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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. 


Manchester 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. Interpretation of copyright law is up to the individual, though Manchester's legal council may be able to provide further assistance.

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 in 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 is 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. 

When linking to EBSCO content (i.e. Academic Search Premier, Business Source Complete, ERIC, PsycArticles, Ebook, etc.), look for the Permalink option in the tool menu. This includes Manchester's proxy information for off-campus authentication. 

NOTE: Never copy the full URL in the address bar when in an EBSCO database. There is a session ID included which will break the URL functionality once your database browser window is closed.
ebsco image showing where permalink is located


Locate the JSTOR permalink by looking beneath the journal publication information after clicking the title of the article. 
NOTE: JSTOR permalinks can be finicky at times. As a best practice when off-campus, authenticate through an EBSCO database first before clicking to access the JSTOR permalink within Canvas.
jstor image showing where permalink is located

Science Direct makes it easy in that you may simply click the full URL in the address bar for permalink access. The proxy is already included for authenticating off-campus. 
science direct database showing permlink location

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