Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources (OER) and Affordable Course Content (ACC)

Learn about OER and ACC, including how to find, evaluate and create open resources, and how to acquire affordable course materials through the libraries.

Using Library Resources in Canvas

Rather than downloading and providing a PDF to your students, it is important to provide a link to the resource instead.

  • Some of our licensing agreements require this.
  • We are able to track usage and maintain statistics.

For offcampus access, it is necessary to provide the Libraries proxy link. See below.

Linking to Full Text Library Resources

In order to avoid copyright issues with re-scanning or downloading an article for your students to read, you may provide a link to articles or other items available through library subscription. 

Note: If you want students to access the materials from offcampus, the URL should have an indication that it is for ODU users. If there is no "odu" indication in the URL, you should add the following prefix:

For items in library databases, there should be a "Permalink," "Stable" or "persistent" URL, or "Document URL" in the full record from the results list. Using this URL, your students will be directed back to the database entry to get the PDF or html version. They can also get the citation from the database entry. If the ODU proxy is not part of the URL, you need to add it: 


Digital object identifiers (DOIs) provide permanent access to the full-text of many of the items in our collections. If you want your students to go directly to the pdf, use the proxy prefix with the doi so that your students can access the materials from off-campus:  


NOTE: be sure the actual link includes the full url with both proxy and article.

About DOI

A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique string of characters used to identify and/or locate an electronic article or other "object."  Similar to an ISBN for books or ISSN for journals, a DOI is intended to provide permanent, stable access to or information about these electronic objects. 

Publishers collaborate with an organization called CrossRef, which maintains a database that keeps track of a current web address associated with each DOI.  Publishers are responsible for ensuring that if the web address for a document changes, the reference for the DOI is updated.

Keep in mind...  not all articles or electronic documents have DOIs.  It is up to publishers to obtain and pay for DOIs, and many, especially small publishers, may choose not to. There also may be cases where the publisher has chosen to obtain DOIs for current articles but not older ones.

For a more detailed description of what a DOI is, visit the Wikipedia Entry for Digital Object Identifiers.


  • To link to a doi, use the prefix:   then add the doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2015.11.008  =
  • If you are off-campus, you may be denied access to an article because the publisher will not know that you are associated with the University or its library. In this case, include the library's proxy address:  


Linking to Factiva Articles

chat loading...