Answered By: Stephen Miller
Last Updated: Dec 01, 2020     Views: 48

No, it is better to link to it in the database.    
The Library strongly recommends against posting PDFs of articles or other materials found within Library databases to LEO classrooms for students to access as course materials.  Using the permanent links/PURLs to the database record for the resource is the preferable method, for these reasons:

  • Accessibility - PDFs can create accessibility issues for students requiring special accommodations such as screen reader software. The research databases normally include electronic text for articles, which has far fewer accessibility issues. 
  • Licensing and Copyright Issues - Copying PDFs to a different information system may violate limitations on reproduction and distribution under copyright protections and licensing agreements.  
  • Article Information - Important information about the source of the article may not be included within the PDFs. This may create problems with accurately citing the article in proper APA or MLA format. Complete metadata about the article normally appears within the database record. 
  • Usage Data - When students are directed via links to the database record, statistics showing library usage are recorded. This data is critical for showing the overall usage and return on investment of the Library resources. Without this data, use of materials as course resources will not be counted, and could result in discontinuation of databases that are seemingly little used.

For these reasons, best practice is to utilize PURLs (permalinks) to direct students to Library resources used as course materials.

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