Skip to main content
Library Services

Copyright and QMplus

1. Scans of articles from print resources

Queen Mary University of London holds a Higher Education Licence from the Copyright Licencing Agency (CLA). The licence allows you to upload scans of articles onto QMplus. The Licence covers most printed books, journals, and magazines published in the UK, plus many published overseas and a large number of digital publications. You can check whether an item is covered by the CLA Licence by using the Check Permissions search tool.

The licence allows you to copy:

  • One whole chapter from a book
  • One whole article from a journal issue
  • One short story, poem or play (not exceeding 10 pages in length) from an anthology
  • One whole scene from a play
  • One whole paper from a set of conference proceedings
  • One whole report of a single case from a volume of judicial proceedings
  • Or:
  • 10% of the total publication length, whichever is greater.

These permissions apply to publications currently owned or subscribed-to by QMUL. Where the university does not hold a copy of a specific publication, you can request the library to acquire one using .

Where a digital publication is not organised in a similar way to conventional printed items, you are advised to exercise your best judgement to copy reasonable extracts.

Scans uploaded to QMplus must have a copyright notice [PDF 387KB]. A copy of this should be sent to this email address, so that details of the scans used can be reported to the CLA. It is important that only students enrolled on the module have access to the scan.

Overseas campus-based students are not covered by our licence so scans of articles cannot be provided for these students under the license.

If you upload your scan using Reading Lists Online, your scan will be checked automatically to see if it complies with the licence. Reading Lists Online will also add a cover sheet and report the scan to the Library.

The Copy Shop offer a scanning service. The staff members who administer this service have received training about the terms of the CLA licence and can offer advice. The Copy Shop will also pass the details of scans to the Library for reporting.

If required material exceeds or is not covered by the CLA licence, please email to explore alternative options. 

2. E-resources

The safest way to use e-resources in your module is by linking to the resources. However, there are e-resources covered by our Copyright Licencing Agency Licence. You can check if a particular resource is covered using the check permissions tool - e-resources will have “digital” under “publication form.” Please note that this would be subject to the same rules as scans from print copies given above. Therefore, the same limits apply and the article must contain a cover sheet and be reported to the Library. Access must be restricted to students on the course and overseas-campus-based students are not covered.

3. TV and radio recordings

Queen Mary has a licence with the Educational Recording Agency (ERA). The licence allows staff to make recordings of TV and radio programmes from ERA’s broadcaster members for educational use. It is important to note that recordings made under the ERA licence can only be made available to students inside the UK.

4. Illustrating a point

Copyright is not infringed by a teacher or student if they use copyright materials to give or receive instruction and the copying is used to illustrate a point about the subject being taught. However, this legal exception only applies under the following conditions:

  1. The purpose of the use is non-commercial
  2. Where practical, there should be sufficient acknowledgement of authorship of the work
  3. The use of the material is fair

There is no legal definition of what is considered fair. According to the UK government: ‘minor uses, such as displaying a few lines of poetry on an interactive whiteboard, will be permitted, but uses which would undermine sales of teaching materials will still need a licence’.

Amanda Solloway MP  (Minister for Science, Research and Innovation) recently wrote a letter to Research Libraries UK where she stated that  "Many materials used in presentations by teachers, including those which are streamed remotely to students, are likely to fall within this provision." (i.e. illustration for instruction).

5. Open access materials

A number of materials are freely available to use. A list of these can be found on the QMplus Introduction to Copyright module. Please also check E-Learning unit's guidance on the subject.

6. Obtaining Permissions

With the permission of the copyright holder, you can upload whatever is agreed. Look on the publisher's website for information on rights / permissions / clearance: some websites offer online clearance.


This page was last updated on 10/9/2020

Copyright & QMplus [PDF 200KB]


Back to top