Textbook Alternatives

Consider Using Articles from E-Encyclopedias

The EMU Library provides numerous scholarly reference works in electronic form.

Articles from these may provide excellent overviews of topics for students.

Below are links to some e-reference collections. For the Social Sciences, Sage reference works are especially high quality.

There may also be highlighted e-reference books on Subject Research Guides.

If you are making print or digital copies ...

Tips on Using Online Articles

Copyright fees can make course-packs very expensive! The EMU Library may already be paying for an electronic subscription to the journals (usually at a high institutional price.)

It's fair use to link students to electronic articles in the EMU Library's collection. Here are some tips for doing so successfully:

1.) Link to articles
Linking to articles is always fair use. Uploading or distributing copies may be fair use some of the time. 

2.) Choose a link to JSTOR or to the electronic journal subscription when possible.
The EMU Library owns some electronic journals; and has only access to others. When the library owns the article, it won't disappear. The articles in aggregator databases, such as ProQuest or EBSCO, fall in the access category; articles from the journal publishers can fall in the own or the access category. It doesn't happen frequently, but access only articles can disappear from our collection.  Most articles in JSTOR will be permanent.

3.) Use a stable link that includes the proxy prefix for access with a my.emich login
When using subscription resources, the web address you see at the top of your browser won't always work again for another user. See Stable Links to Library Resources below for tips on how to create stable links.

4.) Provide full citation info
If the link doesn't work, the student may be able to find the article if they have full citation info. (And, library staff have something to work with to help them.)

5.) Check your links before the semester starts
Check to be sure links are working. It's easier if links can be fixed, before students panic. A good practice may be to check the links from home to check for off-campus access.

What is a stable link?

Stable links for library resources are links that can be safely reused, for example in course reading lists. There are two steps to confirming that a URL will work for all library users.

  • The URL must be persistent. URLs that appear in web browser navigation bars are often dynamic, meaning they expire with the web browsing session.
  • The URL must include EMU's proxy prefix.  The proxy prefix allows off-campus users to login so publishers can recognize authorized EMU users.

Esearch provides Permanent Links that are stable and that will direct users through the EMU proxy.

For linking to other library resources, there are two steps:

  1. Find a Permanent Link or Stable Link option:
  2. Check if the link includes the EMU proxy - http://ezproxy.emich.edu/login?url= - and add it if needed, using the EMU Proxy Link Generator below.

EMU Proxy Link Generator

Create links that include the EMU Proxy and allow on and off-campus access to library resources:

  • The link must be a stable, persistent link. See What is a stable link?, above.
  • Do not add the proxy to freely available sites (such as free news or magazine sites) - the link will not work.  

1. Copy and paste the source URL here:


3. Copy and use the resulting link:

4. to make another link.


Notes: JavaScript must be enabled in your browser in order to use this tool. If you encounter any problems with this tool, please contact Sara Memmott.

When to use a DOI to Link

A DOI link to a journal article will work when the EMU Library has a direct electronic subscription to the journal. 

When the library only has access to the article via a database, such as JSTOR or ProQuest, the DOI won't lead to an article students can access for free. In those cases use the Stable Links to Articles guide to see how to link to the article in that database (JSTOR, ProQuest, EBSCOhost, etc)


A DOI - digital object identifier - is a standard method of referring to online publications, often articles.  DOIs are persistent references that will always point to a particular resource, even if the publisher's web address has changed.

DOI Link Generator

Use this form to create a link from a DOI. The generated link will include the EMU proxy and allow off-campus access to library subscriptions.

Copy and paste the DOI (example: 10.1177/0042085910377290)

Copy and use the resulting link:

to make another link

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