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Faculty Help: Linking/Embedding Library Resources: FAQs

Help for embedding permalinks and video content into your Canvas course shells.


What is a "permalink"?

A permalink, sometimes called a persistent or stable link, is a URL that directly connects a user to an article in a library database. (From off-campus, login would be required.) 


Is a permalink different from the URL in the browser address bar? Which should I use?

Yes. The URL in the browser address bar is not stable; it is specific only to that particular research session on that particular device or computer. If you were to share that URL, the user with whom you share it would not be able to access the resource. The permalink should be used instead. 


Why would I want to use a permalink? Can't I just copy the article then upload it to Canvas?

There are two reasons to use permalinks: 1) Copyright. You will always be in copyright compliance when using a permalink, so it's the safest thing to do. 2) It helps the library...and you! Each time an article from a library database is accessed, it adds to our usage statistics. Database usage statistics are an important decision-making data point for purchasing and maintaining electronic resources.  


How do I get the permalink?

Click the permalink icon (looks like a small chain-link), usually located on the right or along the top of the screen, then copy-and-paste. (See the various tabs in this guide for specifics.)


I know some of my students don't have access to a stable internet connection. Would it be okay to upload the article to my Canvas course shell?

Yes. Using permalinks is best, but in a case like that, when done so in a password-protected environment such as a campus CMS/LMS like Canvas, that would fall under Fair Use. 


Can I use and share a permalink just like any other URL? 

Yes. You can copy-and-paste into your course shell or email it. (From off-campus, login would be required.)


What is "embedding"?

"Embedding" can have a couple of different meanings. 

Embedded Electronic Resources
"Embed code" is auto-generated HTML code provided by a third party platform, such as YouTube, which can be easily copy-and-pasted into one's own website. This gives the user a seamless experience in that they do not have to leave the website to engage with the content. Examples of this would be a YouTube video or an interactive map. Some library resources can be embedded in this manner into your Canvas course shell.

Embedded Librarians
Librarian embedding can take place in two ways: 1) physical embedding, which is the practice of a librarian being present in a specific physical location outside the library, such as another department or campus, for certain scheduled periods of time. This is more common at larger institutions with robust library staffing. 2) electronic embedding, which is the most common form of librarian embedding. This is when a librarian is placed in and assigned a role (ie. "Librarian" or "TA," etc.) within your Canvas course shell. Having an embedded librarian can provide your students with additional, convenient access to research assistance. Librarians can be as active and involved to the extent that you would like. Think of it as having a 'research coach' right there in your course shell!

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