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Institutional Repository Guide

A guide to the University of Alabama's Institutional Repository. What it is, the services provided, and how to use it.

What is allowed?

Posting an item to Blackboard does not exempt an instructor from copyright regulations. Therefore, instructors are encouraged to consult these guidelines. In order of preference, these include:

  1. Link to your article from a library database.
  2. If a persistent link is not available, complete a Fair Use Evaluation, scan your article, and then upload it to Blackboard.
  3. Repeated use over multiple semesters weighs against fair use. For repeated use you will likely have to contact the publisher and request permission
Item  Probably Allowed  Not Allowed
Web site containing copyrighted material Link to the website via Blackboard Copying and pasting the information into Blackboard   
Copyrighted web image Must be educational in nature; display in Blackboard for one semester   Repeated use over multiple semesters    
Article from a library database Direct linking to article   Copying and pasting the article into Blackboard    
Scanned copyrighted image Must be educational in nature; display in Blackboard  for one semester      Repeated use over multiple  semesters    
Scanned chapter from a book

5% of the total work if in-print, 10% of the total work if out-of-print; allowed for only one semester    

More than the allotted percents or repeated use over multiple semesters  
Scanned article from a journal, trade publication, or magazine A single article for one semester     Multiple articles from the same publication or repeated use over multiple semesters 
Audio files No more than 30 seconds without permission     Repeated use over multiple semesters    
Video files 10% or three minutes, whichever is less   

Repeated use over multiple semesters    


(The courts are not bound by these amounts and the Copyright Act contains no such amounts. Therefore it is always advisable to err on the side of caution and complete your own Fair Use Evaluation before scanning and posting to Blackboard.)

Persistent Links:

If you copy a database link from your Internet browser into Blackboard, that link will eventually stop working because it is a dynamic, non-static link. To eliminate this problem, most databases offer persistent links for their articles. Persistent links (also known as Permalinks or PURLs) are stable links that will consistently take students to a particular full-text article in a library database.