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Course Reserves

Faculty FAQ

All print reserves will be suspended for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19 concerns. All available reserves will be e-resources.
The library will allow professors to take the physical copies of reserves out and use them in their courses as they see fit. You can take out the book and make copies of the texts (copyright permitting) or request small sections be scanned by library staff. You can then upload the scans to canvas.
In some cases due to COVID the library will purchase the text if needed.
E-books can be placed on reserve indefinitely. The links are available in the “Course reserve list” tab in this guide. If you do not see the e-book linked, feel free to email us at
You may communicate with library staff to see if purchasing the ebook is an option. You can fill out this form.

Copyright Info

It is your responsibility to understand copyright laws and, if necessary, to secure copyright permissions. Consult the Educational Materials section on the Gordon Library's copyright guide to determine if you can re-use a resource in your own class; on the guide, you can also find how to request permission, if necessary. Contact a librarian if you need help tracking down contact details for publishers.

All photocopies must contain a complete citation and copyright information. Photocopies must be bound, either in a manila folder or a loose-leaf binder. A folder or binder must be provided for each copy of an item to be placed on reserve, but please bring your own because the library doesn't supply them.

Links to Library Resources in Canvas

Within Canvas, instructors can easily and conveniently provide library resources, such as articles and electronic books, to students.

What are the key benefits of linking to library resources in Canvas?

  • Reduce the cost of course materials by linking to library-licensed electronic books, journals, and articles.
  • Distribute last-minute and supplemental readings online.
  • Link to database searches to enhance discussions of course topics.
  • Link to online reference materials for your students' project work.
  • Link to specific online journals relevant to course content.

What can you link to?
Millions of full-text articles, thousands of eBooks, IEEE standards documents, and conference proceedings. Please note that Harvard Business Review expressly forbids linking their materials for required course readings. Please contact a librarian if you have any questions.

How do you post links to library resources within Canvas?
To add links to Canvas, consult the instructions linked below:
How do I add a hyperlink to a Module?
How do I create a hyperlink in the Rich Content Editor?
Note: If you are linking to an ebook, please contact a librarian to confirm that there are no access limitations, such as a limit on the number of users.

Links to e-books and articles
For library-subscribed resources, use this prefix before the URL to ensure students have access to articles or eBooks from off campus: 

Depending on the database, you may not be able to simply copy and paste the search web address into Canvas. Generally, there are three types of links:

  • Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) – They look like this:
  • Persistent, Stable URLs – Must be copied from within database record, usually within a database abstract.
  • Address Bar Link – These are easy ones, which you can copy and paste the link in the address bar of your browser.

Tip: Test your links in a day or two to ensure they still work. Check with a librarian if you're having trouble.

Uploading full text
If you have a reading for which copyright permission is cleared, to upload the full-text PDF or DOC into Canvas, use the File Upload area. NOTE: License restrictions apply for most library databases and eJournal publishers, so linking to the item, instead of uploading a full-text PDF, is often the best approach.

Experiencing problems linking?
Issues with links in Canvas often are caused by the "Add External URL" option in Canvas only allowing 255 characters. Add your URL and article citation information in the area as indicated:
<a href="copy and paste the correct web link to Article here">Article Title</a> Author, journal, date (Gordon Library database link).

Options for making print copies of articles accessible via Canvas
What are your options if you have a print article that you'd like to make available to your students via Canvas? The first step is to check to see if the item is online within a library subscription database that can be linked to. Use the Citation Linker to find an item by ISSN, ISBN, or DOI, or consult the WPI Journals List. You can also use course reserve, which is a system that allows you to place printed course materials on two-hour reserve for your students. More information about course reserve can be found above.

To evaluate whether you could post a scanned copy of the article on Canvas, consult the Educational Materials section on the Gordon Library's copyright guide. The guide also has information on how to request permission, if necessary. Contact a librarian if you need help tracking down contact details for publishers.