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Using Hypothes.is with Library content

The Hypothes.is Project is an open-source effort that enables sentence-level note taking or critique on top of web content: news, blogs, scientific articles, books, terms of service, ballot initiatives, legislation and more. Beyond note taking, Hypothes.is provides a way to engage through social annotation. 

Theoretically, Hypothes.is should work with content licensed by Trexler Library and available as OCR'd PDF documents.

In reality, there are some issues you should be aware of before building an assignment for a class using Library content.

Hypothes.is and "Proxied" Library content

Hypothes.is relies on a stable, static URL of a resource to work.  Many vendors of library resources use URLs that change from visit to visit.  Additionally, most library resource URLs include a prefix which directs the browser to a login site to allow the resource to be used from off campus.  This means that even if a resource can be used from on campus, students and faculty trying to access the same resource from off campus may get errors, or not be able to use the program at all.

Using Hypothes.is with Library content in Canvas

Using links to Library resources within Canvas is another potential problem, as Canvas uses a native PDF viewer which prevents Hypothes.is from working.  Always download the PDF and provide a locally hosted copy for your students instead of a link to the catalog.

Make sure the PDF you choose has been "OCR'd." 

OCR or Optical Character Recognition is used to convert the PDF (which is essentially a picture of the words) into machine-encoded text that a computer can recognize as words.  If you can search for a word that you know is in the document and the computer can locate that word, your PDF has been run through OCR.

Preparing to use Library content

When you locate an electronic resource from the Library that you want to use with Hypothes.is:

  • Download the PDF of the resource (per use guidelines for the resource, viewable here.) and set up the PDF to be downloaded as a file and not opened as a link. 
  • Once the PDF is downloaded, merely drag and drop the file into the browser with the Hypothes.is program installed and you're on your way.
  • Contact Tim Clarke in Digital Learning for further instructions if you have trouble.

 

Get help using Hypothes.is

If you are having issues using Hypothes.is with library content: