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Course Reserves




The University of Kentucky Library System adheres to the copyright law and the Fair Use Guidelines when placing material on course reserve. Basic guidelines for placing material on reserve are provided below. See our Copyright Information Pages for more information on copyright, how to obtain copyright permission, and a list of alternatives to obtaining copyright permission.

Copyright permission for photocopied or scanned material is required if:

  • Material is used for longer than one semester. 
  • The item exceeds 10% of a book or more than one journal article per issue.
  • More than a reasonable number of items (e.g., book chapters, journal articles, or other copyrighted works) are placed on reserve.

Copyright permission is not required for the following:

  • Works created by the U.S. Government.
  • Works for which the copyright term has expired.
  • Works for which the author failed to satisfy statutory formalities to perfect the copyright.
  • Unpublished works created by the instructor such as old exams, lecture notes, syllabi, etc.
  • Published works created by the instructor, such as book chapters and journal articles, do not require permission if the instructor has retained the copyright for that work. Otherwise, permission must be obtained from the rightsholder.
  • Original copies of books, journals, or direct links that can be provided to the Libraries' databases.

Obtaining Copyright Permission:

The library will obtain copyright permissions for reserve items that are available in the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), but please be aware that cost limitations do apply. For reserve items that are not available via the CCC or that exceed the cost limitation, it is the instructor's responsibility to obtain copyright permissions as needed. A sample form to request copyright permission is provided for you under "Forms." The library requires that a copy of the correspondence requesting the permission and the response received from the rightsholder be shared with the Reserves Department. A list of alternatives for obtaining copyright permission is available on the Copyright Information Pages.

In order for the Library to provide a copyright service, instructors who place “copied” material on reserve must observe the following:

  • Submit reserve material at least 3 weeks before students will need it to allow time for copyright reporting and processing. 
  • Provide complete citation information for every journal article or book chapter to be placed on reserve.


  • The Library will NOT pay royalties for articles that are available full-text via the E-Journals Database. Readings that are available online should be placed on e-reserve when possible. 
  •  We are required to pay copyright permissions for each duplicate copy of a reading placed on paper reserves and for each student per reading placed on electronic reserves. Please keep cost limits in mind when choosing which items and how many copies of each item you wish to place on reserve, and place only REQUIRED readings on reserve. Provide your students with a bibliography of optional readings, which they can obtain on their own.
  • To control cost, the Library may choose to place hard copies of books on paper reserve in place of obtaining copyright permission.