Copyright within the electronic and traditional learning environment

Nederlandse versie

A number of guidelines are presented below on the correct procedures with regard to copyright relating to learning tools. The guidelines apply to printed and digital readers (specially compiled collections of reading material relating to the course) as well as material that is included in the electronic learning environment.

Use of copyright-protected work by others

Under the Copyright Act, the use of a short section of work protected by copyright in teaching materials is permitted without the need to request permission in advance. You must however register that use with the copyright owner, and you will be required to pay a fair fee. For longer sections, permission must be sought. In both cases, it goes without saying that you must clearly state the source.

Wageningen UR has entered into a reader agreement with the Nederlands Uitgeversverbond (Dutch Publishers Association) and Stichting PRO (Foundation for publication and reproduction rights). This agreement indicates exactly how much of a text may be used without permission, what it costs and how that use must be reported. Stichting PRO has been appointed as the central reporting and payment address in this regard.

Besides the reader agreement, agreements have also been made directly with publishers. These agreements overrule the Copyright Act and thus also the reader agreement.

No permission needs to be sought for "Open Access" publications either, and no fee needs to be paid. These publications often have a so-called Creative Commons licence, in which the author provides guidelines for the use of the material. For example:

One alternative to including a publication in teaching material in full is to provide a reference to the publication, whether in print or on the internet. This is always permitted, except when referring to an illegal copy, and avoids extra hassle (and costs).

Reader agreement

The reader agreement makes a distinction between short sections of text/short works (website in Dutch) and longer sections or works.

Wageningen University pays Stichting PRO an annual compensation fee for the use of short works or short sections of text from Dutch and international works in printed or digital readers and in the electronic learning environment. It is not necessary to report every use of short sections of text individually, but PRO does want to receive a reference copy of every reader in which material has been used under the compensation fee scheme, with a statement regarding the number of copies. In the case of publication via BlackBoard or other electronic learning environments, nothing needs to be sent. Members of teaching staff who compile readers using short sections of copyrighted text must take care of this themselves, as this is not centrally regulated.

Opmerking This applies only to readers containing information covered by the compensation fee scheme. This does not apply to readers consisting exclusively of publications for which the rights have already been arranged through licences issued by the publishers (see Agreements with publishers) and/or open-access publications.

Opmerking There are tools available to count the number of words in digital documents. In Word, this can be done using Review - Word Count, and you can upload a PDF document to this website to find out the number of words.

For longer works, for which no permission has been granted through licence agreements with publishers, you must request permission before using them. You can request permission directly from the publisher or arrange this through Stichting PRO. PRO has an online application form that can be used to request permission. Stichting PRO wants to receive a reference copy of every reader including longer works or longer sections of works, with a statement regarding the number of copies and proof of permission having been granted. You must arrange this yourself as this is not centrally regulated. In the case of publication via BlackBoard or other electronic learning environments, you do not need to send anything. In the case of the inclusion of longer works or longer sections of works, you will receive an invoice on the basis of the applicable rates for inclusion (rates document in Dutch).

Agreements with publishers

The Wageningen UR Library has entered into a large number of agreements with publishers who regulate access to the electronic versions of journals and books. A number of these contracts specify that articles or chapters may be included in printed or digital readers and/or on an internal network for the purposes of education. No separate permission therefore needs to be sought and no fee needs to be paid. Naturally, this is always conditional on quoting the source. It is recommended that the following statement be published alongside the document: Permission for use granted by publisher.

The tables presented below (Electronic journals and E-books) show what is permitted per publisher. The column "Duration and licence" contains links to the passages from the contracts regarding re-use in education.

For further information, please contact Aquila Weijers at Wageningen UR Library, tel. +31 (0)317 4 84541.

