Copyright and Document Delivery

How does copyright affect my Document Delivery request?

The U.S. Copyright Act gives libraries the right to use copyrighted works under certain circumstances, including making copies for patrons for the purposes of private study, scholarship, or research. Through our Document Delivery service, we can typically copy a single “article or other contribution to a copyrighted collection or periodical issue,” or up to 10% of the pages or one chapter of any other copyrighted work (whichever is greater). In some cases, such as when the work is in the public domain or is not available on the market, we can copy more.

In addition, we store electronic copies on our server for only a short period of time. You have 14 days or 5 views to access your PDF copy.

What if my request exceeds the Library’s limit to provide copies?

Document Delivery staff evaluate article requests on a case-by-case basis. If you request a larger portion of the source material than we can scan, we will likely be able to provide the material in the form of a loan. Please let us know if you are out of town so we can let you know what your options are for access.

There are other options available to you if you are on campus:

  • Come view a book or journal in person at the library.

  • Request that the library purchase a book or journal.

  • Inquire about an eBook purchase of your requested material.

    You may also want to learn more about your own rights under copyright law by exploring the copyright resources below or emailing the Library Copyright Office.

What other resources are available?

The Library Copyright Office provides information to help you make decisions about sharing and using copyrighted material in your research, learning, and teaching. You may wish to consult its research guides, including those on Copyright Basics and Copyright and Course Websites. Its website provides additional resources, including information about workshops and personal consultations. You can also contact the office via email.

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Last modified: 12/14/2017