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Copyright, Fair Use, and Blackboard

Locating Documents for Class Readings


  1. Locating articles when you have the exact citation:

    Questions? Ask a reference librarian! 

    1. See if the Library has access in an electronic database such as Academic Search Complete or JSTOR
      1. From library homepage, select the "Journals" tab.
      2. Search E-Journals Finder for the journal title
      3. See which databases have full text, and for what years
      4. NB: in some databases, you can use the URL that appears in the address bar of the browser to link back to the article. Other databases will provide a permanent (also persistent or stable) link to the article somewhere in the bibliographic record. When provided, please copy this link, not the one in the address bar of your browser.
      5. Please add the EZProxy URL to any article link for off-campus access. The EZProxy prefix is: 
      6. Thus the link to JSTOR would look like this:
    2. See if the article is freely available online:
      1. Google: good search tactic is to include both article title and author's last name in search box; put the article title in quotation marks.
      2. Google Scholar ( Google and Google Scholar have different bodies of information, so it's worth it to search both. Use same search tactic recommended above.
  2. Locating books and other materials:
    1. See if the library has access by checking OneSearch he library catalog from library homepage.
      1. Electronic books will show up with "full text avalable" links.
      2. Use the url from the ebook package once the book is open and don't forget to append the proxy url (see #5 above).
    2. Locate freely-available e-books at the Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg.
    3. To see if a government document is available online go to GPOAccess

Linking articles, e-books, other electronic documents in Blackboard

Be sure to tell your students that they will be required to authenticate with the Library's EZ-Proxy server to link to licensed resources from off campus. The instructions for remote access to Library resources is on our website at

  1. Go to the Blackboard course site to which you will link the electronic source
  2. Click the Control Panel
  3. Choose any of the following links from the Content Areas panel
  4. Course Information
  5. Course Documents
  6. External Links
  7. Select the External Links option on the Add bar at the top of the page
  8. Enter a title for the link in the Name field
  9. Type (or paste) the URL (the web address) in the URL field. Be sure to include the http:// at the beginning and the Proxy Prefix (see above).
  10. Enter a set of descriptive words or sentences in the Text box, including complete bibliographic information about the article (i.e. author, title of article, journal title, volume, issue, pages, date)
  11. Click the Submit button
  12. Press OK to approve your action

Uploading scanned documents and PDFs to Blackboard

The library strongly recommends that you use the instructions above to link to materials. They not only ensure that copyright and license agreements are honored, they also ensure that the library can measure use of our resources, and therefore justify their cost. Furthermore, students learn to use library databases for their own future research. However, if you must scan and upload or use PDF documents, please keep in mind you are responsible for considering copyright and fair use.

  1. Go to the Blackboard course site to which you will post the reading material
  2. Click the Control Panel
  3. Choose Course Information in the Content Areas box
  4. Click the Item button on the Add bar
  5. Enter the name of your document
  6. Scroll down to Section 2
  7. Click the Browse button to find the reading material (document)
  8. Select the document
  9. Click the Submit button
  10. Click OK in the package receipt