When you find a worthwhile reading or video for the courses you are teaching, you have several options on how to make this material available to your students. Among these options are:
Issues to consider:
When deciding on how to make course material available to your students, issues include not only which options would be more convenient for you and your students, but also which options fall within Fair Use copyright guidelines. Providing persistent URLs to articles, books or videos is a one-stop shopping option that allows the database vendor or website owner/host to handle the copyright issues.
What are persistent URLs?
Persistent URLs (PURL - Persistent Uniform Resource Locators) are also known by terms such as:
These are web addresses that remain consistent and seldom change over time. For example, the Reynolds Libraries homepage can always be reliably reached at https://reynoldslibraries.org/. However, links to resources in the library databases could change each time you try to access these resources, unless you know how to configure these links. Databases often create temporary session links at the moment you access these resources. Databases also create links to resources accessed from on-campus that are configured differently than links created for these same resources when they are accessed from off-campus.
What are the advantages of using persistent URLs?
How long will persistent URLs stay active?
A persistent URL will remain active as long as Reynolds Libraries or our library consortiums (e.g., VCCS, VIVA) continue to subscribe to the given database. In other cases, a database vendor may reorganize its database collections, change their domain name or lose licensing rights to specific journal, book or video titles. It is advisable to check links each semester to make sure they are still active.
Why should I use persistent links when I can simply upload a copy of an article or eBook chapter into my course section/s on Canvas?
The difference lies in the concept of making a copy. Material uploaded into your course section/s on Canvas are subject to U.S. copyright law (Title 17, US Code).
Examples of breaking fair use law:
Example of abiding by fair use law:
Let's compare the above analogy to providing your students links to resources in the library databases. This is like going to the database's house to view a resource. If someone hacks into the database's server and steals an article, book or video, it is not your fault. By linking to resources in the databases, you are taking the necessary security measures to ensure that only authorized users can access this copyrighted material.