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Affordable Course Materials

This guide provides faculty with information about affordable course materials and open educational resources.

Databases and Electronic Journals

The library offers research and teaching materials electronically through nearly 300 databases and many more direct subscriptions to e-journals. Most of this content can be accessed by an unlimited number of simultaneous users and you can add links to these articles, news pieces, streaming recordings, and primary sources to your Canvas site with reckless abandon, with rare exceptions.

When adding links to library-provided content in Canvas, there are some important logistics to consider re: off-campus access. If you do not want to deal with these tasks, you can ask library staff to do it for you through a Course Reserves request (see below).

  • Some database vendors offer a permanent link to an article's landing page. These are similar to DOIs but are specific URLs for resource providers. It is important to notice when a resource has a permalink because that normally indicates that there is session-specific information in the URL (which means that saving and using that URL later won't work).
  • At some point, most of our users will want to access Milner databases off campus. The databases need to recognize that you are part of the ISU community (which pays for the access) so we add code to the URLs that direct off-campus people through our proxy server. That is why you are prompted to use Central Login when using library databases off campus. if your resource link doesn't work off campus, you may need to customize it to work with Open Athens, our authenticating service. Details on how to generate links is available in this FAQ.

Where to Find Permalinks

Permalinks are readily available in the library's catalog records (click to enlarge):

You can also find them in library databases. They are usually in a "Tools" menu, like in Academic Search Complete (click to enlarge):

You might also find Permalinks called "Document URLs" like in ABI/INFORM (click to enlarge):