eReserves FAQ




What are eReserves?

eReserve materials are required course readings made available to students through the UMUC online classroom.  These materials include journal articles, book chapters (no textbooks), lecture notes, images and links to web-based resources, including Internet sites and online databases. They are available to be viewed, downloaded and printed under the "eReserves" heading in the online classroom. Only students enrolled in the course and the teaching faculty will be able to access eReserve readings.

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How do I place items in eReserves?

Directors should submit requests at least five weeks in advance of the class. Faculty should place requests as early as possible, after they get access to the class. It usually takes between two to four weeks for the eReserves Team to complete the copyright permissions process.

  1. Prepare a list of required readings with complete citations (preferably in APA format).

    No book chapter requests will be allowed for the e-resources project.

    Starting Spring 2014, the eReserves Team will no longer accept book chapter requests for classes in the e-resources project. For more information regarding the e-resources project, please contact your Program/Academic Director.

  1. Submit your requests via the eReserves System. (Help)

To expedite the process of your requests, please provide complete and correct information in full and indicate the following:

  • If you hold copyright for the materials you have requested, or if you have already secured copyright permission (if so, please provide this information in a note).
  • If you are aware that an item is available in full text online or in a Library Database (if so please provide the URL, PURL, or name of the database).
  • You may upload a file in electronic format.
  • You may provide a print copy to be scanned. If so, please make sure that items to be scanned are in the best possible condition. For photocopies, please provide the Library with a clean, HIGH QUALITY copy of the article for scanning.

The eReserves Team will then:

  • Receive your dated requests and process them in turn.
  • Check to see if the library owns the requested materials and whether copyright permissions are required.
  • Request materials through DocumentExpress if they are not owned by the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions library consortium. Please allow at least two weeks for borrowed materials to be received and made available in your classroom.
  • Notify you by email if the request for copyright permissions is denied by the publisher/copyright owner and we cannot make the readings available.
  1. The eReserves Team  will notify you via e-mail that your requests have been made available, if you subscribe to this feature. Please immediately check the readings in the eReserves area of your online classroom to ensure that the readings are present and match what you requested.

  2. If your class is canceled, please contact the eReserves Team right away so that copyright requests can be canceled.


If you have any questions about the process of your eReserves requests, please contact the eReserves Team.

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What types of materials can I place in eReserves?

Faculty can place various types of materials in eReserves, including journal articles, book chapters, lecture notes, and other course-specific materials if they are required reading for students in the course. They will be displayed as PDF files, direct links through Library Databases, or instructions which explain how to access the article in the Library Databases.

A growing number of journal articles are available in the Library Databases. If you request one of these articles, we will provide a link and/or instructions that will guide your students through the search process allowing them to access the article in full text. If you are aware that an item is available full text in a Library Database, please include this information when you submit a request in the eReserves System. We will attempt to make eReserves available as requested. Entire books, items for which royalty payments are deemed to be cost prohibitive, and materials for which permission have been denied by the copyright holder will not be made available. Visit Ask a Librarian for assistance locating similar materials from alternate publications.

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Can I place required textbook chapters in eReserves?

No. Since Spring 2011, eReserves no longer accepts requests for required textbooks as they are handled by UMUC Textbook Operations through the eChapters/eReadings program.

UMUC Textbook Services has negotiated agreements with textbook publishers to provide up to three chapters per required textbook to cover assignments in the first two weeks of class. These will be made available under the heading of eReadings in your online classroom.

For more information regarding the eChapters/eReadings program, please contact UMUC Textbook Operations at textbooks@umuc.edu. You may also contact your program/academic director to discuss other assignment options.

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Can I place audio and video in eReserves?

eReserves can accept requests from UMUC faculty members to have audio and video placed in the eReserves areas of their online classrooms. eReserves' capacity to handle media requests is fairly limited, so requests are handled on a case-by-case basis. For audio or video we clear copyright with the publisher/copyright owner prior to the materials being made available in the classroom, which involves a negotiation with the publisher and the signing of a contract for each item. The fees charged by the publisher can be cost prohibitive and are considered on a case-by-case basis. For video, the files are normally supplied by the publisher since commercial DVD's are copyright protected, and eReserves then has the video presented online. The entire process normally takes a minimum of 4-6 weeks, so requests must be made far in advance.

