Share Course Content and Materials

  • Take advantage of UPEI Library Supports

  • Consider public domain and free-to-use materials

  • Attribute and credit material created by others

  1. Take advantage of UPEI Library Supports

A key part of the UPEI Library’s mission is to help educators provide their students with the most reliable, affordable, and equitable access possible to content required for supporting teaching and research at our University, be it an in-person, online, or hybrid environment. The Library provides access — through purchase or subscription — to a vast array of scholarly online content, including e-journals, e-books, and streaming video.

If your students will require access to material not available in our existing e-collections, the Library will look at purchasing or subscribing to the resource in question, subject to budgetary considerations, availability of alternatives, etc. For material that is held in the Library’s on-shelf collections but not available online — such as printed books, DVDs, etc. — the Library may also be able to provide digital copies of portions of these items in some cases.

The Library also offers advice and assistance on copyright / IP (intellectual property) questions that inevitably arise in sharing of copyrighted material with students, including questions of fair dealing.

To learn more about any of the above, please speak with your liaison (subject) librarian. You can also consult the Library’s online guides on searching and sharing our paid subscription e-resources, as well as background information on copyright considerations in the context of postsecondary education.

Important Technical Note: During the Fall 2020 Semester (and possibly beyond), it is anticipated that many UPEI students will be learning remotely, off-campus. While the Library encourages linking to digital course materials wherever possible, it is extremely important that any links provided be formatted correctly, so they will work reliably for students off-campus. This is especially true for links e-resources that we have secured access to by purchase or subscription. Please see the document below for directions on making persistent links, or speak to your liaison librarian for assistance.

Recommended Resources

Contact your liaison (subject) librarian

Copyright and the Digital Classroom

Creating Persistent Links to Content in Library Databases

Copyright Updates and Overview

2. Consider public domain and free-to-use materials

While the Library strongly encourages UPEI educators and students to use the online resources we have already purchased, or are subscribing to, on your behalf, it must be recognized that no library — and certainly not a relatively small one like ours — can provide access to the full array of content offered to the academic market for purchase or subscription. There may be cases, then, in which we will not be able to purchase, or subscribe to, a particular resource, for reasons of cost.

Furthermore, in some instances payment may not be necessary or appropriate. Many works are freely-available online through stable and reputable platforms that offer safe, legally-sound, and reliable access to their content: many older publications, for example, have passed out of copyright protection and into the public domain. Platforms like the Hathi Trust, the Internet Archive’s Books collection, and offer free access to millions of digitized books, periodicals, and government documents.

As for more recent works, the Open Access (OA) movement in academia is now making numerous publications available online without charge to end-users, including students. For periodical content, the Directory of Open Access Journals provides an excellent entry point. As for monographs, while OA was slower in gaining traction in scholarly book publishing, more and better discovery tools for OA books are now becoming available, including the Directory of Open Access Books.

In a related development, the Open Educational Resource (OER) movement is now extending the Open ethos to the world of textbooks and related instructional resources.

Recommended Resources

Contact your liaison (subject) librarian

Determining Public Domain Status

Hathi Trust

Internet Archive Books (select Availability - Always Available)

Canadiana by CRKN

Directory of Open Access Journals

Directory of Open Access Books

Open Textbooks Guide

Getting Started with OER

3. Attribute and credit material created by others

As can be seen, there is a great variety of online content that students may be referred to while taking your course: as part of preparation for any given class, you might direct students to view a streaming video on a platform subscribed to by the Library, or to read a chapter scanned to .pdf from a printed book in the Library’s collection, or to refer to an online article in an OA journal hosted by an external publisher. Whatever the case, the Library will be pleased to work with you to ensure that your students can access content without encountering paywalls or other unnecessary obstacles.

It is important to emphasize to your students, however, that free to use content does not signal an ethical free for all. Just because content is being made freely-available online, through an avenue such as an OA journal or an Open Textbook repository, this does not mean it can be used without properly crediting the source. Regardless of the source, conditions of access, etc., correct citation is a must in academia, and students will need to see this behaviour modelled in the online classroom so that they follow it in their own coursework. The Academic Integrity section of this website provides excellent guidance for you and your students on these questions.

Recommended Resources

Encourage Academic Integrity