Electronic Reserves: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Just as with traditional print reserves, copyright and Fair Use are important considerations.


How will my students access Electronic Reserves?

Electronic Reserves are placed on Blackboard, CSU Stanislaus' online course management system. Only students enrolled in your class have access to your Electronic Reserves. Students will need to log onto their Blackboard account using their campus ID and password.  Once in your course on Blackboard, they will find a link for Library Reserves in the left-hand menu.


What is Fair Use and how can I determine whether an item is within Fair Use?

Fair Use as described by copyright law involves 4 factors:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Dwayne K. Buttler and Kenneth Crews, director of Columbia University's copyright Advisory Office, have developed a helpful Fair Use Checklist. When using the checklist, keep in mind that it is only a tool and should not be considered definitive in determining Fair Use.  For additional help with Fair Use questions, please contact a Reference Librarian at 667-3234.


How can permission for materials that go beyond Fair Use guidelines be obtained? How much does it cost?

Permission can be obtained by contacting the copyright owner. In many instances, the Copyright Clearance Center is able to provide permission and fee information. When fiscal realities improve, the Library hopes to be in a position to help underwrite licensing fees.


How many pages from one book can I put on Electronic Reserves?

One of the challenges in adhering to copyright, and specifically, Fair Use guidelines, for Electronic Reserves, is that current laws do not provide specific rules.  The University Library follows the Fair Use Best Practices which recommends one chapter or a small portion of a book. Typically, this constitutes no more than 10% of the entire work. The amount allowed can be less than 10% if the portion is deemed the "heart" of the work.


What if I want to include a video on Electronic Reserves for an online course?

The rules affecting videos and course reserves are complex. Please contact David Rocha or Dwayne Machado at 667-3234 to discuss your situation. If licensing restrictions and/or copyright regulations preclude our helping you in terms of Electronic Reserves, we may be able to suggest other options.


Can I place course readers on Electronic Reserves?

As long as they adhere to Fair Use guidelines AND are not comprised of required course readings, they can be placed on Electronic Reserves.


Can I place articles from our Library databases and electronic journals on Electronic Reserves?

Articles from databases and/or electronic journals which are licensed by the Library can usually be placed on Electronic Reserves.  In keeping with best practices, the Library will provide the article link rather than scan the article.


Can I place sample student papers and projects on Electronic Reserves?

Student papers and projects can be placed on Electronic Reserves if the students' name(s) are blacked out and if copyright permission has been granted by the student(s) and the Library is provided a copy of the permission form.


What does the Library need for items to be placed on Electronic Reserves?

For Electronic Reserves of materials which the Library has already licensed for access (i.e., to which the Library subscribes), the Library needs:

  • complete citation of the source (e.g., book, journal article, etc.), including title of the source, author, publisher, and in the case of book chapters, edition number of the book;

In addition, for materials that the Library is not already licensed to provide in electronic format, the Library needs:

  • good quality PDF or photocopy of the materials (for paper, preferably 8 ½ x 11).

How early should I provide materials I want on Electronic Reserves?

As early as possible.  Ideally, we would like to receive materials 1-2 weeks before the beginning of the semester.  This allows sufficient time to process the materials so they are available at the start of the semester.


How soon will items be available on Electronic Reserves

At the beginning of the semester, processing can take 5-7 working days before materials appear on your Blackboard course. Library staff strives to make reserve materials available within 2 or 3 working days, but given heavy processing loads at the start of the semester, longer turnaround times can occur.


How long are materials kept on Electronic Reserves?

Materials are removed at the end of each semester. In cases where the Library has scanned materials, best practices specify that a licensing fee be paid for all subsequent terms after the first term when materials are used.  Currently, the Library lacks funding for such fees. If instructors want scanned materials to be available electronically for more than a single semester, the instructor will be responsible for the fees. Absent the payment of fees, the Library will make materials available to students using traditional print reserves.


When I need Electronic Reserves documents changed on one of my courses, what should I do?

Please bring the new documents to the Library and a staff member will assist you.

  • a good quality photocopy of the materials, preferably on 8 and 1/2 x 11-inch paper, and
  • complete citation of the source (e.g., book, journal article, etc.), including title of the source, author, publisher, and in the case of book chapters, edition number of the book.