Electronic journals

Permission required
PublisherExplicit permission forDuration and licenceRemarksUpdate
printed reader digital reader
ACM Digital LibraryYesYes2011-Applies to free readers only?March 2011
ACS - American Chemical Society (via SURF)YesYes2008-2012Sept 2009
AGUYesForbidden2002-Sept 2009
AIP - American Institute of PhysicsNoNo2003-Sept 2009
AMA - American Medical AssociationYesYes2004-Electronic copies must be deleted at the end of the academic yearSept 2009
AMS - American Meteorological SocietyNoNo1999-Sept 2009
Amsterdam University Press (via SURF)YesYes2008-2010; 2011-2013March 2011
American Society of Animal ScienceYesYes2001-Sept 2009
American Society of Limnology and Oceanography NoNo2003-Sept 2009
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)NoNo2004-Sept 2009
Annual Reviews (via SURF)YesYes2009; 2011Sept 2009
AOCS Press - American Oil Chemistry SocietyNoNo2003-Sept 2009
APS - American Physical SocietyNoNo2000-Sept 2009
APS - American Phytopathological SocietyYesYesduration subscriptionFeb 2010
Asian Development BankNoNo1994-Sept 2009
ASAE Technical library YesYes2004-No commercial use.Sept 2009
Bio Med CentralYesYes?Only for material marked as "open access"March 2011
BioOne (via SURF)YesYes2009-2011Sept 2009
Blackwell Sciencesee Wiley InterScienceSept 2009
Brill (via SURF)Not explicitlyYes2008-2010; 2011-2013Sept 2009
CABI PublishingYesYes2003-Remove if no longer used; No commercial useSept 2009
Canadian Institute of ForestryNoNo2002-Sept 2009
CBSYesYes2009-Sept 2009
Dekker journalssee Taylor & FrancisSept 2009
Elsevier Science Journals: Science Direct Online (via SURF)YesYes2010-2014March 2011
Emerald (via SURF)YesNot mentioned2010-2012It is allowed to distribute course-packs for free to our own studentsSept 2009
Evolutionary Ecology ResearchYesYes2004-Sept 2009
Georg Thieme Verlag KGNoNo2009-Sept 2009
Haworth Presssee Taylor & FrancisSept 2009
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)NoNo2007-Sept 2009
Inderscience Academic PublishersYesYes2003-Sept 2009
IOS Press (via SURF)YesYes2007-2012Sept 2009
JSTOR (via SURF)NoForbidden2008-2011Sept 2009
Karger (via SURF)YesYes2007-2012March 2011
Keesings Historisch Archief (via SURF)YesYes2007-2012Sept 2009
Kluwer Academic Publisherssee SpringerSept 2009
Lexis Nexis (Krantenbank) (via SURF)YesYes2010-2012Feb 2010
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Inc. (via SURF)YesYes2006-2010; 2011-2013March 2011
Mary Ann Liebert (via SURF)YesYes2007-2012Sept 2009
Multi-Science Publishing (via SURF)YesYes2009-2011Sept 2009
Nature Publishing Group (MacMillan)NoNo2006-Sept 2009
New England Journal of MedicineNoNo1993-Sept 2009
OECD (via SURF)YesYes2008-2010see also 2011
Office for Official Publications of the European CommunitiesYesYes2005-2008see 2009
Oxford University Press (via SURF)YesYes2006-2009; 2010-2012July 2010
Palgrave MacMillan Journalssee NatureSept 2009
Poultry Science Association NoNo2002-Sept 2009
Pion (voorheen Turpion)YesYes?zie: 2009
Routledgesee Taylor & FrancisFeb 2010
Sage (via SURF)YesYes2009-2011Sept 2009
SAS - Society for Applied SpectroscopyForbiddenForbidden2002-Permission requiredSept 2009
SDU Uitgevers (via SURF)YesYes2009-2010Sept 2009
Society for General MicrobiologyNoNo2000?-Sept 2009
Society for Industrial and Applied MathematicNoNo2002-Permission requiredSept 2009
Springer Journals YesNot mentioned2008-2009; 2010-2011March 2011
Taylor & Francis (via SURF)NoNo2011-2012Permission requiredNov 2011
The Scientific World Journal (via SURF)YesYes2009-2011Sept 2009
Thomson Reuters (Web of Science, JCR, ESI) (via SURF)YesYes2008-2010; 2011-2013March 2011
University of Chicago PressForbiddenForbidden2001-Sept 2009
Wiley InterScience / John Wiley (via SURF)YesYes2009-2011Sept 2009


PublisherExplicit permission forDuration and licenceRemarksUpdate
printed reader digital reader
CABI e-booksYesYes2008-March 2010
Encyclopaedia Britannica (via SURF)YesYesongoing March 2011
Elsevier e-booksNoNo2009-Feb 2010
Oxford Reference Online (via SURF)YesYes2008-2010Sept 2009
Sage Reference YesYes2010-April 2010
Springer e-booksYesYes2010-A resonable amount - no complete booksFeb 2010
Wiley e-books (via SURF)YesYes2009-2011Chapters or articles onlySept 2009

Referencing versus full inclusion

If it is unclear whether publishers' material can be used without permission, or if such use is explicitly prohibited, a reference to the publication (whether in print or on the internet) forms a good alternative to the full inclusion of the material concerned. This makes a big difference in both costs and administration.

No fee needs to be paid for an internet reference (link) to material that is freely accessible on the Internet. This also applies to links to electronic resources that are not freely accessible but for which the Library has entered into a licence agreement for use within Wageningen UR.

If an electronic document features a DOI, this can be used to put together a link to it. DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier and is a unique number for electronic documents. The DOI is usually stated on the first page of the document. A stable link to the document can be created using the prefix (for example, for a document with the DOI 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2003.08.017, the URL is

If an article does not have a DOI, you will in many cases be able to copy the URL from the address bar in the internet browser. These links may only be valid for a limited period of time, particularly when they include a session ID.

Flow chart

This flow chart is a step-by-step guide to what you need to do if you want to use copyright-protected material in teaching materials.

Contact persons

Each department has a contact person for matters relating to copyright and the use of copyright-protected materials in education. These contact persons can answer questions on this topic and provide advice regarding invoices. They do not act as intermediaries for applications for permission to use material or for the payment of invoices to Stichting PRO.

Agrotechnology & Food Sciences / Agrotechnologie en voedingswetenschappen
mr. T.G.L.E. Bessems
Animal Sciences / Dierwetenschappen
mw. ing. G.J. Noordewier
Environmental Sciences / Omgevingswetenschappen
mw. E.C.W.M. Ruyten
Plant Sciences / Plantenwetenschappen
drs. D.F. Rademaker
Social Sciences / Maatschappijwetenschappen
ing. H.W.A. Houweling

If you have any questions or comments on this page, please contact Aquila Weijers at Wageningen UR Library, tel. +31 (0)317 4 84541.

Further reading


Although the greatest possible care has been taken in the compilation of the contents of this Internet site, it remains possible that certain information may become outdated over time or may be incomplete. Wageningen UR Library offers no guarantee that the information provided on this Internet site is up to date or complete, and cannot under any circumstances be held liable for any direct or indirect loss arising from the use of the information provided on this Internet site.

mail icon Wageningen Digital Library, 3 March 2011