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Library Resources for Faculty

This Guide contains information regarding library resources and services for faculty at TAMUCC.

Copyright and the Mary and Jeff Bell Library

In this digital age, copyright and fair use have become increasingly complex. In truth, the copyright law has not kept pace with the incredible advancements in technology that take place at an increasingly rapid rate.

The library participates in the Office of Distance Education & Learning Technologies’ Certification Series offered on an ongoing basis to faculty preparing to teach online. The library gives a presentation on copyright in the educational setting. The PowerPoint from that presentation can be found on this Guide, and in the ODELT’s iTeach Online Blackboard course.

The university has an annual license with the Copyright Clearance Center. Faculty can visit its RIghtFind to see if materials not already subscribed to by Bell Library can be used without the faculty member having to ask for permission.

The Library regularly gives copyright presentations in the ODELT certification series.

Below we have some helpful tips if you are trying to share an article with your class.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the library at 

Can I Use this Article for Teaching?

Copyright or Public Domain?

The first consideration when using a work is whether the work is copyrighted. If the work is not copyrighted, it is in the Public Domain and is freely available for all use. To see if the work is in the Public Domain, try using this tool: Public Domain Slider. If the work is copyrighted, use the decision chart and information below to assess your use of the content.

Open Access

Open access content is released under an open license that allows for more uses than an all rights reserved distinction. Depending on the license, you may be able to copy, reproduce, distribute, perform, create derivative works, and/or sell the content.

Creative Commons licenses make it easy to publish and reuse open content. Look for works with Creative Commons licenses. Open access publishers are likely to release their content under one of these licenses. Check the terms of the license before proceeding with your use of the content.

For more information about Open Educational Resources visit:

Materials The Library Has Access to

If the Bell Library has license agreements that allow our university community access to e-resources, links to that material can be placed in BlackBoard using the prefix below:


  • Some databases such as EBSCO, ProQuest, and Films on Demand provide "permalinks" or "permanent URLs" which include the prefix already. To find these links, locate the item in the database and look for the permanent link feature in the item record. This is the link that can be placed in BlackBoard.
  • For those databases that do not have a permalink feature, add the prefix yourself to the front of the URL in order to link to it from BlackBoard. This URL is an example:

Check Academic License with RightFind

If the copyrighted content you wish to use is not available in the library's collections, the work may be covered under the University's annual Academic License through Copyright Clearance Center. You can go to RightFind (see link below) to determine whether or not you can use the copyrighted content without having to ask for permission from the rights holder.

If you are off campus you will be prompted to set up an account.  When setting up your account make sure to use your TAMU-CC email address: ''.

Once at the search page simply enter the title of the book or journal in the search box and select search.


Image shows the Rightfind Search Box


  • When selecting the best matches from the results list check to make sure the item types match (ex: book, journal). 
    • If you are looking for a journal and find a book with the matching title do not assume they are the same item.   
  • It is important to also verify the ISBN numbers and/or the publication year. 
  • In some journals some years of publication will be covered while others are not. 

Once the best match has been selected, verify how you can use the item under the “How can I use this copyrighted content?” section.


This image shows the Results page


You can click "View more uses" to get more information on how each item is specifically allowed to be used.

Image shows the "view more uses" link


Read the terms that apply to how you can use an item before posting to stay in compliance with copyright.


This image shows the Rights Summary screen and indicates the "terms apply" links.


An item not covered by the academic license will appear with the red prohibition sign, as seen below:


This image shows what the screen looks like when a journal is not covered

Fair Use and Teach Act

Fair Use and the Teach Act are exemptions to copyright to afford users certain rights to use copyrighted content regardless of its rights designation. Contact for more assistance with Fair Use or the Teach Act.

Fair Use

Stanford University provides a useful guide to Fair Use. The Copyright Advisory Network offers the Fair Use Evaluator to guide your application of the four factors of fair use. Columbia University provides this Fair Use Checklist.

The Teach Act

You are exempt from copyright considerations if you use the materials in accordance with the TEACH Act or Section 110(2) of the Copyright Code. Here is an explanation of this part of the law. There is also a checklist available to help you identify whether a use is sanctioned under the TEACH Act.


If you have an article not covered by our academic copyright license that you still wish to use, you can request the material be placed on E-Reserves through Bell Library.  In some cases, copyright permission can be purchased and the library will pay the fee up to a certain amount.  If the fee exceeds the library's cap, your department can make up the remaining cost, or you may have to find new material to use.