Electronic Reserve (ERes) FAQs for Instructors


1. What is Electronic Reserve? 

Electronic Reserve, or ERes for short, is a course management service that allows students enrolled in classes to log onto password-protected course pages to access readings online.

Our ERes service has many benefits over traditional print Course Reserve service, such as being available 24 hours a day, and having the versatility to be accessed simultaneously by multiple users. ERes is available on-and-off campus, and there is no need for students to wait in line to access material. There are no due dates or overdue fines, and there is no wear and tear associated with material posted on ERes.

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2. How do I set up an ERes course page and submit material? 

The Course Reserve department at the Davidson Library manages all ERes course pages, files, and documents. Instructors initiate the process of setting up an ERes course page by submitting material to Course Reserve. This is done by bringing clean copies of documents in loose-leaf form to the Circulation & Reserve Desk, or by submitting electronic files (MS Word doc, MS PowerPoint ppt, Adobe pdf, etc.) attached to an email and sending it torbs [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu.

When submitting documents to be posted on ERes at the Circulation & Reserve Desk, a supervisor will assist instructors in filling out a Course Reserve List. Please have the following information available so that we may process your Course Reserve List as quickly as possible.

  • Course Number (e.g. HIST 100A)
  • Course Name
  • Instructor Name
  • Contact Information (E-mail or Telephone Number)
  • Bibliographic Information

When submitting electronic files (MS Word doc, MS PowerPoint ppt, Adobe pdf, etc.) to rbs [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu, the course number, instructor name, and course title must be included.

It is crucial that the full bibliographic citation, hand written or typed, is clear and legible on the first page of any document that is drawn from a copyright protected source. If a bibliographic citation is not included, Course Reserve staff must either search for the information, or request the information from the course instructor. As this can consume a considerable amount of time, material submitted without the required bibliographic citations may be processed after other ERes submissions that are properly citated.

Course Reserve staff will create an ERes course page and will assign a unique password which will be sent to the instructor via email. The nature of the unique password, assigned at random for every course, ensures that ERes course pages are viewable only by students enrolled in current courses. Instructorsmay not choose their own ERes passwords, and passwords do not carry over from quarter to quarter.

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3. What is allowed to be posted on ERes? 

Original course-generated documents (PowerPoint slide programs, lecture notes, handwritten homework assignments and solutions, practice exams, etc.) may be posted on ERes.

Copyright protected material must have permission or license from the copyright holder(s) prior to posting on ERes, or their application must fall within the"fair use" provisions of copyright law. In general, short excerpts from written works or journals may be posted on ERes. Public online resources that maintain stable web addresses, as well as articles from online journals that the University of Santa Barbara subscribes to, can be directly linked to an ERes course page.

Because of limited resources and certain copyright restrictions, the Course Reserve department does not post material from course readers on ERes. If instructors wish to make their course readers available to their students, they must submit bound copies that have been packaged by a document duplication service to the Circulation & Reserve Desk. The course readers will be placed on print Course Reserve and circulated as faculty copies.

Reproductions of any amount taken from academic textbooks and consumable works (solution manuals, lab manuals, workbooks, standardized tests, etc.)may not be posted on ERes without the explicit written permission from the copyright holder(s).

Student academic works (research papers, exams, essays, etc.) are confidential academic records that may not be placed on Course Reserve without the student author's explicit written permission. State and federal law, as well as UCSB policy on privacy and confidentiality of student records, prohibit instructors from posting grades by name. (One may not get around this privacy issue by blacking out the student name). A template of a Student Permission Form is available, and copies are available at the Circulation & Reserve Desk at the library.

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4. What is "fair use"? 

"Fair use", as provided for in the Copyright Act of 1976 (Title 17 United States Code), is difficult to pin down. Copyright law permits the "fair use" application of copyright protected materials for some educational purposes. Such applications do not require the payment of royalties or the permission of copyright owners, provided that the circumstances of the applications are "fair use" as determined by a consideration of four factors specified in section 107 of the Copyright Act, which states:

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: "fair use"

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the "fair use" of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a "fair use" the factors to be considered shall include -

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

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of "fair use" if such a finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

There are no unquestioned rules of "fair use". There are no universally accepted guidelines for "fair use". In determining "fair use", all four factors are weighed equally; no one factor is considered more important than any other. Not all educational applications are considered to fall under "fair use". The nature and amount of material that may be claimed under "fair use" can vary widely. There is no specific limit to the number of words, lines, or pages that may be reproduced under the "fair use" provisions of copyright law.

Because of this, each item submitted for posting on ERes must be considered independantly. Course Reserve staff will help you determine whether the material you wish to post on your ERes course page is likely to fall within the bounds of "fair use."

For links to more details regarding copyright and "fair use," see the library's Copyright and "Fair Use" page.

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5. What formats are accepted? 

Instructors may come to the Circulation & Reserve Desk to submit clean reprints of documents in loose-leaf form to be scanned and posted on ERes. A supervisor will assist the instructor in filling out a Course Reserve List when receiving ERes submissions over the counter.

