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May I upload a PDF of a journal article I obtained through the library’s e-journals to Canvas for my students to read?

The licenses for some e-journals provided by the Library allow instructors to upload articles into secure learning management systems (LMS) such as Canvas. While there may be good reason to upload articles to the LMS, it is important to consider that doing so may mean that your students do not have the most recent version of the article. It is not unusual for publishers to make corrections or changes, such as adding supplementary material, to articles after initial publication. If such changes are made after a copy has been uploaded they will not be reflected in that copy. A direct link is the best way to ensure access to the most recent version of an article. Linking to the article also allows the Library to track use and obtain data about the importance of a particular journal to the campus.  

Making Readings Available to Students describes several different ways to make required and supplementary readings available to students online and suggests the pros and cons of each option. Each option has specific benefits along with specific cautions, including copyright compliance. 

While uploading and linking to articles in the LMS may be permitted by the licenses, it is important to remember that licenses generally do not permit you to upload to a website, or create links on a website, that is not part of the University’s secure network, and that is open to the world at large. None of the licenses that the Library has with publishers allows for uploading to, or linking from, websites that allow access without authentication.