Introduction and General Guidelines: Use of Materials for Course Web Sites and Course Reserves

Each term, faculty make decisions about what materials to include in their syllabi in order to accomplish the educational goals of the course. The information on this page, along with the Copyright Guidelines for the Use of Materials for Course Web Sites and Course Reserves, covers the circumstances under which, consistent with the Copyright Law, instructors may choose materials of any kind to be placed on any platform, including but not limited to Library Course Reserves, Canvas sites, WordPress and other platforms for course materials or online learning. For MOOCS such as DartmouthX, many of these guidelines apply, but instructors are advised to consult with their liaison librarian about any special issues in making materials broadly available. 

Although intended primarily for instructors who select the materials for the course, this information and these guidelines are also useful for librarians, instructional designers, and Library staff who advise faculty and handle the materials in question.

The guidelines cover all types of materials, including text, audio, image, video and other types of materials. Dartmouth supports application of Fair Use, section 107 of the Copyright Act, and considers the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries when advising faculty on the placement of materials on course reserve and course web sites. 

When use without permission is not allowed under Fair Use, the Library will request and secure copyright permission for the material being put on Library Course Reserve, or advise on obtaining these permissions for other course web site platforms. See the Library's “Securing Permissions” web page for more information. If the copyright permission is denied, or if the permission fees are exorbitant, library staff or subject/liaison librarians will consult with the instructor on alternatives to providing access to materials and/or locating other materials that are free to use without asking permission. To locate such materials, see the research guides Open Educational Resources and MOOCS

When a fair use determination has been made or permission has been obtained for presenting copyrighted materials on course reserves or a course web site, those materials may be available only to participants in the course. In some cases, the permissions may cover a broader range of users. 

When the Library creates files for Course Reserves, access to the files is disabled at the completion of the course, though course files may be stored for future re-use.