Limits for copying for research and study

What are the limits for copying for research and study?

For books, journal articles and notated music the Copyright Act deems it "fair" to copy a reasonable portion for the purposes of research or study. "Fair" is defined as:

  • an article in a periodical publication (e.g. a journal or newspaper article);
  • more than one article from a single edition of a periodical publication if it is for the same course of study or research;
  • 10% or one chapter if the work is a published edition of 10 pages or more; or 10% of the words if the work is in electronic form.

To copy amounts in excess of these limits or to copy from works other than those listed above (that is, artworks, internet, audio-visual material) you must consider whether the use would be legally considered fair. You must also abide by the terms of use associated with online sources (for example, the website's terms of use). You should always acknowledge the source of the material through a citation.

For more information, see the University Library copyright website.

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