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Copyright for Faculty: Posting Materials in Canvas

Best Practices when Posting Materials in Canvas

Canvas is a convenient option for housing documents and linking to outside resources. However, you must take into consideration several factors when seeking to distribute content and resources to your students. Use the information in the right-hand column to navigate through these helpful best practices. 


Grace librarians are not the copyright police, nor are we legal experts in copyright. It is our responsibility to provide resources, but not advice in regards to what you can and cannot do in your courses. The interpretation of copyright law is up to the individual.

1. What Can Be Posted Directly To Canvas?

E-resources can be added to Canvas when:

you may use the work whenA faculty member is the owner of the copyright of the work
you may use the work whenThe material is made available by linking to a database or website rather than posting a PDF copy
you may use the work whenThe copyright owner has granted permission to distribute PDF copies
you may use the work whenThe material has been designated as open access by the copyright owner
           (see the Creative Commons tab for more information)
you may use the work whenThe material is in the public domain
you may use the work whenThe intended use falls within Fair Use exemptions under copyright law, or under another copyright exception
you may use the work whenA license for the use of the material has been obtained

2. How Do I Link to a Database Resource in Canvas?

As a best practice, linking to a resource within a library database should be the primary access point for library materials. Posting a PDF copy could be a copyright violation and should be avoided.

When linking in Canvas, include the citation along with the link to alleviate access issues and assist in retrieving the e-resource should the link no longer work.  In order for off-campus students to have access, please copy and paste the Grace Proxy Prefix URL to the beginning of the article Permalink (see below).  Do not change the permalink and make sure there is no space between this prefix and the permalink.   Always test your links from off-campus to be sure students have access to the material. 

Grace Proxy Prefix URL:


***Your Link for Canvas should look like this:

When linking to EBSCO content (i.e. Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete, ERIC, PsycArticles, Atla, Ebook, etc.), look for the Permalink option in the tool menu.
NOTE: Never copy the full URL in the address bar when in an EBSCO database. This is a "searching URL and will not retrieve the article once your database browser window is closed.

Finding the permalink in EBSCO:


Locate the JSTOR permalink by looking beneath the journal publication information after clicking the title of the article.  It is identified as the Stable URL
NOTE: Make sure to add the Grace Proxy Prefix URL  to the permalink before using the link/URL in Canvas.


Sage Journals

Sage Journals makes it easy in that you may simply use the full URL in the address bar for permalink access. 


For assistance with any permalink options that have not been included here, contact