rules digital readers

Reuse of digital literature for educative use, eg. in Blackboard

(partially taken from the University Library Leiden, with their kind permission)

1. Linking to articles or e-books (when legally accessible) is allowed. For example, linking to articles or e-books in the Library collection is always allowed.
A disadvantage when doing this can occur when you link to the whole book/article and have to specify separately in Blackboard which parts you want to use.
Sometimes publishers specify special rules for downloading or printing e-books.
Consult the Info point Readers

2. Inclusion of so-called ‘short extracts’ is free of charge. All Dutch Universities have an agreement with the PRO foundation. If you want to place texts in PDF form in Blackboard then this is free only if they meet the following conditions for ‘short extracts’


From a non literary book: a maximum of 10.000 words, but not more than one third of the work;


From a journal: a maximum of 8000 words, but not more than one third of the edition concerned;


From a literary work: a maximum of 2500 words or maximum 100 lines of poetry;


Graphs, tables, diagrams, photographs and illustrations count for 200 words. A maximum of 25 of these ‘units’ can be used from one original work.

3. Journal articles from certain publishers may be included in their entirety in a printed or digital reader. You can check publisher’s policy in the publishers list.

NB! Publisher’s policy can change. Check regularly whether inclusion is still permitted, otherwise you run the risk of high fines!

4. If a publication is available on the internet with Open Access, it may be included in its entirety in a printed or digital reader without fear of prosecution. Open Access means ‘freely accessible publication' from, for example, university repositories or free scientific journals.

5. If you want to include an ‘extended extract’ in a digital reader (and points 1, 3 or 4 above are not applicable) then you can apply for permission to the PRO foundation. If permission is given, there will be a charge for the rights. The costs for ‘extended extracts will be charged to the faculty or institute!

Cost table PRO (NL)

If you want the students to pay these charges you can consider making the complete reader, or the 'extended extracts' available as a printed rather than digital reader. The costs can then be recouped from the students.

NB. It is often possible to purchase an e-book version of a book. If you place a link in Blackboard to this, then access is usually free. (See point 1).

6. Always include a correct reference of the extracts used! There are a number of standard protocols, a frequently used example is that according to APA (pdf).

Relevant links:

Info point Readers (NL) can help you with compilation and the use of readers as well as the administrative processing of extended extracts.

Tips for word counts.

Comprehensive information about copyright and readers.