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Fair Use and Copyright: Faculty & Staff


Using Copyrighted Works in Scholarship

The Center for Media & Social Impact provides a collection of best practices for filmmakers, journalists, teachers, visual arts professionals, librarians, archivists and more. Consult these for detailed information about the relevant subject/professional area.


Author Rights

The section on copyright in the guide to the university's institutional repository, CUNY Academic Works, provides useful guidance.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

CUNY‚Äč guide to understanding,creating and using Open Educational Resources.



Making Instructional Materials Available to Students (print or electronic)

Generally, here are some best practice guidelines:

  • Select only one article from a journal issue or one chapter of a book.
  • Use only two or three articles from the same journal.
  • Choose new articles or book chapters each semester.
  • If you want to use several book chapters, put the book on reserve at the library.
  • Select a textbook for the course and supplement it with selected readings.
  • Make copies of only required readings, and share a list of optional readings.
  • Instead of making copies or attaching PDFs to an email, course website or course management page, link to electronic versions of the readings via persistent URLs on library databases or the open Web.
  • Consider paying permission fees for creating a "course pack" of your readings that you can distribute electronically and use from term to term.

For more information, see "Making Instructional Materials Available to Students" from Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office.

See also:

Showing Film and Other Media in the course of Teaching

See the section on "Showing Film and Other Media in the Course of Teaching" section from the Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office. 

Using Student Work

Students own the copyrights to their academic work(s). You may use the simple release form below to request the use of their work and use their name if using that work as an example in offering a course. Follow copyright Fair Use guidelines and proper citation procedures if you are using the student work in the body of your own work.