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Course Reserves

Electronic and physical materials which are required course readings

General Course Reserve Information

Readings must come from library materials, faculty owned print materials that have been pre-approved for library purchase, or items linked from the subscription resources licensed by the University Libraries. We cannot scan from photocopies. For copyright compliance, we need the original source.

A reading will be eligible for reserve if it has passed the fair use test (purpose, nature, amount, effect) as applied by Reserves staff (in consultation with the Copyright Committee) or if we have verification that the rights holder (often the publisher) has given permission for the proposed use of the materials. The specific treatment of acceptable materials depends upon the format, amount, proposed use, and copyright status of the materials. Reserves staff will assist with seeking permissions.

Entire books held in the collections of the University Libraries will be placed on Physical Reserves. If a requested book is not owned by the University Libraries, the appropriate Library Liaison will rush order a copy as long as the item fits into the Collection Development Plan for that area.

Portions of a book owned by the University Libraries will be scanned and placed in the LOR if the proposed use fulfills the criteria to be considered a "Fair Use".

Faculty may place works they have created that have not been commercially published, such as lecture notes and test question sets directly into their D2L websites without going through Course Reserves. Course Reserves' staff will assist in managing these materials as time permits.

Media materials owned by the University Libraries needed for a course may be streamed through D2L for a short period (2 weeks). Students may reserve (http://link.usd.edu/2713) a media viewing room (109 or 111) if they would like to play a media item alone or in a group. Faculty may contact the ITS Help Desk for assistance with streaming.

Textbooks (including faculty desk copies), workbooks, practice tests, other consumable or individualized items produced commercially, and some other materials may not be accepted for reserves without advance permission of the rights holder. Most notably if the use of the item does not qualify as fair use (purpose, nature, amount, effect). Most of these items contain a copyright statement that specifically states that they may not be replicated or distributed in any format without advance permission of the rights holder (publisher). Items bearing such a notice cannot be placed on course reserves without written permission.

General Rules for Reserve Items Placed on D2L

Each faculty member is responsible for ensuring that postings of course material made to his or her D2L course management page are made in compliance with this policy and the Copyright Act. Course Reserves staff will assist with the process of obtaining copyright permission for materials you would like to use in your courses.

Course content consisting of copyrighted works, or portions thereof, in electronic form may not be placed on D2L unless the user has either:

  1. Obtained permission from the copyright holder; or,
  2. Concluded, after reasonable inquiry, that the use constitutes fair use; or any other exempt or licensed use for which permission is not required.


Uses That Do Not Fall Within the Scope of Fair Use:


If, after reasonable inquiry, it is determined that the proposed use of a copyrighted work does not constitute a fair use, said material will not be posted to D2L, unless permission has been obtained from the copyright holder and any royalties required to use the material have been paid.

(Repeated use is an important factor in the fair use assessment. Faculty who make the same reading assignments repeatedly, particularly when those assignments consist of material unavailable through links to the library's licensed databases, are strongly encouraged to contact copyright@usd.edu for more information.)

Options available to faculty when the proposed use of a copyrighted work falls outside the parameters of fair use include:

  • Seek permission from the copyright holder to use copyrighted material independently or with the assistance of staff.
  • Many works include documents that may be found in other resources already owned by the University Libraries. Please check with your library liaison or the Reference Desk if you have trouble locating a short story, poem, or article in the Library Catalog or in Worldcat.

Copyright Permissions

Items that have been used in course reserves in the past will need documented copyright permission to be used again. Please notify library staff as soon as possible so permission can be sought.

Course Reserves staff will assist with the process of obtaining copyright permission for material used in courses. We will request copyright permission as needed for materials that faculty wish to place on Course Reserves. The University Libraries will consider paying permission fees of up to $75 per item. If the fee is over $75, the faculty member will be contacted to decide if he or she wishes to pay the fees from another source (such as departmental funds) or to select another item.

Please allow as much time as possible for permissions to be processed – one month before the start of the term is advised. Requests will be processed in the order in which they are received and as quickly as possible, staff time permitting. In our experience, it takes up to a month to negotiate permission from the rights holder. We will seek perpetual permission, which would allow the item to be reposted in the LOR from semester to semester, but rights holders vary in their willingness to grant perpetual permission.

In addition to complete citation information, Course Reserves will need the following information to process the permission request:

  • An estimate of the number of students enrolled in the course per instructor
  • How the item will be used in the course (in the classroom or as a recommended reading)
  • The amount of the item that will be used.

Other Considerations

If materials (including articles) are available for a reasonable price in another format, the library will consider purchasing items in electronic format rather than posting documents in E-reserves or placing items on Physical Reserve.

Works from an anthology are unique items and will be treated separately.

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