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Copying for personal use

You may photocopy a limited amount of published material for yourself, unless you are doing commercial research. This is called fair dealing.

Copying by libraries

A library is permitted to copy and supply an article from a journal issue or a chapter from a book held in its stock, to a user from another library for private study or non-commercial research. This is referred to as Document Supply or Inter library Loan.

The library must have received a copyright declaration that has been personally signed by the requester before the copy can be passed on. Print and robust verifiable electronic signatures are acceptable.  

Copying under the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence

The University holds a Higher Education Licence issued by the UK's Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) which allows staff and students to make multiple or systematic copies for teaching and learning from books, periodicals and other materials in University owned collections within the CLA repertoire. Terms and conditions apply.  

The Licence is negotiated with CLA on behalf of the Higher Education sector by representatives from Universities UK and Guild HE. The current Higher Education Copyright Licence agreement runs from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2024. Full licence terms and user guidelines are below.

Copying for course packs under the CLA Higher Education Copyright Licence 

Users should check whether a book, journal or magazine title allows copying using the CLA Check Permissions tool before copying, and at least every new academic year, as licensed repertoire is subject to change: rightsholders may add or withdraw content at any time. In some cases, additional clearance may be needed. 

Personally owned copies of textbooks or journals, inspection or proof copies of published material, or photocopies made or obtained via inter library loan for private use cannot be used as source material for copies made under the CLA Licence.

Special conditions apply to digital course packs which typically contain items on reading lists. These can only be prepared by Designated Persons who have been trained on preparing copies in line with the CLA Licence requirements in Library Services. They are responsible for ensuring that all Digital Copies either fall within the CLA repertoire, or are covered by other permission as appropriate, and comply with the Licence terms and conditions. These include a requirement for all CLA licensed Digital Copies to carry an appropriate copyright notice.

Digital course packs should follow good practice guidance to avoid substituting an appropriate available textbook where this would be adopted for a course of study. 

Further licence documentation and support material are available on CLA's Higher Education microsite

Print copying from books, journals and magazines 

The University's CLA Licence enables our staff and students to make multiple copies from print materials within the CLA's repertoire for educational purposes, subject to permitted extent limits.

Not all material is covered under the Licence. Some categories of material are excluded, including printed music, maps, and privately owned documents. There are also excluded publications for which copying rights must be negotiated directly with the rights owner or their authorised agent.

To check whether a work is included or excluded for copying, use the Check Permissions search tool for the most up to date results. CLA also maintains reference lists of works excluded by authors, visual artists or publishers, and a list of international territories, Excluded Works on their website, which may be updated less frequently.

Other licences or copyright exceptions may apply to some excluded works, so if the material you wish to use isn't covered, please ask Library Services for advice.

The CLA Licence allows Brunel staff to make photocopies of journal articles and book chapters for each student in a particular class (plus one for the teacher). The readings can also be put together to form a course pack for no extra charge. Under the Licence staff may copy:

  • up to 5% or one complete chapter (whichever is the greater) from a book
  • up to 5% or one whole article (whichever is the greater) from a single issue of a journal
  • up to 5% or one paper (whichever is the greater) from a set of conference proceedings
  • up to 5% of an anthology of short stories or poems or one short story or one poem of not more than 10 pages (whichever is the greater)
  • up to 5% or one single case (whichever is the greater) from a published report of judicial proceedings

Digital copying from books, journals and magazines

The CLA Licence also permits scanning of extracts from UK published print material for use in the VLE.

This means that electronic course packs can be made and linked to course materials within the VLE, which can then be downloaded onto CD-ROM or other digital storage media by students. The copying limits are the same as for copying from paper to paper mentioned above and apply per module.

Material already in digital format cannot be used under this licence. For instance, if the Library owned both a print and electronic version of a journal article, the electronic version cannot be placed in the VLE under the licence which only covers scanning from print materials. Additionally, the reason why the print version has been scanned when an electronic version is available must be reported to the Copyright Licensing Agency. Some electronic material may be covered separately for use in the VLE - check the terms and conditions for individual subscriptions and websites.

In order to comply with the terms of the licence, new procedures for adding copyright material to the VLE now apply. Any member of Brunel staff may carry out scanning, but prior authorisation must be obtained from the Copyright and Digital Resources Officer. See the web page on scanning for further information on requirements.

Copying from newspapers

The University also has a licence from the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) which allows multiple copying of cuttings from newspapers for teaching. The NLA Licence is administered by the Copyright Licensing Agency, and the Check Permissions tool also displays results for permissions under this licence.  

It also allows the inclusion of photocopies from newspapers in course packs for students. UK national newspapers included in the Licence are indicated on the Newspaper Licensing Agency website. Brunel's agreement includes copying from the Hounslow Borough Chronicle, Hounslow Guardian, Richmond and Twickenham Times, Uxbridge Gazette and Uxbridge Times.