Copyright in teaching materials

Copyright agreements with publishers must be followed when publishing educational resources on a Learning Management System like Brightspace or in a reader. This page informs you about the university’s current copyright agreements. Contact us when you need more information on this topic.

Visit our Copyright Information Point, page Copyright in teaching materials to have a detailed overview on how to use copyrighted materials in a MOOC, in a Brighstpace course or in a reader.

Dutch universities (VSNU) and Stichting UvO (formally known as Stichting PRO) have an agreement on using copyright protected material in readers and on the Learning Management System (LMS). You may use without permission up to a maximum of 50 pages and not more than 25% of the complete book or journal issue.

However, university policy requires instructors to provide hyperlinks to documents instead of using the full text when possible. This policy reduces the annual fee that the university must pay for copyrighted material. This fee is based on actual use. In short, the more instructors use full-text documents, the more the university must annually pay. In contrast, linking to copyrighted material is free of charge.

Using copyrighted publications in course readers and on the LMS

University policy requires instructors to provide publications as a hyperlink and not as a PDF on the LMS. Using a hyperlink is always allowed and free of charge.

    What kinds of links should I use?

    1. Links to a legal website
      As a teacher, you cannot promote the use of illegal copies. Illegal copies are hard to recognize though, so at least refrain from the obvious ones on pirate sites.
    2. Stable links, such as DOI links
      URLs on a publisher’s website tend to change regularly. A DOI link follows these changes and redirects mostly to the right URL. Not having to repair broken links every year will save you time.
    3. EZproxy links
      An EZproxy link guarantees easy off-campus access to library sources, because it prompts students to log in. Using this link is not only a kind gesture to your students, but also lowers a hurdle for students to come to class prepared. It is recommended to use Ezproxy in combination with a DOI link.

    How do I create a DOI link?

    A DOI link consists of two components: + a DOI (e.g. 10.1038/nature12251) =

    The DOI or DOI link can usually be found on the first page of a journal article or an e-book chapter, on a publisher’s  website, or in the record of a publication in a database like Scopus.

    How do I create an EZproxy link?

    To create an EZproxy link, you have to add the following URL in front of a normal URL:  
    A full EZproxylink will look like this:

    On campus, students will have direct access (if the Library has a subscription). When off campus, students will be prompted to log in with their WUR account, after which they will have access.

    What if linking to a journal article is not possible?

    Although the Library subscribes to a large number of e-journal, not all journals are covered. If the Library does not have a subscription to a
    journal, you may use a PDF on your LMS or in your reader. However, to keep the annual fee low, consider if you really need the paper or if you can find another paper which is just as good.

    What if linking to a book is not possible?

    The Library increasingly offers e-books. However, most textbooks are available only as printed books. This can be a problem if you just want to use one or two chapters of the book. Contact the Library first, to find out if options for online access exist. If not, you may use a PDF, but make sure that the total amount does not exceed 50 pages and is not more than 25% of the entire book or journal issue.
    If you want to use larger portions of the book, let students buy the book
    themselves. Additional arrangements can be made with Stichting UvO or directly with a publisher, but in that case the chair group will be charged based on the number of pages and students.

    Schematic summary of PDF-linking:

    Schematic summary of PDF linking

    How do I instruct my students on off-campus access to library sources?

    For students to make off-campus use of the library sources, the library system needs to recognize them as Wageningen University students. Being logged in on the LMA is not enough to get library access. A log-in to the library website is required as well.

    For easy off-campus access, you can give your students one or more of the following instructions:

    1. Install the off-campus access button in your Favorites bar. The off-campus access button prompts you to log in for library access.
    2. Add the following EZ proxy text in front of the
      URL in the address bar:
      You will be prompted to log in for library access.
    3. Go to the library website, log in and find what you are looking for.

    The first two instructions are especially useful if students follow links to known publications. The third option is useful when students want to find additional literature and do their own searches for publications.


    If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Copyright Information Point:

    Last updated 11 March 2019