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Canvas: Integrating Library Resources: Link to Articles/Chapters

How to embed Library content into your Canvas course


  • Persistent  links, also known as "durable URLs," "direct URLs," "durls," or "purls," are permanent links to individual articles or e-books that can then be shared via email, posted on a web page, or placed on a course site in Canvas.
  • Individual databases provide their persistent links in different ways or may not provide them at all. 
  • Please note that in rare cases, some e-resources may only allow a limited number of simultaneous users. Limited simultaneous user notes are attached to each resource either in the description of the resource or in the link from LibrarySearch. If you want to use a resource for class that has limited simultaneous users, or if you find using one is causing problems, please contact a librarian
  • For further questions ask a librarian.

Proxy Me!!

In order for a persistent link to work for off-campus users, the link must include the prefix or the embedded code string

In some cases the code string will already be part of the persistent link, but for others you will have to add it. It is up to you to identify whether or not the code string is already there. Note for Factiva: all Factiva “share” links must be run through this Proxy Me widget in order to work.

Example of a persistent link that already includes the code:

Example of a persistent link that needs to have the Ezproxy code added:

JavaScript not enabled or Proxy Me widget failed to load.

Labels to look for

Databases present persistent links to articles under many different labels, so look for any language that indicates permanance. Here are some common labels:

Persistent link/Permanent link/Permalink, e.g.     or 

Embed link, e.g. 

Direct link

Durable link

Copy link, e.g. 

Cite, e.g.    or 

Bookmark/Infomark, e.g.  , or 

Once you locate the persistent link you will be able to copy it to paste it into your email, web page, or course site. You may need to alter it slightly, however, to make it accessible for off-campus users. See PROXY ME for instructions on how to do this.

If you cannot locate a persistent link, look for a DOI or a PDF. See more information on these below.

Each database has its own HELP pages.  These pages have database-specific instructions for creating PURLs.


Increasingly full-text content providers are adding DOIs, or digital object identifiers, - a unique code applied to a single article.  DOIs provide an easiest and surest way of creating durable links. 

If a DOI is present,

Copy the DOI, (i.e. 10.1111/j.1467-8527.2008.00416.x) 

Add it to the end of the following string:

Now the whole DOI looks like this

By adding the http-edu string to the beginning of the DOI, you guarantee off-campus access to the article.


When a database provides a PDF (Portable Document Format) of an article, the PDF URL itself is a persistent link. Once you open the PDF, copy the URL in the browser's address bar and treat it like you would a persistent link.  You will have to make sure the code string for off-campus users is embedded in the URL to make it available off-campus.  If it's not there, review above for how to add it.


Adding Links to Canvas

In most cases, you will likely add text & links to or embed library content in the following Canvas content types:

  • a syllabus or other document
  • a Library Resources or other course module
  • a page (which may be then linked to a module)
  • an assignment (which may be then linked to a module)

In each of these content types, you will create your content via a rich text editor box (modules also have an External Link content type you might use). In the example below, this time we'll discuss adding an article or ebook link via a rich text box in a Canvas Assignment content type.

Once you have found the durable URL for your article or ebook/chapter in the applicable library database and ensured that it includes the library EZ Proxy coding (as described elsewhere on this page), it's a snap to place it in Canvas.

  • copy the EZProxy coded URL
  • open or create the Assignment you wish to use
  • in the rich text editor box, describe the assignment. Best practice is to include a complete citation to the article or book chapter you are linking to, and embed the link in the article or chapter title (including a complete citation will aid the student in locating the resource via the library website if the link happens to fail or break).
  • highlight the article or chapter title in the text box, hit the link button, and paste the URL into the form

highlight article title

paste URL

  • fill in the rest of the Assignment form (grading, submission options, etc.), and then Save and Publish the assignment.  Add/link the assignment to the appropriate module as needed.