Article from a Journal or Magazine

If you would like to make one or more articles available to your class, follow these steps:

1. Check to see if the library already has the article available online 

You can use the library Journal Finder to check on online availability. 

If the answer is yes then you can link to it from your eCollege course or print out copies for your students.  The library has instructions to help you link to journal articles.  For more information contact a librarian.

If the answer is no then you must determine whether or not reproducing the article would be fair use, and go to Step 2.

2. Determine if copying or scanning the article would be fair use

Using a scholarly or journalistic article in a class already meets two of the four criteria for fair use.  There are two other factors that must be considered:  How long is the article?  Would this use complement or compete with sales of the original?

First check to see if the library has the article in print using the Library Catalog.

If the library owns the journal issue, then copying or scanning one typical article or a couple of brief articles is fair use.  However, using more than one typical article from a journal issue, or several articles from different issues of the same journal, exceeds the limits of fair use and you should obtain copyright permission.

If you own the journal issue but the library does not, then copying or scanning a small article of up to a few pages one time is fair use.  If you plan to use it again, or need to use more than a few pages, you should obtain copyright permission.

If neither you nor the library owns the journal issue (e.g., you got a copy from another library), then copying or scanning even a small amount may not be fair use.  You may use a very brief excerpt, but if you plan to use even just a few pages, you should obtain copyright permission.

If it is fair use, you may copy the article for your class or scan it and post it on eCollege.  Be sure to include a complete citation and a copyright notice.

If it would not be fair use, then you have several options for obtaining copyright permission or otherwise honoring the law.  Go to Step 3.

There may obviously be ambiguous cases that fall into a gray area in terms of the length or number of articles used.  It is better to err on the side of caution and seek permission in these cases.  If the course is in progress and it is too late to obtain Copyright Permission then you may choose to use the article once, but if you use it again in future courses you must get permission then.  Go to Step 3.

Special Circumstances:

  • If an article appeared before 1923, it is in the public domain and can be used without infringing on copyright
  • Most government publications are part of the public domain and can be used without infringing on copyright

3. Getting Copyright Permission

If copying or scanning an article would not be fair use, then you have several options:

  • Obtain Copyright Permission
  • Ask the Campus Store to create a coursepack (they will obtain copyright permission)
  • Put the original on library reserve rather than copying it
  • Use a short excerpt instead of the whole article
  • Or, of course, you can choose to use a different article instead

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