For further information regarding media request, please contact the eReserves Team.

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Can I place entire e-books in eReserves?

In most cases, no. E-books from the various Library e-book collections are intended by the vendors and publishers for individual research use and are not designed to be used as a substitute for textbooks. Most of these e-books have concurrent user limits that may cause students to be turned away if they are assigned as readings and the whole class is trying to access it at the same time. Due to these restrictions, entire e-books from the various collections cannot be used as textbooks or as textbook substitutes. Specific chapters and pages can be requested as you normally would for any book request (in the eReserves System). However, there are exceptions, and e-book requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

No book chapter requests will be allowed for the e-resources project.
Starting Spring 2014, eReserves will no longer accept book chapter requests for classes in the e-resources project. For more information regarding the e-resources project, please contact your Program/Academic Director.

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Are there any restrictions?

Yes, for information about textbook restrictions please read May I request required textbook chapters to be placed as eReserves in my online classroom?

Please submit your requests at least four weeks before you intend to use the readings in your class. This provides us with enough time to process your materials and investigate any copyright issues.

Please note that there is a $500 cap per reading. The cap applies at the class level and not at the individual section level. You will be notified if this cap is reached. The library can assist with you finding a more cost effective alternative. However as the instructor or director and subject expert, it is up to you to choose which resources are best for your courses and particular instructional needs.

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What happens if the library doesn't own the material I want to put in eReserves?

If the library does not own or is unable to locate the requested materials in the University System of Maryland, we will request the materials through DocumentExpress. Please note that it can take at least two weeks to receive and process DocumentExpress materials.

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What about copyright issues?

When possible, the UMUC Library will obtain copyright clearance for items that are protected by copyright. If copyright clearance cannot be obtained, and the item is being used for the first time, the item may be used under the fair use statute of the copyright law. However, an item used under the fair use statute may only be used for one semester and not in subsequent semesters.

If we point to the materials in the Library Databases, copyright clearance is not required. The UMUC Library will provide either a direct link to the materials or instructions for accessing the materials in the databases.

Items that may not need copyright permission include:

  1. Items in the public domain (generally, those published before 1923 or published before 1976 without a copyright notice)
  2. Items for which the faculty member holds the copyright
  3. For approved requests of up to 10% or one chapter of a book, materials may be placed on eReserves each semester.

    No book chapter requests will be allowed for the e-resources project.
    Starting Spring 2014, eReserves will no longer accept book chapter requests for classes in the e-resources project. For more information regarding the e-resources project, please contact your Program/Academic Director.

New Fair Use Practice for Book Chapters
UMUC Library is implementing a new practice that allows, subject to Academic/Program Director approval, up to 10% or 1 chapter of a book or other published work that has been or will be lawfully acquired or purchased by UMUC and that otherwise qualifies as fair use under 17 U.S.C. § 107 to be placed on eReserves. Requests that are above this limit or that do not comply with fair use will follow the normal procedures for copyright clearance. Beginning with the Fall 2013 semester, you will see additional language added to the request form for book chapters to certify compliance with fair use criteria.


Items for which permission is denied by the rights holder may not be placed in eReserves.

Please note that eReserves stored in the UMUC online classroom environment are protected under the Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, The Fair Use Statute.  eReserves have been made available solely for use in the class and the materials may not be further distributed to any person outside the class, whether by copying or by transmission in electronic or paper form.

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How do I import eReserves from another class?

Please see How to Request eReserves.

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Why can't I log in to the eReserves System or see my classes there?

Cannot log in?
Make sure that you log in with the same credentials that you use to log into MyUMUC. (See Login Help.)

New faculty?
You will be able to log in to the eReserves System after you get staffed to teach a class.

Classes not appearing?
Classes will not appear in the eReserves System until they have been staffed in PeopleSoft.

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How do I get the Adobe Reader to view PDF files?

The Adobe Reader must be installed on your computer in order to view or print PDF documents. See our Adobe Reader Help page to determine if you already have Adobe Reader set up on your computer and for instructions for downloading and installing it.

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