The use of library resources is governed by both copyright and licensing.
License agreements almost always cover use of electronic library resources. These licenses are contracts made between the Library and Publishers. License agreements set out specific rules to follow when using electronic resources.
The Appropriate Use Guidelines outline terms that generally apply to licensed resources. More specific permissions, such as those for use in coursepacks, LEARN, and eReserves are displayed in two places: the Journal Title list, and the OCUL Usage Rights (OUR) Database. The Finding Usage Rights page provides step by step instructions on how to find license terms.
Open Access resources
Open Access (OA) is an international movement that advocates for the free and unrestricted access to peer-reviewed scholarly research on the web with full and accurate acknowledgement for the authors.
- Open Access Guide
Many OA resources use a Creative Commons (CC) license. Learn more about CC licensed resources, and how you can use CC licensing tools to share your work from the following websites:
- Creative Commons (Organization)
- use tools provided by this non-profit organization to increase access to your work
- Creative Commons FAQ
- basic information about Creative Commons licenses
- Creative Commons guide
- library guide providing information about when and how to use the CC licenses
The Copyright Act governs the use of print resources. The University of Waterloo's Copyright Guidelines website provides support and advice to assist faculty, staff and students in understanding copyright. Copyright contacts are available to respond to specific questions.
Exceptions to copyright are provisions in the Act that allow for protected works to be used without permission. Copyright law balances the rights of creators with the public interest and rights of the user. The Fair Dealing exception is of particular importance for education. Waterloo has adopted a Fair Dealing Advisory to assist in determining what may be copied or communicated for instructional purposes without infringing copyright.
- Frequently asked questions
- everything you ever wanted to know about copyright but were afraid to ask!
- Fair Dealing Flowchart
- sets out the steps you should take and the factors you should consider when making a fair dealing assessment.
- Guide for Instructors
- explains your rights and duties when you want to copy or communicate copyrighted material in the classroom.
- Copyright Research Guide
- provides an overview of copyright law, particularly Canadian, with a focus on the education sector
- Copyright Basics for Instructors (video)
Questions about copyright, licensing or usage rights? Ask the Licensing and Copyright Librarian!