Skip navigation

W.I. Dykes Library


Course Reserves Agreement

PART 1: Scope of UHD Course Reserve System

The UHD Library offers a single course reserve system for both hard copy and electronic reading material. Eligible reserve material will be scanned for your convenience by the Library.


All items placed on reserve must conform to existing copyright and fair use law.

Items exempt from copyright restrictions include materials that:

1) belong to the “public domain”,
2) are contained in a licensed UHD database,
3) are a “Fair Use”, or
4) have already acquired the author’s permission.

See Part 2: Copyright Information and Faculty Responsibility for details.


Items Suitable for Reserves

The following materials can be scanned and reserved as an electronic copy:

  • Print journal articles not previously placed on reserve
  • Electronic journal articles found in UHD Library databases (subject to license)
  • Book chapters or excerpts
  • Newspaper portions or excerpts
  • Original published or unpublished student projects or papers (see the Original Materials Permission Form (PDF) (Word Doc)).
  • Course syllabi & lecture notes
  • Electronic files -- PowerPoint slides, spreadsheets, etc.

The following materials cannot be scanned and will only be reserved as a physical copy:

  • Print books or journals owned by the library or faculty
  • Manuscripts of original published or unpublished books or articles (originals only – no scans or copies)
  • Videos, DVDs, Audio books and Music CDs


Items Not Permitted

  • Items used beyond one semester without permission. Reproduced copyrighted material that conforms to fair use may be placed on reserve for one semester only without permission. If the instructor wishes to keep these materials on reserve for any subsequent semester, permission from the copyright holder must be obtained and a copy provided to the Library.
  • Material categorized as “consumables.” These include: workbooks, lab manuals and test answer sheets – any item designed to be filled out and used by one person.
  • Materials obtained through Interlibrary Loan or borrowed or copied from other schools including the UH main campus or UH Clear Lake.
  • Original unpublished UHD student projects or papers submitted without the author’s permission. See:Original Materials Permission Form (PDF) (Word Doc).
  • Reserves will NOT place copies (defined as photocopies from hard copy items or electronically scanned material) of entire books or other materials on course reserve. This includes home reproductions of television programs in their entirety (portions are suitable).


Course Restriction

  • Electronic reserve courses require course-level password authentication.
  • Once your reserve materials have been processed, a password will be emailed to you.
  • Faculty are responsible for giving students the needed password to view electronic documents. Distribution of the password is limited to students enrolled in the course.
  • The Library staff will not have access to your course passwords.Limiting access to students who are registered in your class helps ensure that materials are used only for educational purposes and minimizes any impact on the market for the original work.


PART 2: Copyright Information and Faculty Responsibility

Instructors are responsible for evaluating, on a case-by-case basis, whether their reproduction of a copyrighted work: 1) is in the public domain, 2) is contained in a licensed UHD database, or 3) qualifies as a Fair Use.

Unless otherwise noted, it is safe to assume all materials are copyrighted. It is not true that an author needs to publish, include a copyright notation (©) or “register” their work to gain protection under U.S. copyright law.

NOTE: Hard-copies of original materials (e.g. a book) placed on reserve are NOT subject to copyright analysis and are covered under Section 109 in the Copyright Act (no reproduction through copying or scanning involved). No analysis is required.


UHD Library Decision Tree for Determining Copyright Status of Material

1) Is the work in the public domain?


Works included in the public domain are not protected by copyright, which allows anyone to use them repeatedly without permission. Confirm status by consulting Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States (original authorship by Cornell Copyright Information Center).


2) Is the work available in one of UHD Library’s databases?


Articles contained in licensed UHD databases can be linked directly from the ERes course reserves system and used repeatedly without the need to obtain specific permission. To find out if the article you want is contained in a database, use the Find Journals by Title tool on the library’s web site to search for the journal in which the article was published.

Note: The library may not always have a license for every year of a given journal. When you find the journal, also check to ensure the years of coverage include the year the article was published.


3) Does your use of the work qualify as a Fair Use?


