Teaching and Learning with the Libraries

Library instruction, services, and resources of interest to faculty and instructors.

Library Research Guide

Embed Vs. Upload

If you have questions about how to use these materials with your classes, we have answers!

Don't see your question here? Ask a Librarian!

Q: Why should I link or embed materials instead of uploading a copy?

A:  We understand that sometimes just uploading a pdf is easier - you can see it, you know it's there, there's less troubleshooting for you when a student can't access it. Here are two reasons why we recommend that you link or embed materials instead.

1. Copyright. When following Fair Use and the TEACH Act, there are limits on how much of a work you can use and why. For instance, if you want to assign an ebook instead of a traditional textbook to the class, there are copyright concerns if you upload the entire book to Canvas. 

2. Retain the journal/book/etc. When librarians have to decide what resources to purchase, renew, or cancel, one piece of information that we look at is how much use a title received. When you link to the source through K-State Libraries, we have a better chance of recording use (not personal information, just that it was accessed). Items with few or no uses, or a high cost per use, will be examined more closely than something that is used regularly or often. If a journal or ebook is important to your classes and you want to be sure that we keep subscribing to it, linking to it creates a record of its use.

Instructions & Tips

Q: Can I embed a streaming video from K-State Libraries in my K-State Online/Canvas class?

A: Absolutely. We're going to be efficient here and borrow instructions from colleagues at other libraries.

To embed videos from Alexander Street Press, Kanopy, or Swank, begin by logging into the K-State Libraries subscription via our Databases page. From there, University of Denver's library guide on Adding Videos to a Canvas Page includes simple instructions for locating and copying the necessary codes to use in the Canvas HTML editor. These are direct links to instructions for each of these resources: 

Q: If I'm linking to material that is free/open access/in the public domain (you know, stuff I did not find through the Libraries): do I need to proxy the links when I put them in Canvas?

A: No. Definitely do not proxy a link if it's not coming from K-State Libraries.

To oversimplify, the databases and journals that K-State subscribes to have a cover charge to access. The proxy link helps identify K-Staters as okay to enter because their cover charge has been paid. Free/open access/public domain sites have no cover charge. When you proxy the link, you are walking up to a random person standing near the door and handing them money. The random person is confused because you don't have to pay to get in. Also, they don't work there. Unfortunately, in their confusion they block the doorway and you can't get in. 

Q: I've determined that it is okay for me to upload this pdf to my K-State Online/Canvas course, but it's not accessible. How can I get a pdf that is machine readable?

A:  If you are requesting document delivery or an interlibrary loan, the request form includes an option to indicate that you want a "Searchable PDF." 

Screenshot of the option to request a searchable PDF on the interlibrary loan article request form.

If the pdf came from another source, contact the Student Access Center office for guidance on making Word and pdf documents accessible.

Links, Proxy & Copyright

Q: I saved all of these URLs last week, but none of them work today.

A: Some URLs are not permanent addresses for a book or journal article. Instead, they are created based upon your search and are only good for a limited period of time. Most databases from K-State Libraries offer a permanent link (aka permalink) that is stable. Visit our Guide Linking to Online resources Using Permalinks.

Q: If K-State has a subscription, why do my students tell me they are being asked to pay for it?

A: If a student is off-campus, the database cannot tell that K-State Libraries' has paid for their access to a database, ebook, journal article, or other online resource. In addition to using a permalink, you need to make sure that the URL includes a code that routes the user through K-State's system to sign in with their eID and password. We call this "proxying." Learn more about proxying on our guide about Permalinks

Q: K-State Libraries does not have access to an article or other resource that is important for my class. How do my students read it if I can't link to it?

A: This answer isn't so quick and easy because of copyright. You may want to contact your favorite librarian, including those in our Center for Advancement of Digital Scholarship, for more specific help. Check out our recommendations* for Using Copyrighted Material.

*Recommendations and suggestions, not advice because we are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice.