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Copyright for Faculty: Articles & Books

The Basics


Whenever you distribute photocopies in class, place copies of materials on reserve, or make scanned copies available on your Viking Web course page, it is your responsibility to consider copyright issues and to make good faith compliance efforts. General fair use provisions of the copyright law and the Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying are considered the standard guidelines to employ. ​

When using reserve services at Memorial Library, your submission of a Reserve Request Form is your assurance to us that you have made a good faith compliance effort.

Link when possible

Although reuse and posting rights vary by publisher, most articles or items accessible via Memorial Library's licensed databases may be incorporated (via direct link, not scan) into your own course pages at any time.

Even if the Library has not purchased online access, the work you want your students to use may be available for free on a legitimate Web site, such as an online open archive, the author’s homepage, or an open access journal. Most sites allow students to print a copy for personal use.

If you do link to material licensed by Memorial Library, it is important to capture the link in a manner that includes the authentication information students will need to access the material off campus. Quick instructions are below, or we are happy to help -- just Ask Us!

Linking to Library-subscribed full text resources on your Canvas course page

Add links to articles & other full text resources anywhere on your course page that accepts hyperlinks.

It is important to note that for the links to work correctly both on and off campus, you must format the URL correctly. In most cases, you can’t just copy the link from your browser search box.

Copy the link

The method of capturing the link varies from source to source. In general, look for something called a stable link or permalink. Here are some examples:

  • JSTOR: Go to the full text display. In the citation at the top of the article, copy the “Stable URL”.
  • Ebsco databases: Go to the full text display. In the list of “Tools” to the right of the text, click on “Permalink” and copy the resulting link at the top of the page. If Permalink is not available, click on "Cite" and copy one of the EBSCO links in suggested citations. 
  • ProQuest databases: Go to the full text display. Scroll down to “Indexing Details”. Copy the “Document URL”.
  • Oxford, Wiley & Project Muse journals: Go to the article pdf. Copy the link in your browser search box.

Check for the proxy instructions

Be sure the link includes the text necessary to let students access the material off campus, or using their cell phone data account: http://ucheck.berry.edu/login?url=  Add this text to the beginning of the URL if necessary.

For example, here's how the the url for "No Throwing Popcorn" from the Feb. 2009 issue of Cartographic Journal would look:

http://ucheck.berry.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=37380813&site=ehost-live 

When linking won't do

Although this remains an uninterpreted area, the same fair use provisions of the copyright law and the Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying that provide general guidance are considered to also be useful when a lawfully created electronic copy is not already available. And, although there are no hard and fast rules that govern providing electronic access to copyrighted material, there are a few actions that are generally considered best practices:

  • Limit access only to students enrolled in your class. At Berry, VikingWeb course pages provide the highest level of authentication with the greatest convenience to students, since access is controlled by official enrollment and students regularly use their VikingWeb passwords for other purposes. Other mechanisms include using password protected Adobe Acrobat files on open web pages.
  • Limit repeated use of the same material without obtaining permission. Individual faculty members are responsible for obtaining permission to use copyrighted material, by contacting the author or publisher, or by following your department or school's policies for using services such as the Copyright Clearance Center.
  • Limit the extent of the material. In October 2014 the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court of Northern Georgia's decision that had stipulated that in general copying 10% of an item was acceptable under fair use guidelines. How much of a copyrighted work you copy without permission relates directly to the 3rd and 4th of the fair use factors.
  • End access at the end of class. Berry students retain access to some VikingWeb content even after the course is complete. Set scanned items to expire at the end of the semester.