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Course Reserves - Rush University

Electronic Reserves

How the Electronic Reserves System works:

The Library of Rush University can create structured lists of catalog links to articles and electronic book chapters within our subscriptions; within the bounds of copyright compliance, PDF scans may also be hosted on a case-by-case basis. These lists can be integrated directly into Canvas / Blackboard, which avoids the need for entering a separate password and creates a reading list directly in the Learning Management System. Each instructor who sets up Electronic Reserves for their course will also receive a password that students can use to access the Electronic Reserves modules directly (link below).

Electronic Reserves are not automatically reopened for future terms. The Library keeps a version of each reserved article's citation in the system for future use, but contents of each module must be reviewed every term to assess relevance, check subscription status, and verify copyright compliance.

Faculty guidelines for placing articles in the e-reserves system:

  • If the Library subscribes to the e-journal or e-book, the Library will provide a link that will give students access with their Rush username and password. If the Library does not own the article, it is expected that the instructor will provide a PDF or as clean a photocopy as possible for the library to scan into PDF format. The Library is not responsible for the quality of material scanned from photocopies provided by the instructor. 
  • Electronic Reserves requests are processed in order of receipt. Reserve requests must be submitted to at least 1 week prior to the first day of class to guarantee the reading list will be fully built and integrated in time.
  • Any and all documents stored in the Electronic Reserves database are protected under Copyright Laws of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code) governing the making of photocopies of copyrighted material. It is the instructor's responsibility to secure permission to use material if it is so needed. For more information about copyright and course reserves, please see our guide about Use of Copyrighted Materials for Rush University Courses.
  • Please contact the Library Reserves staff at or by voicemail at (312) 942-2272 with any Reserves questions.

Print Reserves

The Library of Rush University Medical Center is able to reserve print books from our existing collection for short term loans when such texts are used as required reading for a course. Additionally, personal copies owned by faculty members can be cataloged into this category. The Library will also look into purchasing a copy of a text when possible, and accepts departmental donations of required textbooks.


Faculty Guidelines for Placing Books in the Print/Book Reserves Collection:

  • To place an item on reserve, please fill out our Reserves Request form (bottom of page) or email Incomplete forms may result in a delay in processing.
  • If the Library of Rush University Medical Center does not own a requested item, it may take up to 3 weeks to acquire it and prepare it for student access.
  • Books from the collection placed on short term loan for Reserves will remain on reserve for the duration of the term. Books may not be placed on Reserve indefinitely, and will require a new request each term.
  • The Library of Rush University Medical Center cannot guarantee faculty personal copies against theft or damage, and they will be subject to standard library processing requirements. The disclaimer form (bottom of page) must be completed to add a personal copy to the Library Reserves.

Please contact the Library Reserves staff at or by voicemail at (312) 942-2272 with any Reserves questions.

FAQs about the use of Course Reserves

Do I need to get copyright permission to provide documents (e.g. articles and book chapters in PDF format) via the Library's electronic reserves system?

Use of the library's e-reserves system is governed by Rush's Copyright Compliance policy (OP-0365), and documents stored in the e-reserves system are protected under Copyright Laws of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code). If you limit materials to single articles from journals or individual chapters from books already owned by a faculty member or the Library, you may request that these be digitized by the Library. They will be placed in a password-protected page designated for your course and will be accessible only to students enrolled in the course. These materials will be removed from the e-reserves system at the end of the term. If you plan to use these materials again, you must get permission from the copyright holder. Note that "documents" in this case refers to PDFs and scanned copies of physical books and journals, not links to the library's e-journal and e-book subscriptions, which may be used without restriction. 

What if I want to pass out physical copies to each student taking a course?

The guidelines for educational or fair use of multiple copies for classroom use apply. For example, if the document is one article from a journal or a book chapter and there is inadequate time to request permission to duplicate it, you can do so one time only. If you plan to use materials in more than one term, you will need to get permission from the copyright holder.

Does fair use apply to articles I want to digitize for my RULearning (Blackboard) course?

If you limit materials to single articles from journals or chapters from books already owned by a faculty member or the Library, you may link to digitized materials, or even digitize them yourself, for use in your web-based course. The Web course must be password protected and accessible only to students enrolled in the course. The materials must be removed at the end of the term as soon as the course is over. If you plan to use the materials again, you must get permission from the copyright holder. 

What is fair use?

Section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act establishes four factors to help decide whether a particular use is fair use:

  • 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;
  • 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.

How do I go about getting permission?

There are several ways to obtain copyright permission for use of electronic or print articles.

Contact each publisher of the article you want to use. This is the cheapest method. You will be only charged the copyright (royalty) fee plus a charge for the number of copies of each article you plan to use. In some cases, depending on the publisher and the publication, permission may be free.

Use the Rush University Bookstore to provide course packs for your courses. They will determine the charge based on the number of citations and publisher royalty fee. The Bookstore then sells the course packets to students along with the textbooks for the course.

Place an Item on Reserve (Faculty Only)

To place library-owned materials on reserve, please complete the online form below.

To place personal materials on reserve, bring the item(s) and a completed Reserve Personal Material Disclaimer Form to the Library Services Desk.

Maps and Directions