It is crucial that the full bibliographic citation, hand written or typed, is clear and legible on the first page of any document that is drawn from a copyright protected source. If a bibliographic citation is not included, Course Reserve staff must either search for the information, or request the information from the course instructor. As this can consume a considerable amount of time, material submitted without the required bibliographic citations may be processed after other ERes submissions that are properly citated.

  • Clean Reprints

    Clean reprints of documents should be in dark contrasting print on loose leaf sheets of 8½" x 11" white paper. Our scanning operation does not support direct scanning from bound material, such as books or journals. The full bibliographic citation must be clear and legible on the first page of all copyright protected documents.

  • Hand Written or Typed Documents

    Hand written or typed documents should have at least 3/4" margins, and a title should be included on the first page of all original course-generated materials (e.g. Lecture Notes #4).

  • Electronic Files

    Electronic files (MS Word doc, MS PowerPoint ppt, Adobe pdf, etc.) attached to an email may be submitted to rbs [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu. The course number, instructor's name, and course title should be included in the email.

    • The Adobe .pdf File: Setting the Standard for Course Reserves
    • We scan or convert all documents to Adobe .pdf files, and are capable of reproducing documents in color.

    • MS PowerPoint Slides

      When converting MS PowerPoint .ppt files to Adobe .pdf files, the default number of slides displayed per page is four. Please understand that intense graphical presentations invoke slower file transfer (download) times.

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6. May I post links to other websites? 

Yes, however the link must be stable and point to a webpage that is not password protected.

A stable link is one in which the web address can be bookmarked and successfully returned to repeatedly. An unstable link is one that is dynamically generated for each new user.

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7. Can ERes link to articles from electronic journals? 

Yes, provided that UC Santa Barbara has a current subscription or open access to the electronic journal. Please submit the stable link to the article, or the full bibliographic citation to the article and a note indicating the electronic journal database (e.g. JSTOR) where the stable link to the article can be found.

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8. Is there a limit to the number of items I may submit? 

Please request or submit no more than 25 items to be made available on Course Reserve for each class you are teaching. This includes course readers, library owned titles, department and faculty owned titles, as well as documents to be posted on Electronic Reserve.

If you need to submit more than 25 items for your course, please contact the Course Reserve.

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9. How long does it take to post documents on ERes? 

Documents and electronic files are typically posted on ERes within four business hours of being submitted, except as described in the following paragraph. If a document or electronic file is submitted before 2:00 pm on a business day, we strive to have the material posted on ERes by 5:00 pm when the department closes for the day. The Course Reserve department is not staffed on weekends or holidays.

Note of Importance During the few weeks leading up to and after the beginning of each academic quarter, the Course Reserve department receives a substantial amount of submissions for both print Course Reserve and ERes. It is nearly guaranteed that ERes submissions will not be posted for several business days, and perhaps even longer, during this extremely busy time. If you wish to have Course Reserve material available for your students during the first few weeks of the academic quarter, please submit the material one full month prior to the start of the academic quarter.

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10. May I reactivate ERes course pages from previous quarters? 

Yes. ERes material is automatically withdrawn from user-viewing at the termination of each quarter, however we do archive Course Reserve Lists for eight academic quarters, or two academic years. You may reactivate ERes material by sending an email to rbs [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu and requesting the specific course that you wish to have ERes material reactivated from. In cases in which copyright protected material was previously posted on ERes, Course Reserve staff must determine whether the same material falls under "fair use" once again before it can be posted on ERes for a subsequent quarter.

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11. May I post documents on ERes myself? 

No. For copyright tracking purposes, only Course Reserve staff wield administrative permissions for posting documents or files on ERes.

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12. What is the ERes password, and may I choose my own password? 

The Course Reserve department assigns a unique password generated at random for each ERes course page.

Instructors may not choose their own ERes passwords, and the unique passwords do not carry over from quarter to quarter.

The random and restrictive nature of the assigned password assures that only current and course-registered students are able to view copyright-protected documents posted on ERes.

ERes passwords may be shared only with participating course instructors, teaching assistants, and students enrolled in the specific university course the password is associated with. The password may not be posted on any public website or through any other public medium.

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13. Must my ERes course page be password protected? 

Yes. Even if an instructor's ERes course page includes no copyright protected content, all ERes course pages must be password protected. There are absolutely no exceptions.

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14. Will material I submit for ERes be returned to me? 

Physical copies of documents and reprints that you submit for posting on ERes are returned to your campus department at the end of each academic quarter. You may come to the Circulation & Reserve Desk to retrieve your submitted material at any time, however it is advisable to let us hold onto any ERes material in case we need to re-scan them for whatever reason. Keep in mind that you can always print a copy of a document that is posted on your ERes course page should you require a print copy.

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15. How do I contact Course Reserve? 

By E-mail rbs [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu
By Phone - (805) 893-4183
By Campus Mail - Course Reserve, Mail Code 9010
In Person - Circulation & Reserve Desk, Davidson Library