Course Reserves Copyright Guidelines

Copyright guidelines for course reserves are written in recognition of current guidelines, practices, statutes and judicial decisions to provide instructors and staff clear procedures that ensure adherence to the Fair Use provisions of Section 107 of the Copyright Act.

For more information, see the Portland State University Copyright Policy.

Copyright Compliance FAQ

Course Reserves

What types of materials are allowed?

PSU Library books and videos and your personal materials, such as textbooks, can be placed on reserve. Journal articles, book chapters, course syllabi, and sample exams are all acceptable for e-reserve.

If instructors are using examples of student-created works, written permission from the student is required:
Student-created Materials Release/Request Form

Not allowed:

  • Books and videos borrowed via Summit or Interlibrary Loan
  • Non-commercial (copied) DVDs, CDs, or videotapes
  • Content from Harvard Business Review

What if I want multiple articles from one issue or more than one chapter?

Email Us if you would like to place more than one article from a journal issue or more than one book chapter (more than 10% of a book)  on e-reserve; we will pursue copyright permission on your behalf. If costs are prohibitive, we will look for another way to provide the material.

What is not covered by “fair use”?

“Fair use” is a set of guidelines, not the law, and therefore the Library cannot tell instructors with 100% certainty what qualifies as fair use. It’s also important to note that when the PSU Library licenses content for access by PSU faculty, students, and staff, the subscription contract supersedes the fair use guidelines. The Library links to e-books or articles through our subscriptions whenever possible. If the requested material does not fall under fair use, we will work to pursue copyright permissions.

Can I upload files to D2L?

Instructors need to be aware of University Copyright Policy when uploading files to D2L.

The benefit of working with the Course Reserves department at the Library is that we offer copyright screening, pursue copyright (if needed), provide high-quality scans, and ensure that e-reserves are ADA accessible.

In the case of journal articles in our electronic collections, providing a link allows librarians to keep accurate usage statistics and make informed decisions about database retention.

What about course packs?

Course packs can save students time if you are requiring a lot of individual readings. Downloading and printing individual articles and book chapters can be time consuming. Course packs can be put together by Clean Copy or from the Portland State University Bookstore. Once you submit your references, they will pursue copyright, establish the price, and handle the sales to the students.