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Copyright FAQ

Copyright and teaching

This page provides information on complying with copyright legislation for NST Part II Zoology/BBS and Neuroscience lecturers when preparing their reading lists and lecture notes. Contact the Librarian, Clair Castle, at for any further copyright advice.

Can I post my lecture notes on the Internet?
Lecture notes can be posted on the Internet but must not contain any copyright material within them such as diagrams, illustrations or images, or text from journal articles. Permission to include these types of material on a secure intranet only must be obtained from the publisher, or through the CLA Photocopying / Scanning Licence (please see below).

How can I make my reading lists available to students on the Internet?
Reading lists can be posted on the Internet and lecturers should provide a link to either a journal’s own home page or to the host page of a journal, or a link to the actual journal issue or article itself (e.g. the PDF). This should be done via a secure website or intranet, e.g. CamTools as it is a secure intranet site that will be copyright compliant with providing your recommended reading, and it only allows the students registered on the course to access the materials.

How should I link to the articles on my reading list?
Check whether the journal article is available online through a University subscription to the journal at ejournals@cambridge at: If the journal appears here, and covers the date of publication of the article you require, then you can provide a link to either a journal’s own home page or to the publisher's host page of a journal, or a link to the actual journal issue or article itself. Posting the actual PDF may not be copyright compliant (under the individual terms and conditions of the publisher 's contract with the University which aren't covered by the University's photocopying and scanning licence) and in any case it's easy for students to click on the link to reach the journal article. Please do not post PDFs that are from online journals that the University does not subscribe to as it may infringe copyright - if in doubt please contact the Librarian.

Can I post an article I have authored on CamTools, or on my own website?
You might only wish to do this if the journal you are referring your students to is not subscribed to online by the University. You may be able to post a version of the PDF on CamTools - please check the Romeo/Sherpa list of publishers at for guidance on what you can do with your pre-print, post-print, publisher's version of the PDF etc. Alternatively check the contract that you assigned your copyright to the publisher with. You must do this before posting any PDFs to avoid possible copyright infringement.

How can I check whether a book or e-book I am recommending is available in the University?
Check the online catalogue, Newton, at: to see the availability of books and e-books in all the libraries in the University (if there is an electronic version of a book available it will state this on the catalogue). It is very helpful to state on your reading list if the book is available as an e-book - and you can of course link to it on your reading list as described above for linking to e-journal articles.

What if a journal article or book I have recommended my students to read is not available anywhere in the University, either online or in print?
You can use the Zoology Library's Inter-Library Loan service whereby Library staff can request a (copyright compliant for teaching purposes) copy from the British Library, which should arrive within 3-5 working days. Details of this service can be found at: (N.B. there would be no charge to you for this service as the request would be for teaching purposes).

Can I photocopy or print off copies of a journal article or book chapter and leave it in the Library for my students to read?
Yes. This facility is useful if the print version is hard for students to obtain from other libraries, or you wish students to look at your own reprints, or you wish to provide colour printouts of tables from a PDF etc., as it maximises students' access to materials.

Articles for inclusion in Library folders must usually be photocopied from the original printed article in the journal. PDFs can also be printed out for inclusion in the folders (in both cases as long as it is subscribed to in print or electronically by the University). Photocopying is subject to the usual copyright limits of one article per journal issue, or 5% or one chapter of a book, whichever is the greatest. You can make multiple copies, up to the number of students undertaking the course.

Folders are kept in a filing cabinet marked 'Part II references' in the Library. They can also be kept in the Library Office if the materials in the folders would be hard to replace if lost or stolen, or if they contain your reprints that you don't want to lose for example. Students have to sign for the references they use from the folders in the Library Office and this is strictly enforced. A duplicate set of the Library Office folders is provided in the Part II Common Room on the 2nd Floor of the Department of Zoology, in a filing cabinet next to the photocopier. If students report that anything goes missing from any of the folders it is the lecturer's responsibility to replace them.

Can I photocopy or print off articles and book chapters for my students to read and distribute them at the start of my lecture?
You are actually permitted to photocopy multiple copies of an article / book chapter from the original print version, or print off a PDF for each student enrolled on the course, should you wish to do so (as long as the University owns a copy of the original in a library somewhere, or has an online subscription to the journal). Photocopying and printing is all subject to the usual copyright limits of one article per journal issue or 5% of one chapter of a book, whichever is the greatest.

Can I scan or photocopy journal articles or book chapters and post them on CamTools?
Yes, but it is much easier to simply refer your students to the online version of a book or journal. If you really want to scan or photocopy items for posting on CamTools, you will have to follow the procedure outlined as follows:

The University’s CLA Photocopying / Scanning Licence
The University has signed up to the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Comprehensive Higher Education Photocopying, Scanning and Digital Material Re-Use Licence (‘CLA Licence’), the term of the licence 1 August 2008 - 31 July 2011.
In brief, the CLA Licence is concerned with multiple copying of published print materials by means of photocopying or scanning. It permits lecturers to provide their students with:

  1. photocopies of extracts from books and journals within prescribed limits;
  2. digital copies from scanned extracts from print UK- and US-published books and journals within prescribed limits.

To comply with the CLA Licence’s strict recording and monitoring requirements for scanned materials, the Scanning Procedure set out below must be followed. In Scanning Procedure, the following are mandatory under the CLA Licence:

  • A completed ‘Copyright Notice for Digital Copies’ must be attached to each ‘Digital Copy’ made under the CLA Licence, and
  • Each ‘Digital Copy’ made under the CLA Licence must be reported to a central University contact/body, for the University of Cambridge to the University Licensing Coordinator for Scanning under the CLA Licence at the University’s Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET)
  • If a journal article or book chapter is already available in electronic form within the University, lecturers should just refer students to that version rather than taking the time and effort to scan them from the print version
  • Photocopied items already available in lecturers’ folders in the Library, and printed off PDFs from electronic journals, cannot be scanned; the scanning must be done from the original print versions
  • The amount of material that can be scanned is restricted to the usual limits e.g. up to 5% of or one chapter from a book, or one article from a journal issue
  • Materials can only be scanned if the University owns the printed original, i.e. if the item is held in a library anywhere in the University
  • Only materials published in the UK can be scanned
  • The CLA HE Licence covers all students and all employees of the University. See the Cambridge University Reporter of 25th April 2007 for the item ‘Copyright Compliance Notice: Photocopying and Scanning’, which outlines the main provisions of the Licence. A copy of the Licence, User Guidelines and Digital Copy Record Form, and other supporting documentation is provided by the CLA at It is highly recommended that you read these before doing any scanning.

However, for much more detailed information on the contents of the University's CLA licence please see the copyright compliance documents that have been posted on the University’s Research Services Division, Legal Services Office web pages at