Fair Dealing in the Library FAQ

Fair Dealing in the Library - Reserves, Document Delivery and Electronic Resources

Can eReserves link to full-text resources that the Library has already paid for, such as e-journals and e-books?

Generally yes, though there are a few exceptions. Contact the appropriate Libraries’ Reserves department for more information.  The Dalhousie Libraries also offer a database licensing tool which can provide information on usage for articles found within the many electronic products to which the Libraries subscribe.

Can I just link to the electronic journal article myself on Dalhousie's learning management system (Blackboard) and skip using the service offered by the Libraries’ Reserves departments?

Yes, you are free to create a direct link yourself, although you might want to consider reasons to have the Libraries do it for you. As well as saving you time, there are two advantages to having the Libraries create the link. The first is that Libraries’ staff will ensure that authentication is taken care of so that your students don’t need to remember to log-in to the Library’s proxy server before going into Dalhousie's learning management system (Blackboard). The second advantage is that Libraries’ staff will prepare a “persistent” URL. The publisher’s URL for many articles can change from day to day; a persistent URL will ensure that your students get to the right articles quickly and without frustration.

Can Reserves Staff scan articles or chapters and put them on Blackboard for my class?

Yes. In many cases, works will be covered by fair dealing and may be scanned and posted without the need to obtain permission. Where permission is required, this process can take from 1 to 8 weeks.

Are there any restrictions on posting an instructor’s notes on Blackboard?

Instructors may post their own notes on Blackboard. In addition they may post notes that include copyright-protected material as long as they have the right under fair dealing or another exception to include the material. 

What kind of print materials will the Reserves Service accept for inclusion as a paper reserve?

  • personal materials of instructors, for which they own the copyright (e.g. assignment questions/solutions)
  • original print books, textbooks, DVDs, CDs, etc.

Where can I find more information about eReserves and how to use it?

Visit the Libraries’ Reserves webpage.

What are licenses for electronic resources?

The Dalhousie University Libraries have contracts with a variety of vendors and publishers that provide the campus with thousands of electronic resources (databases, e-journals, e-books).

In addition to paying for these resources, the Libraries negotiate license agreements that stipulate how and by whom a given resource may be used. Users must be currently registered faculty, students, or staff. Only these individuals will be registered with the proxy server for off-campus access. Access for the general public is made available through terminals within the Libraries.

If license terms are violated by anyone, licensors may temporarily suspend access for the entire university community. In cases where a resolution cannot be reached, the vendor may have the right to permanently revoke a licence and access to the resource.

You can help prevent such problems by adhering to good practices and avoiding improper use. Here are some rules of thumb:

Usually Ok

Not OK

using materials for personal, instructional or research needs

systematic or substantial printing, copying or downloading (such as entire journal issues)
sharing with Dalhousie faculty, staff and students sharing with people other than registered Dal faculty, staff and students, or colleagues with whom you are engaged in direct collaborative research
posting links to specific content posting actual content or articles to third party web sites or listservs
  modifying or altering the contents of licensed resources in any way

Always acknowledge your source on any published or unpublished document when you use data found on electronic resources.

GREY AREAS: Some licence agreements make express allowances for electronic reserves, course packs, multiple copies for classroom use and interlibrary lending. Other licences may prohibit one or more of these activities. If you have questions about a particular resource, please contact John Yolkowski, Copyright Services Coordinator by phone at 902-494-4346, or email copyright.office@dal.ca

Who do I talk to at Dalhousie if I have a copyright question?

Listed below are individuals with copyright expertise. They would be pleased to assist you.

Lachlan MacLeod, Copyright Services Coordinator
lachlan.macleod@dal.ca, 902-494-4346

Roger Gillis, Copyright & Humanities Librarian
roger.gillis@dal.ca, 902-494-2300

Adapted from Waterloo Copyright FAQ by University of Waterloo licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Canada Licence.


Questions or comments?

We'd be happy to help out. Please send us your copyright questions and comments.