For Faculty & Staff

Copyright Information for Faculty and Staff

| Database Articles | Linking in Course Sites | Media Clips | Reserves | Student Papers |

Database Articles

In preparing for a class lecture, I have found several articles from library databases that I would like to add to my assigned reading list for my students. Can I download the .pdfs and post them to my course website?

The best way to make electronically-accessible readings available to your students is to copy and paste the persistent URL (when available) from the database article's record onto your Blackboard, e-reserve or course web page. From on campus, this will automatically link a student directly to the database record and thus the full text. (From off campus students will need to authenticate with a username and password; please contact your campus library for instructions on how to set this up.) If there is no persistent URL you may post the downloaded document or print out the document and scan it, then post the PDF to the page. Be sure to always include a copyright notice and a complete citation when labeling course readings on your sites.

If you do not use a web site or course management system, you may also distribute a one-time photocopy of the reading to the class.

Linking in Course Sites

I've got a new reading for my students in my hybrid course. How do I get copies of articles from databases and journals into my Blackboard or e-reserves course sites?

When making material available for a class, it is best, whenever possible, to avoid creating new copies. Making additional copies of a work (be it in print or electronic) may violate Fair Use because of the potential effect on the market value of the original. You can still properly get the content into your Blackboard and e-reserves sites.

If the work is available in an electronic library database or freely available on the web use this protocol:

Always link to the information provider's home page. This gives the provider proper attribution as well as credit in terms of advertising revenue. More specifically, do not frame (i.e. bring a portion of a document into a new window on your site) and do not deep link (i.e. link to URL that jumps over the provider's homepage directly to the document itself).

What if the work is available only in print?

If the work is a small portion of a larger work, you may make an electronic or print copy for your class. If the copy is electronic, it should be placed on a passworded site so that only the students for whom it is intended may view it. It should be taken off of the site at the end of that semester. If the copy is print (e.g. a photocopy), it should be placed on reserves and then removed from reserves at the end of the semester. If you want to use the same work repeatedly for the same course, you should get permission .

Media Clips

I want to show examples of symbols used throughout popular culture in my 1980’s Sociology 250 course. You know, clips from movies, pictures on the web, songs from my old cassette tapes, snippets from the TV programs I have on VHS… How can I make these objects available to both sections of my course; both the live section on campus and online learning section I volunteered to offer next semester?

Copyright law permits you to show and play media objects as part of face-to-face classroom teaching activities without getting permission. Just make sure the objects were lawfully obtained. There are guidelines regarding amounts and classroom use of materials recorded from television broadcasts. These guidelines require that the recording to be destroyed within 45 days of the broadcast. If one wants to use a recording repeatedly in the classroom, a better solution would be to buy a copy of the program. The TEACH Act details legal limits on what portions of materials can be used in the mediated or real-time distance learning environment and only for those enrolled in the online course. But remember, if your use does not meet the TEACH Act requirements, it may still be a Fair Use or you may be able to get  permission from the copyright holder.


How much of a work can I put on reserve?

If you plan to assign book chapters in your class but do not require students to purchase the entire book, you should follow the guidelines for Fair Use regarding the amount of the total work that you photocopy or post on a course site. If you require that students read several chapters or a substantial proportion from any given work, it is better to place a copy or copies of the book on reserve or require that your students obtain their own copies. While there are no specific restrictions on the amount, your library may enforce its own guidelines.

Student Papers

I'm preparing my faculty web site, which contains links to various courses I teach. I would like to post some examples of excellent student essays I've recently received as guidance for students taking these courses. What kinds of copyright risks are involved with doing this?

Students own the copyrights to their own academic work(s). You may use this simple release form to request the use of their work and use their name if using that work as an example in offering a course. Follow copyright Fair Use guidelines and proper citation procedures if you are using the student work in the body of your own work.