Course Materials

[Updated: 22 Jul 2022]

Providing Print and Digital Course Readings

Although a growing number of online resources are available through the U of A Library and can be gathered using the Library’s Reading List Service,  there will be times when selected readings will have to be sourced from outside that service. In these cases, when you are preparing course materials for distribution to students, you may need to submit your materials list to the Copyright Office for copyright review and clearance.

This means that the Copyright Office will review your list and, if needed, obtain transactional licences for specific readings.

A Copyright Review Request Form must be submitted to the Copyright Office when you are:

  • Preparing course materials to be distributed to students in print that include substantial excerpts of copyright-protected materials created by others.
  • Uploading copies (usually PDFs) to a Learning Management System where the PDF is made from:
    • A print source AND the copying exceeds the amount permitted under the University of Alberta Fair Dealing Guidelines.
    • A digital source held in the UA Library digital collection, where online access to the material through the UA Library is not sufficient to meet the needs of the students in that course, and where distribution by PDF is not permitted under the UA Library's licence.
    • A source from the open web that includes a clearly visible notice prohibiting copying for education use.

Copyright Review and Clearance Instructions

  1. Fill in the Copyright Review Request Form. Please see the form for specific instructions.
    • If you have an existing Copyright Review Request Form from a previous course session, simply update your readings, save and send us the file.
    • If you require a copy of your old Copyright Review Request Form, contact us and we will send you a copy.
    • If you have any questions or require assistance, contact the Copyright Help Desk at
  2. Email your completed request form to
    • Copyright Office staff will review the course readings and advise on printing or uploading selections once their review is complete.
    • As the time required for clearing copyright does vary, we recommend submitting your requests 6-8 weeks in advance of the course start date.

Providing Course Readings that DO NOT Require Copyright Review and Clearance

  • If the library has already licensed the material for use in electronic format, then provide students with a persistent link so they can access the original.
  • Create links to content that is freely available on the open web.
  • Consider adopting a textbook for your course. Contact the University Bookstore for assistance, and/or find suitable Open Educational Resources (OER).
  • Create a library reading list or consult with a librarian. Learn more about the Library’s Reading List Service on the library website.

Production and Sale of Printed Course Materials

  • SUBprint on the main campus is the first point of contact for accepting requests and answering inquiries related to the production of printed course materials. See their website for more information.
  • All course collections sold to students MUST be reviewed for copyright compliance prior to production. Follow the Copyright Review and Clearance Instructions above.
  • As the time required for clearing copyright does vary, we recommend submitting your request 6-8 weeks in advance of your course start date.

Posting to a Learning Management System

Course readings posted to a Learning Management System (LMS) may need a copyright review if you are uploading copies that exceed the limits of the University of Alberta Fair Dealing Guidelines, if the licence under which you downloaded your PDF does not included permission to copy and distribute, or if there is a clearly visible notice on the material that prohibits copying for educational use.  Follow the Copyright Review and Clearance Instructions above if your course readings require review.

Regardless of whether the submission of a Copyright Review Request Form is required, please follow the guidelines outlined below when posting course materials to an LMS.

Guidelines and Conditions

  • If the terms of use do not support uploading the entire work to an LMS, adhere to the percentages outlined in the University of Alberta Fair Dealing Guidelines.
  • Rather than reproduce and provide a copy of an e-journal article or e-book accessible through the UA Libraries, create a persistent URL to the original source. Likewise for content available on the open web.
  • Exercise due diligence in ensuring the copy reproduced is made from a lawful source.
  • Guard against systematic, cumulative copying from the same work over the course of one term.
  • Limit distribution to students enrolled in the program.
  • Upload readings to a secure LMS operated by and under the control of the University. Ensure documents are no longer accessible to students once the course or series of courses it pertains to has ended.
  • In cases where material is to be made available under fair dealing, provide a full citation of the work and the following statement on a page of the material, or otherwise associated with the copy, where it will be seen by the student before reading the selection:

"This content has been reproduced and provided or communicated pursuant to the University of Alberta Fair Dealing Guidelines for use by students enrolled in the course of study or training program for which it was made. Any reproduction or other use of this material has not been authorized and may require permission from the rights-holder."