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Copyright: Using resources in your teaching

Guidance and tips on making copyright law work for you in your University teaching and study.

You may wish to make copies of copyright works (images, text, multimedia, etc) for use in your teaching; either in lecture slides or handouts, or as recommended readings. Under UK legislation fair dealing with a copyright work for the purposes of private study or non-commercial research (with sufficient acknowledgement) does not infringe copyright. 

Broadcasting a copyright work (ie. in a lecture) or creating and providing multiple copies of a work (ie. recommended text, image) for students to read, requires further consideration - the University takes out licences to allow for multiple copies to be created and distributed under certain conditions, and there are also other sources of copyright works that you may wish to direct students to access as part of your teaching. 

Use the guide below to find out more about using different material types in your teaching, and visit our page on Licences and Exceptions for further details.

Top tip: Whenever you quote or reuse a copyright work, include a reference to acknowledge the source! Some services (i.e. the Library's scanning service) will help to provide this information, but when reusing material in lectures, please ensure that attribution has been included in your slides.

Image: Skitterphoto via Pixabay (CC0)

Resources to help you use text & course readings legally

Use the Library's Scanning Service.
You don’t need to scan any readings for courses yourself – use the Library scanning service to provide legal copies under the terms of the CLA HE Licence, which are accessible via your online Reading List and via Blackboard.

Use links, not PDFs.
It’s often simpler to link to journal and newspaper articles than provide a PDF/scanned copy, as reuse permissions for different publications vary. The making of and distribution of multiple copies is not permitted unless authorised by the University's CLA Licence. Providing a link allows to students to access, dowload, and manage their own copies for private research and study.

For guidance on creating stable links to library resources, please see the following page:

Use your online reading list.
Providing course reading recommendations using the online Reading Lists system means that links to articles are included in your list for students to access, allows the Library to check against current holdings and create scans of relevant chapters/articles.

If you're not familiar with using online reading lists, click on the link below or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Anything else?

For more information on using text resources in teaching, please see the guides below.

Resources to help you use images legally

It can be difficult to track down the copyright owner of an image, so there are some recommended resources you can use to find re-usable images. If you're not sure how to re-use images, start with the resources below.

Use your own

If you can't find a good enough image for the topic you are covering, consider taking and using your own. 

Other resources

If you are using any of the resources listed below, check the terms and conditions for information on re-use in teaching - and always attribute the source!

Resources to help you use video/film resources legally

Box of Broadcasts 

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is a resource that provides perpetual access to all freeview TV and radio channels in the UK. Use it to record recently-broadcast or upcoming programmes, and use the Search feature to identify relevant programmes to your teaching.

Great features for education including; keyword searching of transcripts - skip straight to the mention of your keyword; creating a playlist of programmes relevant to your module, or clips to embed in teaching.

Unlike on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer or All4, BoB provides perpetual access, and allows students to access using their University of Reading login details, as long as they are in the UK.

Academic Video Online

You can also use the Academic Video Online collections to access a range of historical videos which can also be used in teaching. These recordings include transcripts, can be embedded and linked to in teaching and in presentations or on Blackboard, and are accessible with a University of Reading username and password.

Academic Video Online comprises some of the following channels:

  • 60 Minutes: 1997-2014 - interviews and reports from this influential American show
  • American History - newsreels covering important events in America from the 1890s to the 1980s
  • Black Studies - documentaries and interviews covering the African-American experience
  • LGBT Studies - documentaries, interviews and archival footage relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people
  • The March of Time - newsreels broadcast in American cinemas from 1935-1951
  • World History - documentaries covering human history from the earliest civilizations to the late twentieth century
  • World Newsreels Online 1929-1966 - news films from early twentieth century

Anything else?

For more information on accessing other video resources, please see the guides below.

General guidance on using video, image and sound resources

Most of the resources the Library subscribes to come with their own rules about how members of the University may use the videos, images and audio recordings within. 

Each resource will have guidance on how you may use the content. Click on the 'More...' link under the brief description to see this detailed information. 

In general, most resources allow students and staff to use images / videos for teaching materials and in student work which will be assessed but be careful not to use them in displays which are public or on publicly viewable websites.

Some freely available collections will have their own terms of use - look for guidance on their website under 'terms of use' or similar headings. If you are unsure, please contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for advice.