Learn@Illinois Moodle - Considering Copyright When Adding PDFs to Moodle

At times, you may be interested in providing access to PDF articles or book chapters to students to read for class. Before you upload any PDFs to Moodle, it is important to make sure that you follow these guidelines for best practice pertaining to copyright laws.

Link to an Article on the Web

  1. If possible, link out to articles that are available on general websites, such as newspaper or magazine articles, instead of posting PDFs.
  2. If the article (or book) is not available publicly, check to see if it is already licensed by the Library and post a link to it there.

Link to a Journal Article through the Library Using a Persistent Link

Most journal articles and some books are available on the library website. However, if you simply copy the link in your search bar when viewing the article on the library website, more often than not, the link will not work. You need a persistent link. See the library guide on linking to material from the University library. Here is a brief summary as pertains to particular databases.

VuFind Catalog - The links in this catalog are already persistent.

Web of Science/Scopus - Copy and paste the "DOI" to the end of the following link: http://www.library.illinois.edu/proxy/go.php?url=http://dx.doi.org/ (e.g., http://www.library.illinois.edu/proxy/go.php?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1351651).

EBSCO - Copy and paste the "Permalink" from the menu on the right.

JSTOR - Copy and paste the "Stable URL" listed with the citation information.

ProQuest - Copy and paste the "Document URL" in the Abstract/Details tab.

LexisNexis - Click on the clipboard/link icon in the top right-hand corner and right click for options to copy the link.

U of I Classic Catalog - Copy and paste the "Persistent link to this page".

Assess Book Chapters for Fair Use

For items that are not available online, such as book chapters, you'll need to assess each item for fair use. Fair use is a case-by-case assessment where you'll consider the following factors for each item:
  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

General Guidelines for Fair Use for Online Course Readings

  • Do not use materials designed specifically for teaching, such as textbooks, worksheets, quiz questions, etc. These are strongly against the 4th factor regarding the market impact of your use. The safest option is to have students purchase these items.
  • Use less than 10% of the entire work. For other types of readings, the main consideration is the overall amount of the work you’re using, since to meet fair use the selection should not function as a replacement for the entire work. There isn’t a defined amount of a book that’s automatically fair use, but a good guideline here would be to use less than 10% of the entire work. 
If you are still unsure or would like to verify your assessment, see the Library's Copyright Reference Guide Home for information on who to contact for a consultation on copyright issues in the Scholarly Commons. 




Keywords:copyright, law, legal   Doc ID:83507
Owner:Natalie L.Group:University of Illinois Liberal Arts and Sciences
Created:2018-07-09 17:03 CDTUpdated:2018-07-10 16:08 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Liberal Arts and Sciences
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