UC Berkeley Library

Online reserves and Fair Use

Content section: 

The Library is available to help instructors and program coordinators consider fair use issues and to provide readings and other resources for online courses.

Fair use and copyright

  • The Library recommends linking to public domain, library-licensed, or open-access content that is available online rather than uploading copyrighted materials to your course site when possible.
  • If you are uploading copyrighted materials to your course site, be sure to follow fair use guidelines. For more information:

eReserves in bCourses

  • bCourses files - Upload readings, or edit any bCourses page to add a direct link to an online library-licensed resource. For more information see bCourses help.
  • Other systems - Copyrighted content that is uploaded to your course site should only be available to students enrolled in the course and only for the duration of the course. If a learning management system is unable to provide this level of protected access, copyrighted materials should not be hosted online.

Library services and help

  • How to find Articles - A quick introduction about where and how to search for article content via Library tools.
  • Clickable syllabus - Submit your reading list to the Library to find and create links to library resources that you can include in your online course. Contact Instruction Services Head Jennifer Dorner.
  • Print reserves instructions for instructors - Instructors are welcome to place physical materials on reserve in the Libraries.
  • Suggest a purchase - Resources not owned by the Library can be recommended for purchase.

Scanning materials at the Library

A self-service scanner is available in Doe Library 202, behind the Doe Reference Desk, for instructors and their proxies to scan documents to accessible PDF. The scanner is linked to a PC for easy uploading to bCourses, and is available during Reference hours (typically 10am-5pm, Monday-Friday). Assistance is available by appointment. Contact Doe/Moffitt Instruction and User Services at 510-643-9959 or tlibaa@library.berkeley.edu for more information.

Finding and using library-licensed content

  • Books and journals - Search for book and journal titles in OskiCat, using the available online option to limit your results to online resources.
  • Articles - Use the Citation Linker to locate known articles in the library’s article databases.

eReserve considerations for other campus-related programs

  • UC Extension - Students in UC Extension courses may not have access to library-licensed resources at UC Berkeley if they have not purchased a Library card.
  • UC Online - Students in UC Online courses who are not fully-matriculated students at UC Berkeley do not presently have access to the full suite of library-licensed online resources.
  • edX - The use of copyrighted course materials in MOOCs is a complex issue, and best practices for including information resources in traditional courses may not apply to edX courses. The Library is currently working with other edX institutions to develop a new set of best practices to address the use of course materials in edX. In the meantime, the Library recommends using publicly available, public domain and open-access content when possible, and Library staff are available to help you find those resources.
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