Code of best practices for fair use in academic and research libraries

Printer-friendly versionAt last, the Librarians Speak...for the full publication, click PRINCIPLE: It is fair use to make appropriately tailored course-related content available to enrolled students via digital networks. LIMITATIONS: • Closer scrutiny should be applied to uses of content created and marketed primarily for use in courses such as the one at issue (e.g., a textbook, workbook, or anthology designed for the course). Use of more than a brief excerpt from such works on digital networks is unlikely to be transformative and therefore unlikely to be a fair use. • The availability of materials should be coextensive with the duration of the course or other time-limited use (e.g., a research project) for which they have been made available at an instructor’s direction. • Only eligible students and other qualified persons (e.g., professors’ graduate assistants) should have access to materials. • Materials should be made available only when, and only to the extent that, there is a clear articulable nexus between the instructor’s pedagogical purpose and the kind and amount of content involved. • Libraries should provide instructors with useful information about the nature and the scope of fair use, in order to help them make informed requests. • When appropriate, the number of students with simultaneous access to online materials may be limited. • Students should also be given information about their rights and responsibilities regarding their own use of course materials. • Full attribution, in a form satisfactory to scholars in the field, should be provided for each work included or excerpted. ENHANCEMENTS: • The case for fair use is enhanced when libraries prompt instructors, who are most likely to understand the educational purpose and transformative nature of the use, to indicate briefly in writing why particular material is requested, and why the amount requested is appropriate to that pedagogical purpose. An instructor’s justification can be expressed via standardized forms that provide a balanced menu of common or recurring fair use rationales. • In order to assure the continuing relevance of those materials to course content, libraries should require instructors of recurrently offered courses to review posted materials and make updates as appropriate.

Last modified Wed, 26 Jun, 2013 at 5:00