For Students

Copyright Information for Students

| Blackboard and E-reserves Readings | Citing Resources | Database Articles |
| E-portfolios | Photocopying and Scanning |

Blackboard and E-reserves Reading

There is a chapter from a book posted in e-reserves for a course I am taking that is also assigned for another course. Members of my other class mentioned the photocopy on reserve was missing pages. I attempted to send them a link to the chapter in e-reserves, but they could not access it. Can I send them the password to access the article?

Passwords to access copyright-protected material are intended to limit users in order to comply with Fair Use or TEACH Act guidelines or rules specified in permission licenses. For this reason, passwords should not be shared. Only students enrolled for a particular course should access the e-reserves for that course. This rule also applies to Blackboard course sites.

Can I download the .pdf and email it to them?

Downloading the .pdf for your personal use is permitted. Sometimes if the library is granted permission by the publisher to upload, that permission is based on a specified number of users. Making and distributing extra copies would violate that agreement.

How else may they legally obtain the article?

Students from the other course should request that his/her professor place the chapter on e-reserve for their course. Also, if the original source is available in the library, students may view that copy.

Citing Resources

I used a book to prepare for a presentation I gave in class. I just paraphrased some of the author's ideas - I didn't quote directly from the text. Do I still need to include it in my references?

Whether you are presenting the information in a paper or an in-class presentation, whenever you quote or base your ideas upon someone else's work, you must credit your sources, providing the fullest bibliographic information possible. This applies to resources you use such as class notes or web content such as blogs or wikis. Citing your sources is important so that others can further explore the topic if they wish to. Even more importantly, it is crucial to give credit to the author of the original work. If you directly quote or even paraphrase from a work (unless the idea is considered common knowledge) without providing a source, that constitutes plagiarism.

With both published print works and information found on the Web, there are guides to help you cite properly whether you are using APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. citation styles.

Database Articles

After speaking with the librarian, I've found great full-text articles about my science topic in the databases I was shown. I want to share a couple of them with my group project mates, a friend at a different school and post the article and some of the pictures on my personal web site. I also want to put some of the information from the articles into our group project paper. What do I need to know to accomplish this?

CUNY databases licenses provide that articles from the databases (or even journal articles) that a library provides can be copied and used only by currently enrolled students at that school. Students from other schools should use their own school's databases. Parts of works, (text, images, or even audio-visual objects), can be used in your schoolwork as long as proper credit is given to the copyright holder as per the copyright Fair Use guidelines and/or the database license. Use the citation style required by your professor and avoid plagiarism!


What is an e-portfolio?

An e-portfolio is a personalized, web based information management system, which allows students to demonstrate growth, achievement and learning over time. It does this by allowing students to organize, summarize, and share information. An e-portfolio places students at the center of their learning experience, allowing them to manage, control and display their own records and materials, thus conveying a sense of the students' ability, attitudes, experiences and achievements. Students can post writing samples, resumes, artwork, musical compositions, and computer programs for others to view. The owner of the e-portfolio can choose to share all or a part of their e-portfolio with students, professors, and potential employers.

What are copyright implications of material in an e-portfolio?

Students own the copyright to works that they have created. It may, however, be an infringement of copyright to upload the works of others into an e-portfolio. Students are responsible for the consequences of posting copyrighted materials that belong to others. United States copyright law grants copyright holders several exclusive rights, but also allows several exceptions, Fair Use being the best known. If material is copyrighted and the use is not a Fair Use , then the owner’s  permission should be requested.

Photocopying and Scanning

My professor assigned a book for class and placed it on reserve in the library. Can I photocopy the book so I don’t have to keep coming back to the library to read it?

Copying a limited selection of pages or a chapter from a book or an article from a journal for your personal educational use is generally considered Fair Use . You should also limit yourself to making one copy of whatever you need and not multiple copies to share with your classmates. Photocopying an entire copyrighted book to read for class is a violation of copyright law . If you need to read the entire book, it would be better to purchase it or see if the library has a circulating copy that you can check out.