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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Course Materials and Copyright for Professors: Sharing Material

This LibGuide will assist Professors in making determinations regarding how they can make accessible course materials as needed for students.

Linking to Journal Articles Licensed by the Library

NOTE: If you need to make a copy of a book or a journal article that is still in copyright and is not available electronically through the library, please visit the fair use section of this guide.


When you wish to assign your students to read an article from a journal that is already available in the library database, the best practice is to link the student directly to the article using the persistent link (which will send users through the proxy server to the items digital object identifier (DOI)--a unique identifier signifying that even if the source moves locations it can still be retrieved by the unique identifier assigned to it).  

In other words, if the student wishes to reach the article off-campus, the student will be prompted to authenticate him/herself through the University Library System's proxy server.

If the University has in its online collection a copy of the electronic versions of the journal you wish to assign to your students to read for class, then the University Library authorized user (Professor/Student) can authorize the article without violating copyright rules.

This is a better practice than, for instance, downloading a pdf of the article and uploading that article to the webpage. In that instance, although you have the right to provide the copy of the material to your students for reading, it makes it much easier for your student to violate copyright by posting the article somewhere public or forwarding it via email to non-University colleagues.

Thus, when a journal article is licensed by the library, the best practice is to link to the copy of the article through the persistent link on the library's proxy server and post that link on your course page.