Whenever possible, it is very important to link to library eresources, rather than downloading the full text to share with your students.
Sometimes instructors worry that linking will make it too complicated for students to access an article or ebook, but when the correct permalink is used, the only added step is for the student to log-in with their UNCW credentials.
Links are best practice for accessibility – they allow your students to make use of tools in the library databases such as text-to-speech and plain-text versions of .pdfs.
2. Usage statistics
Linking helps Randall Library keep accurate usage information - cost per use is a metric that the library uses to determine whether or not to keep or cut resources. If you download and share an article, we only track one usage, making the resource look under-used. Linking to library resources allows us to keep the resources that you and your students use the most.
Linking complies with our database licenses and copyright law - many of our library databases' licenses actually prohibit the downloading and distribution of content.
Finally, linking makes visible to students the concept of information privilege and access. Many students think that everything is available for free on Google all the time, and sharing articles directly reinforces that myth by obscuring the fact that access is only possible due to the information-rich bubble of UNCW. Linking can help teach your students to be aware and thoughtful about issues of access and their information privilege.
Spread the Word
Feel free to use either of images below in your email signature or elsewhere (linking to this page) to help remind people to "think to link."
Contact Your Librarian
Associate Director, Research and Instructional Services and Library Assessment