How can I use resources?

Library resources

Using the Library's licensed resources for research and teaching

The Library's electronic resources, such as e-journal articles, e-books, images and streaming videos, are available under contracts. These contracts, also called licences, govern who can use the resources and what users are allowed to do with the material. They override the Fair dealing and educational provisions in the Copyright Act.

General information about acceptable use of electronic resources is available. Not all licences have the same conditions. You can find licence conditions in the library catalogue.

Finding licence information

Databases, e-journal collections and e-book collections

  • Search for the database/collection name.
  • Click the title.
  • See the 'license' section towards the bottom of the page/record.

Individual e-journals e-book or streaming video

  • Search for the individual title.
  • Click the title.
  • Click 'more info' under the relevant provider name.
  • Licence information will appear in a pop-up box.

Interpreting licence information

Authorised users

  • This section tells you who is allowed to use the resource.
  • Most licences restrict access to Deakin University staff and students.
  • 'Deakin students' does not include Deakin College students. If you are teaching a unit that includes Deakin College students ensure that 'Deakin College members' are listed as 'Authorised users' for the resources you select.
  • Some licences also allow access by Deakin College members and/or other registered borrowers such as alumni or community members.


  • This section tells you how you can use the resource for education and research at Deakin.
  • Most licences allow 'Creating a link', which means you can link to the resource in CloudDeakin.
  • Some licences allow 'Including an article/chapter in on-line course material on-line', which means you can upload a copy of an article/chapter to CloudDeakin.
  • Most licences allow 'Downloading of limited portions', 'Printing of a single copy of an article/chapter' and 'Saving a single copy of an article/chapter for personal use' during research.

Not allowed

  • This section tells you what you are not permitted to do.
  • Usually 'Commercial use', 'Removing or modifying copyright or source details' and 'Systematic downloading of content including by software such as web crawlers or harvesters' are not permitted.

Creative Commons licensed resources

Using Creative Commons licensed resources for research and teaching

Many resources on the web, including Open Education Resources, are available under Creative Commons licences. Creative Commons licences give users permission to use the material in certain ways, subject to some conditions as selected by the licensor.

Conditions of use vary depending on the type of Creative Commons licence, so check the licence before you re-use the content. A description of the licence and a link to the licence conditions usually appears near the work.

All Creative Commons licences require attribution, which means you must credit the original creator of the work.

Licence elements

The Creative Commons licence framework has four elements.

You can copy, distribute, display, and perform the work - and derivative works based upon it - but only if you give the creator credit.
You can copy, distribute, display, and perform the work - and derivative works based upon it - but for non-commercial purposes only.
You can copy, distribute, display, and perform only exact copies of the work, not derivative works based upon it.
You can distribute derivative works only under the same licence as the original work. Deakin study materials do not usually meet this condition.


The four licence elements can be combined into six licences.

  • Attribution
  • Attribution-NonCommercial
  • Attribution-NoDerivs
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs
  • Attribution-ShareAlike
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Material licensed with the ShareAlike element cannot currently be reproduced or modified for use in Deakin teaching material.

Website terms of use

Using resources under website terms of use for research and teaching

Material available on the web is protected by copyright.

There are often also website terms of use that affect what you can do. Check these terms before you use material. They are usually at the bottom of a homepage under a link called something like 'copyright', 'terms of use', 'conditions of use', 'terms and conditions', 'legal' or 'disclaimer'.

Use for research

If you want to make a copy, you need to check the terms and conditions.

Most website terms of use permit copying for personal use (which includes research), but other terms may also be helpful.

Interpreting the terms of use

Terms of use that allow copying for use in research
  • Free copying
  • Non-commercial use
  • Personal or non-commercial use
  • Use within your organisation
  • Personal and non-commercial
  • Personal, non-commercial
Terms of use that do not allow copying for use in research
  • All Rights Reserved
  • © name &/or year & no terms of use
  • Copying not permitted
  • No statement

Other options

Use for teaching


  • It is usually OK to link to material that is freely available on the web.
  • Some websites don't permit deep linking, which is linking to a specific page or image in a website that is not the homepage.


Interpreting the terms of use

If you want to make a copy, you need to check the terms and conditions carefully.

Some website terms of use permit copying for use in teaching materials, e.g. upload to CloudDeakin, class handouts.

Terms of use that allow copying for use in teaching materials
  • Free copying
  • Free for education
  • Non-commercial use
  • Personal or non-commercial use
  • Use for educational purposes
  • Use within your organisation
Terms of use that do not allow copying for use in teaching materials
  • All Rights Reserved
  • © name &/or year & no terms of use
  • Copying not permitted
  • No statement
  • Personal and non-commercial
  • Personal, non-commercial

Other options

If the terms do not allow you to copy the material you may still have some options under Copyright law.

Text and images

You may be able to rely on the Part VB statutory licence for use in teaching materials accessible only by Deakin staff and students.

Audio-visual material

Request permission from the copyright holder.

Avoiding infringing material

Don't use material that could be infringing copyright.

Tips for avoiding infringing material

  • Use reputable or official websites to source material.
  • Be careful when using user generated content sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr. While companies and organisations may have official YouTube channels where they make material available for sharing, individual users may also upload material that they don't have the rights to. Check the profile of the user who uploaded the content to see if they are likely to have the rights to have uploaded the material.

