Electronic Reserves (E-reserves)

E-reserves Policy

Electronic reserves (e-reserves) are short-term “loans” of digital materials that an instructor requires for the teaching of a current course. At the end of each semester, library staff remove these items from e-reserves. E-reserves are limited scans of print material, purchased or licensed ebooks, and purchased or licensed streaming media. 
All e-reserve items must be in compliance with copyright law.
You must login with your netID and password to all course pages containing e-reserves.  Access is restricted to
  • Yale University students currently enrolled in the course
  • Instructors for the course
  • Authorized course auditors
Yale Library is committed to complying with all applicable intellectual property laws and expects instructors to respect copyright. It is the responsibility of the instructors to determine if the material placed on e-reserves complies with copyright law.
All materials placed on e-reserves must be lawfully owned or licensed by either the library, the course instructor, or the corresponding university department. Materials from non-Yale libraries – including BorrowDirect or Interlibrary Loan items - may not be placed on e-reserves. Additionally, custom course packs are licensed only for individual student use and cannot be included in e-reserves holdings.
The library will provide links to library-licensed content on behalf of instructors. In the event no licensed content is available, instructors are responsible for evaluating, on a case-by-case basis, whether the use of a copyrighted work submitted for e-reserves requires permission from the copyright holder, is in the public domain, or qualifies as a “fair use” under copyright law.

Roles and Responsibilities

Instructors will:

  • Determine if the item is in the public domain.
  • Books published in the U.S. prior to 1924 and U.S. federal government documents generally fall into this category.
  • Some items released under a Creative Commons license may permit course use – you must read the license to determine if electronic reserve is a permitted use; or
  • Have already received permission from the copyright holder; or
  • Claim copyright ownership to the materials; or
  • Complete a fair use evaluation
  • Use fair use tools to help you determine if the use of the item for the course is considered “fair use” under copyright law
  • Instructors should review and comply with the Terms of Use and Tips & Good Practices for use of Canvas
  • Instructors should also review the Rights Clearance Guide for Digital Projects. The Guide provides information designed to assist members of the Yale community in understanding the legal issues that may arise in the context of disseminating digital content
  • Instructors must print and save a copy of the completed evaluation for their records
Permission to use the item must be secured if none of the above options apply to your request. The library will assist with seeking permissions through the Copyright Clearance Center. Contact your reserves unit if you need assistance.

Library staff will:

  • Check to see if the library licenses the resource
  • In most cases, posting a link to licensed library resources is permitted by license for use in e-reserves
  • Search library-licensed databases, resources, and digital collections
  • Search Yale Library electronic journal holdings
  • Search for e-books through the online catalog
  • Seek the necessary permissions through the Copyright Clearance Center for any items that instructors determine are not covered by the copyright statement categories
  • Assist and answer questions about e-reserves

Contact Information

Have questions about reserves for your course? Connect with your local reserve unit for support.

Warning of Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of the copyright materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, library and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than in private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The Yale University Library reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order, if, in its judgement fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.