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Scholarly Communications

Kevin Smith, Scholarly Communication Officer at Duke University, frequently blogs on topics that are relevant to faculty authors, like this "Breaking Technology" posting.  See other postings in the RSS feed below.

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Copyright and TRACS

Posting an item to BLACKBOARD  (course management software)  does not exempt an instructor from copyright regulations.

Please contact Theresa Hefner-Babb, to discuss copyright issues related to materials used in BLACKBOARD.


Following are useful resources pertaining to copyright

The American Library Association’s Fair Use Evaluator: A web form that you can use to create a date-stamped fair use evaluation for your personal records

The American Library Association’s Digital Copyright Slider: A resource that you can use to determine copyright by date of the work.


Due to the complexities of copyright, it is extremely difficult to create one resource or answer that addresses all situations. Generally speaking, however, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  1.  What is the format, my intended use of the format, and the amount that I wish to use?
  2.  Will the amounts permitted in Section 107 (fair use) meet my needs?  (See "Fair Use" tab above for more information)
  3.  If not, will the limits outlined in Section 110 meet my needs?
  4.  Should I contact the publisher directly and request permission to use the material?

Seeking Permissions: Once you have identified the materials you want to use and determined that copyright permission is required, you must identify the copyright holder and secure permission to use their work. A good explanation of the steps for securing permission for copyrighted works may be found on Columbia University’s Copyright Advisory Office website: This site provides direction for obtaining permission for many different types of materials. 

The WATCH database provides copyright contacts for many writers, artists, and prominent people in other creative fields. It is a joint project of the University of Texas Harry Ransom Center and University of Reading Library in England.

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