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Course Reserves for George A. Smathers Libraries: Electronic Reserves

Learn about Course Reserves and how they can contribute to your teaching and learning experiences.

TROUBLE SHOOTING: My students say the link is not working. What do I do?

First, be sure that the student is using the UF VPN client; for more information on the UF VPN Client CLICK HERE.

You may contact the Course Reserves unit at 352-273-2520 or send an email to notify Course Reserves staff at It generally takes only a few minutes to fix a broken link.

Book Chapters/Excerpts for Electronic Reserves

Excerpts from books owned by the library can be scanned and placed on electronic reserves under the following conditions:

  • Submissions for book excerpts will be evaluated by the staff for adherence to fair-use guidelines; if there are problems, instructors will be notified by Course Reserves staff, and options to placing the material on electronic reserves will be offered (for example, placing a physical copy of the material on course reserves, purchasing the copyright clearance for the material in question, etc.).
  • All scans of personal copies of items submitted by instructors must include the complete bibliographic information of the title in question, and should include a copyright information statement below (a PDF copy that can be attached to existing PDF scans). Bibliographic information can be included either as a scan of front and back of the title page, or a citation including the title, author, publisher, publication date, and edition information.
  • Scans from books not owned by the library can be made available online for one semester under fair-use guidelines; if material is needed for subsequent semesters, we will contact the instructor with options for making the material available (purchasing copyright clearance to make the material available online, putting the physical copy of the book on reserves, etc.).
  • Scans of materials not owned by the library will follow the steps of materials owned by the library. If an item is going to be needed for multiple semesters, make a note of this in the course reserves request, and the library will attempt to purchase a copy of the material for the permanent collection.

Videos (Streaming/Excerpts)

  • The Course Reserves staff will make every effort to provide streaming video access to instructors and students. However, we must adhere to copyright guidelines.
  • Links to Youtube/Vimeo and other streaming video resources on the web are acceptable, provided that the material has been posted by the legitimate holder of the copyright for the material in question. We cannot post links to unauthorized posted material.
  • Whenever possible, we will negotiate with the copyright holder to obtain permissions to post streaming video on a legitimate service such as My Kanopy (or another streaming service). Please note that this process can take some time, so please place these requests as early as possible to allow us time to work with vendors.
  • The Smathers Libraries provide many streaming video resources for instructors. For more information, go to
  • Clips/excerpts from films (feature films, documentaries, etc.) may be placed on electronic reserve in Ares; these requests are subject to evaluation for fair use. Contact the Course Reserves unit at 352-273-2520 or email at if you have any questions.

Journal Articles for Electronic Reserves

When the article requested for electronic reserves is available full text through a database that is subscribed to by the University of Florida libraries, staff will provide a link to the article in the database. The Course Reserves units will not post PDF files, Word files or other formats of documents that contain the full text of an article that is available in one of the subscribed databases. If the article is not available in the databases that the UF libraries subscribe to, we can scan and post the article under fair use guidelines. As a general rule, only one article per issue of a given journal can be made available for electronic reserves for a course; multiple articles from the same issue, or an entire issue of a journal cannot be put on electronic reserves. There are, as a rule, no restrictions on linking to articles in databases that the libraries subscribe to.

E-books for Electronic Reserves

  •  If the library has access to an e-book, Course Reserves staff will check for unlimited access to the title. If the library does not have unlimited access, we will attempt to purchase unlimited access. We will update instructors with any relevant information on access to the e-book.
  •  If the library does not have a given title in the collection, we will attempt to purchase unlimited access to the item. If access cannot be purchased, instructors will be notified.
  • Kindle e-books and other such files purchased directly from the publisher are often restricted to a single user, and therefore cannot be placed on course reserves.

Personally-Generated Material for Electronic Reserves

Personally-generated materials (Powerpoint presentations, class notes, sample tests created by the instructor, etc.) can be placed on electronic reserves. Please note these restrictions:

  • If the instructor placing the material on reserve is the sole author of the work in question AND the material has not been published, the materials may be posted. If there is more than one author, however, the Course Reserves unit must have a signed form from the other author(s) allowing the work to be made available. Contact the Course Reserves unit for a copy of the form. If the material has been published, we must adhere to the publisher's policies on copyright.
  • Student papers from previous semesters may be put on e-reserves, provided that the same form is filled out by the author granting permission to use the material. Any information on the paper that would indicate the identity of the person who wriote it must be removed prior to posting. 
  • If you wish to keep personally-generated materials on course reserves for multiple semesters, or if you wish to share them with other instructors, please consider placing your items in the Institutional Repository (go to This will allow instructors to simply link to the items, rather than uploading them and seeking permissions each term.

Links to Websites/Online Resources Outside UF

In general, links to websites outside of the UF domain can be made available for course reserves, provided that the material in question is freely available and the site has permission to post the material. Links to password-protected for-pay resources or other subscription-based sites, or materials from these sites that are violations of existing copyright are not acceptable.

If there is uncertainty about materials that might be placed on either hard copy or electronic reserves, we encourage you to contact the Course Reserves main office at 352-273-2520 for additional information.

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