Library Course Reserves
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Electronic Course Reserves

General Information
Participation in electronic reserves is open to any instructor at Muskingum College. There are no limits to the number of materials that may be placed on e-reserves. Instructors may also use traditional reserves in addition to electronic reserves, provided the materials do not overlap (see below for an exception). The library will be happy to work with any instructor interested in using this service.

All first-year students are given basic instruction on accessing electronic reserves during a visit to the library in First Year Seminar. An instructional handout is available that provides specific information for accessing e-reserves. Librarians are available to provide further assistance when needed.

In order to limit access to students enrolled in your course, a course password will be provided. The course password will remain constant throughout the semester, but will change each semester. Please advise students of the password.

If you would like to place paper documents on e-reserve, bring one copy of your document to the library. Single-sided copies with no markings work best. Make sure your reserve includes a bibliographic citation on the first page. You will be asked to fill out a form when you bring your copies to the circulation desk. If you have more than one document to place on e-reserve, please prioritize them so that we can process them in the most expedient way. Paper copies are converted into .pdf files.

Please send computer files for e-reserve as an attachment to with the course title and number, and the title for your reserve. First-time users will be asked to sign a form acknowledging participation in e-reserves. The library will accept all file formats. Microsoft Word and Corel WordPerfect documents are converted into .pdf format unless otherwise indicated. Handout pages in Microsoft PowerPoint and Corel Presentation files are converted to .pdf and placed on e-reserves; the entire file may be placed on e-reserve at the instructor’s request. Microsoft Excel and Corel Quattro Pro files are kept in their original format. Audio and video files should be accessible in RealPlayer.

Reserve materials will be processed in the order they are received and the date they are due. Reserves are usually processed within 24-48 hours. During peak times, reserves submitted in paper can take up to one week to process. Instructors will be notified if reserves will take longer than 48 hours to complete. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to your Muskingum account once your e-reserve is available.

The library makes every effort to provide seamless access to electronic reserves. Technical issues beyond the control of the library may affect access to electronic reserve. In rare instances, the library will temporarily make available on reserve a paper copy of your electronic reserve while these issues are being resolved.

Copyright Compliance
The library will accept legally obtained materials to be placed on electronic reserves for instructional purposes provided it receives permission from the copyright holder. A signed letter from the copyright holder will be required to place an item on electronic reserve. The instructor will be responsible for receiving permission and covering any royalty fees that may be assessed. The library will assist in the process, but will not be ultimately responsible for securing copyright.

An item may not require a signed permission letter if the instructor or the library believes that usage falls under the Fair Use guidelines of the U.S. Copyright Law. Examples include:

  • One chapter from a book, unless it has been used for e-reserves previously within the last two years.
  • One article from a journal, periodical, or newspaper, unless it has been used for e-reserves previously within the last two years.
  • Government documents.
  • Public domain materials.
  • Materials for which the instructor or institution holds copyright.*
  • Materials available through OhioLINK or locally-subscribed databases, provided URLs can be placed on e-reserve.
  • Internet resources, provided URLs can be placed on e-reserve.

The following materials cannot be placed on electronic reserves unless copyright permission is obtained:

  • Multiple articles from the same journal, periodical, or newspaper issue.
  • Multiple chapters of a book.
  • Articles from a journal, periodical, or newspaper placed on electronic reserves for more than one consecutive semester.
  • Chapters from a book placed on electronic reserves for more than one consecutive semester.
  • Workbooks and anthologies.
  • Course packets (including journal articles or book chapters in the course packet).
  • Out-of-print books, unless all attempts have been made to purchase a copy of the book through out-of-print or reprint dealers, publisher, or copyright owner.

Even though the library may own a book or journal, electronic reserves are still limited to one chapter or one article.

A copyright notice will appear on screen when users access an electronic reserve. On book chapters and journal articles, this notice will also appear on the article. The notice will read as follows:

Under certain conditions specified in the United States Copyright law (Title 17, United States Code) libraries and archives may be authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction may not be 'used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research,’ and that only one copy be provided for scholarly purposes, unless copyright fees are paid. Further reproduction of paper copies made from this computer system may be in violation of copyright laws and is prohibited.

Fair Use (Title 17, §107)
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 finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

NOTICE: The Library reserves the right to refuse placing items on electronic reserves that it feels violates the Fair Use provisions without obtaining copyright permission. It also reserves the right to remove items for which the publisher or copyright owner has requested removal.

*An instructor holds copyright to materials created for their course, such as lecture notes, practice exams, and handouts, and must give the library permission to place them on electronic reserve.

(08/03); Rev. 08/05

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