Obtaining the right to use copyrighted materials in a course, particularly digital materials, can be a complex problem involving issues of legality and of electronic access. Fortunately, the university has established wide variety of services specifically to help you make excellent digital resources consistently available to the students.

This useful summary of the rules in relation to e-resources was created by our colleagues at the library, reproduced here with thanks and acknowledgement.

Generally we suggest:

  1. consult the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office website
  2. consult your Department's Liaison Librarian
  3. If you’re still in doubt, ask for help from the UTSC library copyright officer: Adriana Sgro,

Open Publishing Resources

When searching for media to use in your course, consider open publishing venues, meaning collections of works which have had the copyright released according to an internationally recognized standard such as Creative Commons. Creative Commons has six license scenarios, and you can look for content with most of the major search engines. More on locating these kinds of resources appears on our website in Learning Objects.


University of Toronto Library eReserves Service

Staff in Circulation & Access Services can create easy one-click (actually two-click) access to required course readings online for Faculty using the library's linking tools, upon request.

Forward a reading list, created in a standard citation style format such as APA, to ( Please submit reading lists in MS Word, if possible.

Library staff will then review the list of resources available electronically within the UofT subscription services and hyperlink these resources to your course readings via the 'Library Resources' page, which appears in Instructure Canvas, known as 'Quercus'. Linking rather than copying avoids the problem of saving all your articles in portable document format (PDF) and then having to upload them individually to Quercus. It also conserves disk space, which could be used for other purposes.


Copyright in Instructional Settings

If a student wishes to tape-record, photograph, video-record or otherwise reproduce lecture presentations, course notes or other similar materials provided by instructors, he or she must obtain the instructor's written consent beforehand. Otherwise all such reproduction is an infringement of copyright and is absolutely prohibited. In the case of private use by students with disabilities, the instructor's consent will not be unreasonably withheld. (policy reproduced from the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation website). Scarborough students with disabilities contact the AccessAbility Services Office for more information.

The university's copyright policy as it relates to Faculty intellectual property is spelled out in detail on recently amended University of Toronto Governing Council Policy.