2.5 May I upload a PDF of a journal article I obtained through the library’s e-journals to Waterloo's learning management systems (LEARN) for my students to read?

In some instances the journal article is made available under a license that prohibits posting to LEARN.  Consult a copyright contact for information about such restrictions.

The licences for some e-journals provided by the Library allow instructors to upload articles into secure course management systems such as Waterloo's LEARN. While there may be good reason to upload articles to LEARN, it is important to consider that doing so may mean that your students do not have the most recent version of the article. It is not unusual for publishers to make corrections or changes, such as adding supplementary material, to articles after initial publication. If such changes are made after a copy has been uploaded they will not be reflected in that copy. A direct link is the best way to ensure access to the most recent version of an article. Linking to the article also allows the Library to track use and obtain data about the importance of a particular journal to the campus.

You are free to create a direct link yourself, or you might want the Library to do this for you through the eReserves service. As well as saving you time, Library staff will ensure that authentication is taken care of so that your students don’t need to remember to log-in to the Library’s proxy server before going into LEARN. They will also prepare a “persistent” URL. The publisher’s URL for many articles can change from day to day; a persistent URL will ensure that your students get to the right articles quickly and without frustration.

Even in cases where uploading and linking to articles in LEARN is permitted by the licences, it is important to remember that licences generally do not permit you to upload to a website, or create links on a website, that is not part of the University’s secure network, and that is open to the world at large. None of the licences that the Library has with publishers allows for uploading to, or linking from, websites that allow access without authentication.