Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Copyright: Guidelines for Reserves

Trying to organize a lesson plan and not sure what copyright allows you to use?

Course Reserves or Creating Course Materials

With copyright it is always important to keep Fair Use in mind when preparing for your class.  If you have access to online course software you have a couple of options. 

  • You do have the right to provide materials to your students; however if you plan on using the same article over several semesters it is best to ask permission to use the articles, section, excerpt. 
  • Please remember to keep your length of material to the minimum of Fair Use; in other words you my never use more than 10% of a journal or book. 
  • For Journal articles, instead of posting a pdf of the article, post the persistent link found in the databases.
  • It is better for your university to post materials to your online course management system than to post through the library, this is due to the Fair Use statement under the Cumulative effect "material is for only one course in the school".
  • If you hand out the photocopied material in class always be sure to include the copyright information.
  • If you have placed a book on Reserve that students are reading more than 10% from, it is best if it be placed on the Required material list.


Uses of Photocopied Material requiring permission

  • Repetitive copying: materials that you plan on using in multiple semesters or sucessive years.
  • Copying for profit: Faculty should not charge the students more than the actual cost of the materials.
  • Consumable works: Copying works such as standardized tests, exercises, workbooks even if out of print need to have permission granted.
  • Creating your own anthologies from mutliple works: If you are creating your own course material from several sources, even if they are less than 10%, you will need to gain permissions from all the original sources copyright holders.

Q & A

Q: Can a library ever place textbooks on Reserve?

A: As long as the textbook is available for purchase in the bookstore this is okay.  However at Cairn University only faculty copies of textbooks are placed on reserve.  We do not purchase traditional textbooks.  If you have a question please contact Stephanie Kaceli or Laura Saloiye for further details.


Q: How does the Library help with Fair Use?

A: We "activate" or place reserves at "inactive" statuses.  If a book is active only current Cairn University patrons can access the document.  If a reserve item such as a journal article is labeled by the system as "inactive" it will not be accessible to anyone but the library staff.


Q: If I am posting an article to E-learning what is the best way to do that?

A: The best way to post an article is to use the persistent link, this allows the article usage to be tracked as the students will have to sign in not just to e-learning, but also to the Library.