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Copyright Clearance for Electronic Reserve Items

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The Reserve Services unit of the University Library provides a web-based e-reserve service which enables faculty to offer a variety of documents to their classes in digital format; students are able to access these materials from any web-enabled computer at any time. Book chapters and journal articles in publications (including the many full-text electronic databases) owned by the library, can be included in an instructor's e-reserve file without copyright clearance. When the material placed on reserve is not held by the library, however, copyright clearance often is required. A copyright clearance agency, usually the Copyright Clearance Center, collects royalties based upon the number of students in the class that will be accessing the document. Royalty fees must be paid each semester after the initial semester that the material is placed on e-reserve. The University Library and the University Bookstore in partnership are working to speed the clearance process and the library is paying the costs associated with copyright clearance of e-reserve items.



What are the limits on copyright clearance costs that the library will absorb?

Currently, clearance fees will be paid:

  • Up to $100 per individual item
  • Up to $200 total per course per instructor
  • When course enrollment is low, lower thresholds may apply

What are alternatives to e-reserves?

  • "Coursepacks" prepared by and purchased from the University Bookstore by students (copyright fees are included in the price charged the student)
  • Conventional reserve; it may be more cost effective in a few instances to place the physical book on reserve and ask students to go to the library to check it out when copyright fees are far above the norm.

What are the differences between e-reserves and "coursepacks?"

  • Coursepacks are bundles of paper documents that together may constitute the text for a course
  • E-reserve documents are required readings assigned to augment and enhance course content found in the text and the classroom; they are not intended to replace the text or to shift the cost of what would normally be coursepack materials from students to the library

Where can I find more information about copyright and fair use in higher education?


The University Library maintains an easy-to-navigate web site that addresses these issues:


For more information contact Reserve Services, University Library, x 55193


Content maintained by the Library Reserve Services