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Reserves and Electronic Reserves Guide

Access the E-Reserves Portal

Fair Use Copyright Guidelines

Guidelines for determining fair use, drawn from federal law, are all of the following:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
  • The nature of the copyrighted work -- factual or non-fiction works vs. highly creative works such as art, music or novels.
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

There are some instances when copyright restricts use of materials for Reserves. Library staff will work with faculty in such cases to suggest alternative Reserve materials.

Reserves FAQ

Why are materials placed on Reserve?

Materials are placed on Print or Electronic Reserves (E-Reserves) only at the request of Saint Louis University faculty members for the non-commercial, educational use of their students.

What materials may be placed on Reserve?
  • Appropriate materials for Print Reserves and E-Reserves include, but are not limited, to lecture notes, past examinations, government publications and other public domain materials, articles from journals, and book chapters.
  • Books, videos, CDs, and other materials may be placed on Print Reserves for two-hour or three-hour, interlibrary use or three-day check out.
  • Public domain materials, government documents, and links may be placed on Reserve without copyright restriction.
  • Persistent links will be provided in E-Reserves for articles in licensed journals and databases or for electronic books whenever possible.
  • Harvard Business Review articles may not be placed on E-Reserves.
Can student work be placed on Reserve?

To place a student's work on Print Reserves or ERes, written permission from the student is needed and must be submitted with the request.

Do the Libraries need to own material to put it on Reserve?

All materials placed on Print Reserves and E-Reserves must be legally obtained and owned by the Libraries, another unit of the University, or the instructor; or licensed by Saint Louis University or one of its divisions.

Can I place an entire book on ERes?

Lengthy works that are under copyright, such as complete books, will not be placed on E-Reserves unless the work is out of print and the faculty member provides written documented permission from the copyright holder. (Emails are not acceptable documentation.)

Can I place copyrighted material on Reserve?

Yes, however, copyrighted materials must follow "Fair Use" guidelines as set by U.S. Copyright Law. The guidelines are listed at the beginning of this document.

What should I do if I am not sure my material falls under Fair Use?

If there is doubt about fair use of certain Reserve materials, copyright permission will be sought from the copyright holder, in most instances by the Libraries.

How do the Libraries apply for copyright permission?
The Libraries will apply for permission through the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), or to the copyright holder directly if CCC cannot provide copyright permission.
Are copyright permissions free?

Generally, copyright permissions are not free. The Libraries will pay for copyright permission, but reserve the right to refuse materials for Print Reserves and E-Reserves when the cost for copyright permission is prohibitive. The Libraries' policy regarding payment of copyright fees is subject to change contingent upon library budget constraints.

What happens if the Libraries are denied copyright permissions for certain materials?

The Libraries will immediately remove any materials for which copyright permission is denied. The instructor will be notified in such cases.

Can I use materials for subsequent classes and semesters?

All copyrighted materials that are repeatedly used in subsequent semesters must have copyright permission.

Will the Library purchase items for Reserve?

Materials not owned or licensed by the Libraries will be purchased whenever possible.

How do students get to ERes?

Access to materials on ERes is available only from the ERes web page by the department or instructor's name and is limited by password to students enrolled in each course. ERes course pages are removed at the end of each semester.

Do students need to worry about copyright?

In ERes, students must click on an “Accept” button agreeing to adhere to the terms of the copyright notice that appears prior to accessing the content for each course. In addition, the full bibliographic citation and a notice that copyright law may cover the material appear on the first page of each item on ERes. As long as students use the photocopy or reproduction for "private study, scholarship, or research" and do not use "a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of fair use," they should not have to worry.

Are students charged for access?

Students are not charged for access. If students choose to print an item, the charge is limited to the cost of printing. 

How do I access my ERes course page?
  1. Go to or you may access this page from the home page of Pius Library, MCL, the Law Library, or SLULINK.
  2. Click on “Electronic Reserves & Reserves Pages”
  3. Click on the “Course Reserves Pages By Instructor” tab (You can search using other criteria, but this is the easiest method.)
  4. Select your instructor’s name. Click “Search.”
  5. Click the blue link (Course Number) for your class.
  6. In the password field, type the password. Click “Accept.”
  7. You will the taken to the course page. Click on the blue linked title of a document to access a bibliography page, where you can click through to the PDF or other file.