• You may post original course-generated documents such as PowerPoint slide programs, lecture notes, handwritten homework assignments and solutions, practice exams, and the like.
  • You may post copyright protected material if you have permission or license from the copyright holder(s) prior to posting, or if the material falls within the “fair use” provisions of copyright law. In general, you may post short excerpts from written works or journals.  You may also directly link public online resources that maintain stable web addresses, as well as articles from online journals to which UCSB subscribes, to an electronic Course Reserves course page.
  • Due to limited resources and copyright restrictions, Course Reserves does not post material from course readers on electronic Course Reserves. If you wish to make your course reader available to your students through the library, you must submit to the Services Desk bound copies that have been packaged by a document duplication service.
  • Reproductions of any length taken from academic textbooks and consumable works (solutions manuals, lab manuals, workbooks, standardized tests, etc.) may not be posted on electronic Course Reserve without the explicit written permission from the copyright holder(s).
  • Student academic works (research papers, exams, essays, etc.) are confidential and may not be placed on Course Reserves without the student author’s explicit permission.  A template of the Student Permission Form is available, and copies are also available at the Services Desk.
  • You may post links to other websites as long as the link is stable and points 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.
  • Electronic Course Reserves can link to articles from electronic journals, as long as UCSB 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.
  • For Music Library Reserves, we adhere to the Music Library Association’s Statement on the Digital Transmission of Electronic Reserves for streaming audio reserves. The digitization of Library media collections for Course Reserves will be discontinued at the beginning of Fall Quarter 2024. We have many subscriptions to streaming music content and are in the process of purchasing new streaming resources. Additionally, physical media can be placed on Course Reserves for all students in a course.

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.

Please see the Fair Use Checklist for more information.

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