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Personal Research or Scholarship

Personal Research or Scholarship Shared Outside of Pacific University

(publication, presentations, online sharing, etc.)

Using copyrighted works in scholarly and creative activities

This guide is to help you determine how to use copyrighted material in your own scholarly and creative work that will be shared/accessible outside of Pacific University. Please consult our other guide if you are using material for instructional/classroom purposes and it will only be shared with Pacific students.

Use this guide if you intend to use copyright materials by:

  • Using them in a public presentation (e.g. at a conference)
  • Including them in an article/chapter/book you are submitting for publication
  • Including them in a thesis, dissertation, or capstone project that will be available in a database or repository
  • Posting them on your own publicly accessible website or blog
  • Including them in an article pre-print uploaded to a disciplinary (e.g. arXiv) or institutional repository (e.g. CommonKnowledge)
  • Distributing them to participants in a continuing education session you are teaching
  • Emailing them directly to an individual colleague or student
  • Or any other use that is not directly related to teaching/participating in a course at Pacific University
    1. Determine if the material is already free to use.

Material may not require permission for you to use if it meets one or more of the following:

      • It is in the public domain.
      • It has been released under a Creative Commons license that allows for the type of use you are contemplating.
      • You have written permission from the copyright owner to use the material in the way you are contemplating.
      • A license has been purchased or a contract has been made with the copyright owner allowing for the use you are contemplating.
      • You own the copyright to this material.

If none of the above apply, proceed to step two.

        • Conduct a fair use analysis

Determine whether your proposed use should be considered fair use by comparing all of the factors that favor a fair use defense and all of the factors that disfavor a fair use defense. Use a fair use checklist to help you to weigh these factors. If you have questions, please contact

To aid in your decision-making, the Center for Media & Social Impact has collected “codes of best practice” developed by disciplinary communities to guide the use of copyright materials in certain contexts: Codes of Best Practices in Fair Use

Note: If you determine that your use would not be considered fair use, please proceed with obtaining permission (or finding alternate materials to use).

        • Document

Document the result of your fair use analysis.

Indicate on the work you are creating or distributing that you have relied on fair use, and that further reuse by other people of that same work may require permission of the copyright holder.

Use full citations for all copyrighted materials you are sharing or incorporating into your own work. Indicate the copyright ownership and licensing terms (as applicable) as part of each citation.

In all cases where you are relying on fair use, the following guidelines must be followed:

      • Use must include a copyright notice (stating copyright ownership). Images should ideally have the copyright notice visible on/near the image itself (although it may also be placed in a credits section of a presentation).
      • The copy of a work that is used must be legally acquired.
      • Fair use does not apply to consumable content, such as workbooks, surveys, standardized tests, et al.
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