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Brief Guide to Copyright & Fair Use

Resources for the Southwestern community

Use Licensed Database Resources

The most effective way to legally provide access to copyrighted material is to use works the University has licensed for the SU community. Licensed databases provide access to scholarly journals, electronic books, images, and streaming media (both music and film) that can be safely and legally used in the classroom or placed in Moodle or other course sites.

Selected major database collections are listed on this page. Find a complete list at Databases A-ZContact Amy Anderson, Director of Library Resources, for help or additional information.

Selected Databases for Articles & Books

Gateway to EBSCO research databases, with full-text articles and abstracts and eBooks from a wide range of disciplines. Includes Academic Search Complete, ATLA Religion, Business Source Premier, Communication and Mass Media Complete, EconLit, ERIC, Historical Abstracts, PsycINFO, SocINDEX and many more. 

Includes the full text content of scholarly journals and eBooks from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Find the complete back files of core scholarly journals, excluding the most recent 5 years, many of which date back to the 1800s.

Provides full text journal articles in the humanities and social sciences, in particular literature and criticism, history, visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, and gender studies.

A collection of approximately 5,400 books in the humanities and related social sciences. These are works of major importance that remain vital to both scholars and advanced students, and are frequently cited in the literature.

Provides full text coverage of selected peer-reviewed research journals in the chemical and related sciences. Coverage is from 1999 to present.

Contains the full text of more than 50 high-impact bioscience research journals, beginning with the year 2000 for most titles. Particularly strong in Environmental and Ecological studies. Current issues are posted as soon as they are published.

An extensive full-text collection of scientific, technological, and medical journals; and content in the humanities and social sciences. Most content begins with 1997 and continues to the most recent issue.

Provides online access to the comprehensive collection of journals available from the University of Chicago Press.

A multi-disciplinary database that includes a large group of full-text journal articles. Also includes abstracts, summary information for books, and citations to Current Protocols laboratory manuals.

Databases for Images, Film, & Music

A searchable collection of downloadable high quality digital images. Users can download individual images or use the Artstor Offline Image Viewer to build a presentation using Artstor images.

Alexander Street logoProvides streaming video content from many subject areas, including anthropology, counseling and therapy, business, documentary and feature film, TV broadcasts, education, history, fashion, music and dance, news and current affairs, drama and more.

A streaming video platform offering content from Films for the Humanities and Sciences, Cambridge Educational, and more.

The most comprehensive classical music streaming platform. Features include overviews of music history, program notes for recordings, and the complete libretti of many operas. More than 40,000 composer and artist biographies. Provides access for 5 simultaneous users. Users must logout when finished!

Best Practice for Instructional Sharing of Articles or eBooks

When sharing material from the university’s licensed databases, link directly to the electronic copy rather than scanning and posting PDFs. Using the persistent link or stable URL provided in the database is easier, more efficient, copyright compliant, and provides additional benefits. 

  • The copy quality is higher.
  • The item is fully searchable.
  • It addresses issues of accessibility (the text can be resized).
  • It increases students’ familiarity with the databases.
  • It helps keep track of which titles and databases are being used. 
    • Library Resources receives usage statistics from database providers. By directing students to the database provided link, statistics more accurately reflect actual use.
  • It takes up less space on Moodle.