Fair dealing for research

Using resources under Fair dealing in the Copyright Act for research

There are various parts of the Copyright Act (notably the 'Fair dealing' provisions) which enable researchers to reproduce other people's copyright works in the process of conducting their research as well as in 'unpublished' reports generated during the course of the research and printed theses.

The 'Fair dealing' provisions of the Copyright Act permit the reproduction (copying) and/or communication (sharing online) for the purpose of individual research and study, or for the purposes of criticism or review, of:

  • a 'reasonable portion' of a work in written form (books, journal articles, selections from conference proceedings)
  • an artistic work (a photo, diagram, graph, image).

What is a reasonable portion?

  • One whole chapter of a book, report or other literary work, or 10 % of the total pages of the published work, whichever is the greater.
  • 10 % of the number of words of a literary work in electronic form, or one whole chapter, whichever is the greater.
  • One article from a single issue of a journal or newspaper, or more than one, so long as the articles are for the same research or course of study.
  • Whole images (which includes diagrams, photos, maps, technical drawings, artistic works, etc). If taken from a printed book or article, you can only rely on the Fair dealing provision if the item has not been separately published (e.g. as a poster, postcard or print from a gallery or bookshop). If taken from the web, you only need to ensure that you are not dealing with a commercial image library.

Does 'Fair dealing' permit an individual to make copies of films, videos, DVDs or music CDs?

No, it may not. Contact copyright staff for assistance in assessing whether it would be permitted.

You could only rely on the 'Fair dealing' provisions in the Act for protection against copyright infringement when making a copy of a film, DVD, CD or similar if:

  • you cannot obtain the item within a reasonable period of time and at a reasonable price
  • you can guarantee that the copy you propose to make would not affect the potential market for the item.

The nature of the film, DVD, video or CD item (whether it is a newly released commercial film or music CD for example) and the amount copied would also be a deciding factor in assessing whether or not the copying could be considered as 'Fair dealing'.

Be extremely careful before copying any film, video, DVD or music material for your own individual research.

Statutory licences for teaching

Statutory licences under the Copyright Act and Educational Music Licence for teaching

Provisions in the Copyright Act allow you to use certain kinds of material for teaching, without seeking the copyright owner's permission, on the condition that access is restricted to Deakin staff and students.

Text and images

  • The CAL licence under Part VB of the Copyright Act allows Deakin to make available online and make copies of images and limited amounts of text.
  • Both Deakin and Deakin College have a CAL licence.
  • Access to the material must be restricted to Deakin staff and students and Deakin College.
  • For text you can copy 10% of pages or one chapter from a book (whichever is the greater) or 10% of words in a digital work.
  • When making text or images available online under the CAL licence, include the Part VB copyright notice.
  • You must make this material available through the Learning Repository.


  • The Screenrights licence under Part VA of the Copyright Act allows Deakin to share online or copy broadcasts from radio or TV. This includes free-to-air or pay, cable and satellite, and podcasts of broadcasts which have been made available online by the broadcaster.
  • Access to material must be restricted to Deakin staff and students.
  • There are no limits on the amounts that can be copied and shared online.
  • When making broadcasts available online under the Screenrights licence include the Part VA copyright notice.


  • The Educational Music Licence allows Deakin to reproduce a range of music or sound recordings for teaching purposes.
  • The music must be part of the specified repertoire of works.
  • Access must be restricted to Deakin Staff and students.
  • When relying on the licence, a notice must be included.
  • You can synchronise the music/sound recording with a video or film.
  • You can make the music available online as a streamed file, but it must not be a downloadable file.
  • You can play a recording or perform a musical work as part of the learning program or for assessment purposes.


Using someone else's copyright material when publishing

When you publish your research (e.g. in book form through a commercial publisher or as a journal article), or communicate it online (e.g. in an open access repository like Deakin Research Online) you need to reassess whether you have the legal right to use any third-party material contained therein.

The rights you had undertaking research are unlikely to hold up when you publish.

Using a substantial part of someone else's copyright material

If you have used a substantial part of someone else's work that is protected by copyright you will generally need to obtain their permission.

A 'substantial part' is not defined in the Copyright Act, but you must consider both the quality and the quantity of the material that you use.

For works in hardcopy form, as a rule of thumb, you may regard the following as an insubstantial part of a normal length book:

  • a single, continuous extract of no more than 400 words, or
  • up to 600 words in a series of quotations, if no continuous piece is more than 300 words.

Note that abstracts, summaries, some tables, any parts of a poem or words of a song, and other very short extracts of this type may constitute a qualitatively significant part of a work. It is difficult to specify any general rule-of-thumb for musical or artistic works, or for films, sound recordings or broadcasts. No parts of these can safely be regarded as insubstantial.

Seeking permission

Seeking permission from the copyright owner

When to seek permission

You need to seek permission from the copyright owner to use their material if it:

  • has not yet been published (e.g. an unpublished thesis, manuscript for a book or article, a private letter or email)
  • is not available under a licence or terms of use that suit your purposes.

How to seek permission

When seeking permission from the copyright owner you need to provide the following information:

  • item you wish to use
  • source details
  • context of use, e.g. delivery to students via the Deakin learning management system (CloudDeakin), research paper/thesis going into institutional repository as well as published in [specified] journal
  • conditions of use.

You can use these sample email templates.

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