles.  Although posting an article seems easy, copyright laws and the licenses required by publishers can restrict the items that can be uploaded and posted.  Some publishers don't allow uploading of articles at all, instead allowing only direct links.  Others allow articles to be posted for a short time period.

Here are four steps for linking to library content in your Canvas site.

1. Use Canvas' Reading Lists to see if you can add articles directly to your Canvas site from inside Canvas.  Reading lists are a module you can add to your Canvas site that allow you to search for articles and add them immediately to your course readings. 

2. Link to Articles within your Canvas course

  • In the database or online journal, look for labels such as Stable URL, Permanent URL, Permalink, etc. and copy this permanent URL.
  • Add the prefix that allows access to off-campus users in front of the URL, if the URL does not include it. The prefix is:
  • Test the link from off-campus, without logging in to VPN. If you need assistance in doing this, send the URL to libweb @ indiana . edu and ask that it be tested.

3. Want to upload the full text?  First determine whether the article can be uploaded at all.

  • Look at the article PDF you found. How did you locate the PDF? Who published it or distributed it? If you located the article from a source not affiliated with IU Libraries (e.g., JSTOR, ProQuest, etc.) look at the top and bottom of the page where you located the PDF to find the publisher's or article aggregator's name.
  • For articles affiliated with Libraries' sources, check for the publisher's/aggregator's name on the list of Approved Licensed Content to identify content that may be uploaded and the allowable time period.
  • If the vendor is not listed, complete the Licensed Content Request Form. You will be asked to share the full citation, the source of the article, and the URL. We will research your options as determined by the publisher and respond to you within 7-10 business days.

4.  Linking to Electronic Books and Other Materials

  • Use the URL for the catalog record in IUCAT and paste it into Canvas. It will look like this: The catalog record includes a link to the book that ensures it can be used from both on- and off-campus.
    • NOTE #1:  Linking to chapters within eBooks is not recommended.
    • NOTE #2:  Many electronic books are purchased so that only one reader at a time can use the book. If you plan for your class to complete readings from an eBook, please contact your subject librarian or complete the Request Form  to determine whether additional access can be purchased.
  • Please complete the Licensed Content Request Form for assistance in determining if it is allowable to upload your content directly or if linking is the only option. You will be asked to share the full citation, the source of the article, and the URL. We will research your options as determined by the publisher and respond to you within 7-10 business days.

Visit Syracuse University's Copyright Guide "Using Copyrighted Works in Teaching".

Approved Licensed Content

List of Approved Publishers for Downloading Content

Content Provider

Content Upload

Special Provisions



Individual publishers may impose their own conditions of use applicable only to their content. These conditions of use will be displayed on the computer screen displays associated with such content.

Elsevier Ejournals and Ebooks




Digital copies must be deleted from the system after the end of the term in which the related course concludes



Both linking to and uploading of content is permissable.

Oxford University Press


Electronic linking only



Electronic linking only

Wiley Ejournals & Ebooks