Home > Help, advice > Online student readers

VU instructors are permitted to compile online readers from articles and make these available to  students during courses. Many articles however are protected by copyright laws. This has to be taken in to account when compiling a reader.

How to compile an online reader?
Many scientific articles are available online. The best way to avoid any copyright infringements is to make these articles available through links. Students can then view and download the individual articles using the links provided. The University Library employs specialists who can ascertain whether the desired literature is available digitally. You can send a list of the titles you wish to have complied in your reader to your subject librarian. Once it has been determined that an article is available digitally, it can then be added to the reader via a permalink.

Short and long duplications
When an article cannot be obtained through a link, a hardcopy version can be scanned and added to the reader as a PDF document in Blackboard. The VU University compensates the Stichting PRO for such copyrighted educational publications. The Stichting PRO distinguishes between short and long duplications.

Short duplications: uploading voucher copy
The use of short duplications is covered by an agreement with the Stichting PRO. The VU University pays an annual fee for the use of short duplications that also covers any obligatory and separate referencing. Permission is only required in the case of long duplications. Every online reader must however be uploaded within a month of publication via the web portal on the website of the Stichting PRO (in Dutch). Username and password of this web portal are available at the secretarial office of the Faculty.

Long duplications: costs and acquiring prior permission
Long duplications are billed separately, based on a page price tariff, besides which permission must be acquired beforehand through the web portal of the Stichting PRO. It is considered a breach if, during random controls, long duplications are discovered in readers or electronic learning environments without having received prior permission. In such cases the Stichting PRO is permitted to fine the perpetrators. The amounts involved can be considerable. As is the case with short duplications, it is also a requirement that a voucher copy of a long duplication be uploaded to the web portal of the Stichting PRO within a month of publication.

Reader Regulation Requirements
All aspects of copyright regulation for course material are the responsibility of the instructor concerned. It is therefore important that instructors acquaint themselves with the Reader Regulation Requirements drawn up by the Stichting PRO when compiling an online reader. Read more in the summary of the regulations (in Dutch). The summary explains, among other things, the definition of short and long duplications.

Contact information

If you have any further question or comments, or if you require advice about compiling an online reader, please contact your subject librarian, or send an email to the University Library, entitled “Online reader”.

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