A coursepack is a book containing academic material for use in the classroom. Coursepacks often contain excerpts from multiple publications, or they may consist of original material. All copyrighted material must be cleared for use every term.

Are some sources free if they are Fair Use?

Fair Use is a legal defense of copyright infringement that may allow instructors and students to share copyrighted material in a classroom environment if certain criteria is met.

OSU’s policy regarding Fair Use is that we must always have permission to distribute copyrighted material. If you want students to have their own copy of articles or book excerpts, including them in a coursepack will ensure no infringement occurs.

How much of a book can I copy?

Publishers often do not allow more than 10% of the pages of a book to be copied, but sometimes more is acceptable. In some cases, an entire book may be reprinted.

How do I determine if an article in the library database is open-access?

  1. Visit the Valley Library database and search for your desired text. You may be prompted to login with your ONID credentials.
  2. If an article is free to view online, you can click “View Online” to access a PDF. If a book or article doesn’t say “View Online” but you want students to have a copy, you can include it in a coursepack or put it on reserve with the library.  
  3. If you want students to access articles in the library database, you can provide a permalink. Alternatively, you can give students a list of articles to search for themselves.
  4. To provide a permalink, click on the host database. For example “EBSCOhost”.
  5. Look for a button that says “Share” or “Link” or “Permalink”. Copy this link and paste it into the document you will be giving to students.
  6. For books that are available in the library but not free to view online, you can put up to five copies on course reserve, or you can include them in a coursepack to make sure everyone gets a copy.

How to Submit a Coursepack

Separate orders must be placed with Printing & Mailing and the Beaver Store.

1. For Printing & Mailing, submit a Coursepack Order online. Alternatively, you can download and print a Copyright Center form. Send hard copies to Benjamin Merrell, 4700 Research Way.

2. For the Beaver Store, submit a course material requisition.

Electronic Coursepacks

The Beaver Store offers both print and electronic format (PDF only).

For electronic coursepacks, access code cards are sold on the Beaver Store’s shelves. Codes are redeemed here. Access codes can also be purchased directly from this webpage, saving students a trip to the Beaver Store.

Coursepacks can simultaneously be offered as printed and electronic. In this case, the printed books will have an access code inside of the cover, allowing students to download a PDF to view on their computer or tablet. Printing may be restricted if there is any copyrighted material.


The price of a coursepack includes printing, bindery, and copyright fees. Electronic coursepacks only include copyright fees.

Rights holders charge anywhere from $0 to $1.00 per page for copyrights. OSU’s Copyright Specialist can determine the cost breakdown for your content.

Instructors may receive one desk copy for free. Additional desk copies are rolled into the cost of student packets.

Can I distribute my course materials through Canvas?

Posting copyrighted material to Canvas is considered infringement unless you've obtained permission from the rightsholder. If you want students to have electronic access to your copyrighted sources, consider submitting an electronic coursepack to be distributed through the Beaver Store’s online platform.