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Best Practices1

Allegheny College expects that all employees who use copyrighted materials will make a good faith effort to comply with the federal copyright regulations in Section 107 of Chapter 17 of the United States Code.

The guidelines below distinguish between COPIES2 (uploading a document, scan, pdf, etc. of the full item) and LINKS3 (creating a link to the item on the internet). Putting a copy in Sakai is analogous to putting an item in a coursepack. Linking to licensed material (ejournals, ebooks) is analogous to giving students a citation.

  • Journal articles from databases licensed by Pelletier Library should be LINKED.
  • Non-Library resources that are freely available on the Web should be LINKED.
  • Textbook materials that are specifically licensed for use in a learning management system (like Sakai) may be COPIED or LINKED, depending on the license.
  • Works to which you own the copyright may be COPIED.
  • Creative Commons licensed material that permits others to share, remix, or use works may be COPIED. See About Creative Commons Licenses.
  • Government Documents published without copyright statements may be COPIED.
  • Public domain material may be COPIED. See the Public Domain Checklist.

For all other materials protected by copyright:

  • Apply the Checklist for Fair Use Analysis. If you believe your material qualifies, it may be COPIED or LINKED. Include the “may be covered by copyright” caveat in Sakai.
  • If permission is needed, you have two options:
    • Include the materials in a course packet sold through the Bookstore
    • Put a physical copy on reserve in the Library

Special Cases:

  • Foreign materials published after 1978 fall under the same laws and guidelines as US materials. For earlier works, consult Helen McCullough.
  • Published worksheets, workbooks, or other materials intended as "consumables" by students should not be placed in Sakai without the publisher's permission.

Consultation: Please consult Helen McCullough about any ambiguous copyright situations. Email: or call 332-3364.


1These guidelines apply to Sakai courses and to those Sakai projects which have membership restricted to students enrolled in a course.
2Anything that may be copied may also be linked if that is easier, but not vice versa.
3Links that will work from off-campusSakai now has a tool that easily changes database links so that students can access Library resources regardless of location. For more information about how to do this in Sakai, see this guide