Section 107 of the copyright law sets out “four factors” to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair. To determine if your use is a “Fair Use” please see the UHD Library page: understanding copyright and fair use. Also, an excellent Fair Use Checklist is available from Columbia University.


If none of the above exceptions apply, consider alternatives.

change strategy
  • Use different material (if you’ve been using the same material repeatedly)
  • Use an excerpt or portion from an article or chapter that highlights your main teaching objective (instead of the whole work).
  • Seek permission. The Library does not have a permissions service but information can be found on the web at:


PART 3: Instructions for Placing Materials on Course Reserve

  • Fill out electronic UHD Library Course Reserves Request Form and list any print (hard-copy) or electronic reserve readings.  Forms not completely filled out will be returned. Note: A new Reserve Request form must be filled out with each new semester.
  • Submit one form for each course (Eng 1111) – even if the materials are the same.
  • Account for each title: all materials must be individually listed on the form – do not submit multiple titles without recording each title on the form.
  • Evaluate the use of each title. Use the drop down menu to choose either: 1) public domain 2) link to UHD database 3) Fair Use 4) Permission Acquired or 5) Original Material  (If submitting original published or unpublished student projects or papers, written permission via the form Original Materials Permission Form (PDF) (Word Doc) must be obtained).
  • Documents must have FULL citations (book chapter titles must have the source title and journal articles must have journal title).
  • Each instructor must submit their own course reserves. Students from one class cannot be referred to the readings belonging to another instructor’s class. Note: if you have readings that all course sections will be using, one instructor must fill out the form on the others’ behalf. Materials will be returned to that same instructor. Please indicate on the form that the materials are for all sections of a specific course. The Library Reserves Team will create a special record for these types of reserves and the contact instructor will share the password information.
  • The list of titles must exactly match the materials submitted. Missing materials or missing bibliographic information will delay processing.
  • Fill out completely and submit the UHD Library Course Reserves Request Form.   
  • Give your reserve materials to any staff at the Library Circulation Desk.
  • Clean, single sided copies ONLY
  • Do not staple submitted materials
  • Note: Temporary barcodes and labels will be attached to all hard-copy reserve items (including instructor-owned materials).
  • The library is not responsible for any damage incurred by students during use.


PART 4: Processing Time, Availability & Material Returns

Processing Time

Each semester the Library will announce a date at which we will begin accepting reserve materials for the upcoming semester. The Library will also publish a “guarantee date” for those reserves. Faculty who submit their material by or on the guarantee date will have their materials processed and available for their students on the first day of class.

Materials submitted after the guarantee date are processed and published on a first-come, first-served basis. Generally speaking:

  • The Reserves team has three peak times during every semester which include the first 3 weeks, mid-terms and finals. Processing of requests will take 2-4 days during these times.
  • During non-peak times reserves can usually be processed in 1 or 2 days.



  • Materials are only kept on reserve for one semester at a time.  All reserve items, hard-copy or electronic, will be removed at the end of each semester.  No reserve items will be held from semester to semester. 


Material Returns

  • Original material submitted to electronic reserves and scanned will be returned to the instructor immediately after their course material has been scanned and processed.
  • Material that is left on reserve as hard copy will be returned as soon as the semester has ended.



The Library Reserves Team will notify you by email when your reserves are processed. You will receive a brief description of how to access the system. Instructors with electronic material will be provided their password.


Material Requests

  • Materials not owned by the Library or instructor can be RUSH ordered through the appropriate Subject Librarian, but timely acquisition cannot be guaranteed.
  • Allow at least six weeks for the purchase of new items.
  • To see an up-to-date list of subject librarians and to obtain a copy of the necessary suggestion form please consult




W.I. Dykes Library • University of Houston-Downtown
One Main Street • Houston, Texas 77002
Information 713-221-8187 • Circulation 713-221-8186


Page maintained by UHD Library Webmaster

Last updated or reviewed on 11/12/13

   Click here to print this page

Find us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   Read Skyline   Join us on LinkedIn   News RSS   Events RSS