Skip navigation to content
Search icon


SAULCAT - St Andrews University Library Catalogue

Copyright information

A summary of copyright legislation explains what is protected, duration of copyright, fair dealing, educational use of copyright material, copyright affecting visually impaired persons, images and theses, etc.

Use of copyright materials for teaching and learning

The University of St Andrews holds a licence with the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) which permits photocopying or scanning of limited portions from certain books, journals and magazines published in the UK and some other countries for educational purposes. These are subject to a number of important restrictions relating to the following:

– The length of the extract – typically a maximum of one chapter from a book or one article from an issue of a journal, or 10% of the total work.

– The country the work was published in: while UK-published works are covered by the licence (with the exception of a number of excluded items), it’s important to check whether works published in overseas territories come under the terms of the licence. (You can use the CLA Check Permissions tool to determine whether particular works can be photocopied or scanned.)

Library holdings: the Library should normally hold a copy of the original work.

Digitised extracts for use in teaching: what the Library can help with

Our CLA licence allows for the digitisation of copyright materials for use as module reading (subject to the restrictions indicated above). These are made available to students via the Library's online reading list service. It is important under the terms of the licence that the upload of digitised extracts is solely undertaken by designated Library staff: teaching staff may not upload pdfs of scanned extracts from books to MMS or Moodle themselves.

Instead, teaching staff can request to have extracts from copyright materials digitised by the Library by either:

  • Submitting a digitisation request via your module's online reading list, please check our guide for help. 
  • Sending full bibliographic details of the extracts to be scanned, or a copy of the module reading list marked up with items to be digitised, to
  • Or, providing a pdf or photocopy of the article/chapter. This should be an authentic representation of the original printed pages, i.e. these should be clear, free from markings of any kind. Pdfs can be attached to an email sent to the address above; photocopies may be left at the Library Service Desk marked FAO Short Loan team, with a note of the module details.

[Note: journal articles to which we have electronic access, or chapters in ebooks in the Library collections, can be linked to from an online reading list. Check our Reading List information for help.]

[Note: the Library’s expectation is that teaching staff will only request digitisation of key readings, such as required readings for tutorials, seminars and essays – NOT all of the readings for a module.]

Each requested item will be checked for copyright compliance. If all the required criteria are met a copyright cover sheet will be added and the digitised material will be uploaded to the online reading list.

In some cases, it will not be possible to use a scanned copy of a reading if it falls outside the terms of the CLA licence, however Library staff can investigate other possibilities such as requesting permission to scan an extract, placing photocopies of the reading on short loan, or purchasing an ebook or additional print copies of the original work.

Copying for study/research purposes: what is permitted under copyright law

Subject to the restrictions detailed below, users may photocopy or scan portions of books and journals held in the Library which are protected by copyright. More information about these rules is available form the University webpage. 

Photocopying: The 'fair dealing' clauses of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988) allow for a limited amount of copying for private study and non-commercial research, as well as for the purposes of criticism and review.

Fair dealing does not permit copying for someone else or repeat copying by a group of students from the same work which is likely to result in copies of substantially the same material being copied at substantially the same time for substantially the same purpose.

Scanning: Regulations on what may be scanned for study or research purposes are more restrictive than for photocopying. These are summarized below.

Printed course packs: Teaching staff are permitted to make multiple copies of book chapters and journal articles within the limits set out for single copying above. They may make one copy of the item for every student engaged in that particular module plus one copy for themselves. Staff wishing to photocopy from excluded material or to exceed the copying limits set out in the licence must obtain written permission from the copyright holder (normally the publisher) in advance. The CLA have created a good practice guide for the creation of course packs.

Other copyright materials

Recordings: The University holds an ERA Licence and is a BUFVC member which enables staff and students to record and view TV and radio programmes online via the BoB (Box of Broadcasts) National Service.

Images: It can be an infringement of copyright to include copyrighted images in teaching materials without permission. See here for information on what can and cannot be used. The Library has access to the image databases ARTstor and SCRAN which allow their images to be used for teaching purposes. Other Library databases which contain images may impose restrictions on how such content is reused.

Newspapers: The University has a separate licence from the Newspaper Licencing Agency permitting copying for teaching purposes from UK national newspapers within certain limits. The Higher Educational Licence terms and coverage details explain these limits.

Summary of restrictions on what and how much can be copied

Length of extract: Under the terms of the CLA HE licence the proportion of a work that can be copied consists of whichever is the greater of 10% of the total work or:

  • One chapter of a book.
  • One article of a journal issue.
  • One paper of one set of conference proceedings.
  • One report of a single case from a report of judicial proceedings.
  • One scene from a play.
  • One short story or one poem or one play of not more than 10 pages in an anthology of short stories, poems or plays.

Excluded works: All printed books, journals and magazines published in the UK are automatically included in the CLA Licence, unless the rightsholder has expressly requested otherwise.  You can check whether an item is covered by the Licence by using the CLA's Check Permissions tool.

International territories: Current agreements permit us to photocopy and scan extracts from a number of titles published in certain countries outside the UK.   See the CLA's International Territories page for information about current international agreements.

Library holdings
: When a member of teaching staff requests to have an extract scanned for module reading there is an expectation under the terms of the CLA licence that the Library should hold a print copy of the original work. You can search the Library collections for holdings. If the Library does not hold a copy it may be possible for us to purchase a print or ebook copy of the work. Additionally, in some cases it may be possible to obtain a copyright-cleared scan or permission from the copyright holder to make a digital copy of the work available – there may however be costs involved with this.

Scanned extracts
: Under the terms of the CLA licence scanning can only be carried out by "designated persons". The University has nominated particular members of Library staff to provide an authorised digitisation service to ensure that the licence terms in respect of scanning are fully complied with. No others persons are permitted to upload scans of copyright material to MMS or Moodle.

Scanned copies may now be made from the most recent published edition of a work, or from an earlier edition as preferred. 

September 2019