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Browse and search FAQs

  • If SFU Library doesn't own it, you can suggest we buy it.

    Our collection decisions are based on the quality of the title and on whether it fits with current research and teaching programs at SFU.

    If you'd like to suggest a particular item for inclusion in the Library's collection, please complete the Suggest a Title for Purchase form.

  • Research Commons - Self Serve Locker Instructions

    36 self serve lockers are available to graduate students in the Research Commons on the 7th Floor of Bennett Library, SFU Burnaby.

    To Lock the Locker:

    Select an empty locker & put your belongings in it. Close the door and follow these steps:

    1. Press the “C” button to clear.
    2. Select a 4-digit number that you can easily remember.
    3. Press the key icon button and make sure it’s locked.

    An intermittent flashing red light indicates the locker is locked.

    To Unlock the Locker:

    Go back to the locker with your belongings. Repeat above steps.


    • SFU Library is not responsible for any lost, stolen or missing items.
    • Lockers are for short term use (one or two days). Lockers with items left for more than two days will be emptied and items will be sent to SFU security/lost & found.


    Instructions for locking and unlocking a locker in the Research Commons

  • You can use the Z39.50 protocol to connect to the SFU Library catalogue, including a connection from within Endnote. You cannot use EndNote or Z39.50 to connect to any SFU Library databases.

    Z39.50 settings

    "Connection Settings" should match the following:

    Server Description: SFU Catalogue
    Server Address:
    Database: OPAC
    Database Name: 01SFUL_INST
    Port ID: 1921 (or 210)
    Record Syntax: OPAC
    Text: ANSEL

    Leave other fields as they appear. You don't need an ID/password to connect to the catalogue.

    "Search Attributes" should match the following:

    Any Field: 1016
    Author: 1003
    Title: 4
    Subject: 21
    ISBN: 7
    ISSN: 8
    Date: 31
    Publisher: 1018
    Place of Publication: 59
    OCLC Number (1211)

    Endnote connection file

    The current connection file for the library's catalogue from EndNote is not updated. You can update the connection file within your own EndNote desktop through the following steps:

    1. Select Edit > Connection Files > Open Connection Manager
    2. Select “Simon Fraser U” from the list of connections
    3. Customize the “Connection Settings” and “Search Attributes” according to the Z39.50 settings above
    4. Save the new connection file and use it for searching SFU Library catalogue within EndNote

    See also: How do I get records for books and/or other items that are listed in the SFU Library catalogue into EndNote?

  • Data and factual information (e.g., rainfall or temperature measurements, mortality rates, population numbers, currency values, chemical structures, historical facts and dates, the number of Twitter followers someone has) are not protected by copyright. Additionally, simple and typical visualizations such as line graphs and tables, or the bar chart shown below, are often not creative enough to be eligible for copyright protection. These types of material may be able to be copied and used without permission.

    Total precipitation over the last year (monthly data) for Vancouver

    However, some types of research products that might be used in a similar way to data (e.g., photographs, audiovisual recordings, detailed diagrams and charts, collections of text mined from websites or publications) are most likely protected by copyright.

    If you are using someone else's data in your teaching or research, you will need to consider its copyright status, and ensure that you have the right or permission to copy and share it. Remember that fair dealing and other rights may apply.

    If you are generating or compiling data in your research, any copyright in these materials may belong to you, another member of your research team, or an external third party. If your data incorporates works created by others, you will need to consider the copyright status before sharing or making it public, unless your use of the work falls under fair dealing or a similar provision. Users of SFU's Research Data Repository Radar should ensure they have the right, or permission from any rightsholders, to deposit copyright-protected material (more information about copyright considerations for data deposits to Radar can be found on this page).

    Any questions about data and copyright can be directed the SFU Copyright Office at

    Image credit: Chart generated at


  • Copyright is recognized internationally thanks to international conventions. Generally, your copyright will be protected in other countries, but it is protected under that country’s laws so there may be some differences from the level of protection you would get in Canada. For example, in the United States copyright protection generally lasts for 70 years after the creator's death, rather than 50 years as in Canada. If you’re concerned about someone’s use of your work overseas, you will need to check the particular jurisdiction’s copyright laws to confirm whether they are infringing your copyright. Similarly, if you are publishing internationally and your work contains the work of others, you must make sure you abide by the laws in the country your work will be published in.

  • In order to comply with Copyright Policy R30.04 (Appendix D), each semester a random sample of instructors will be asked to complete one of two Copyright Provision Recordkeeping Surveys (Survey A and Survey B), which will record the various provisions under which they have posted copyright protected material in Canvas.

    Copyright Policy appendix R30.04D Application of Appendix R30.04A (Fair Dealing Policy) to Learning Management Systems states:

    "If content is uploaded or posted to an LMS by faculty members or their staff, the faculty or staff may be required to identify the reason that they are entitled to post each work or excerpt (e.g. permission obtained from the copyright holder, public domain, fair dealing, other exemption under the Copyright Act). For certain content posted to the LMS (e.g. classroom presentations containing excerpts from a number of works) multiple reasons could apply."

    The Copyright Office is required by this policy to collect statistics on faculty and staff use of copyright protected material in Canvas. Uploading copyright protected material to Canvas is reproducing a work (making a copy) and therefore to post such material in Canvas an instructor must either have the permission of the copyright holder or be using an eligible exception in the Copyright Act, such as fair dealing.

    A small percentage of Canvas courses will be randomly selected each semester, and those instructors will be asked to complete an anonymous web survey based on the materials uploaded to their Canvas courses. One survey (Survey A) will ask what types of materials (e.g. course documents such as syllabi and lecture notes, readings such as articles and websites, images such as photographs and maps, or audiovisual materials such as movie clips and sound recordings) the instructor has uploaded, how often these materials include copyright protected works, how the instructor finds such materials, and what copyright provisions (e.g. fair dealing, public domain, Library license) have allowed the instructor to copy these materials. The other survey (Survey B) will preselect a small number of uploaded files from the instructor's Canvas course, and will ask for the copyright provision(s) used to copy each specific file. Neither survey should take more than ten to fifteen minutes to complete.

    This collection of statistics is a recordkeeping exercise which will show us how copyright protected materials are used on campus, and may also help us determine where more education or outreach may be required. This is not a compliance monitoring process. We will not be contacting or "investigating" anyone based on their responses; in fact both surveys are anonymous. Instructors will not be selected for either survey more than once per year.

    Information about what constitutes fair dealing and how instructors can use copyright protected materials in their teaching can be found on the Copyright for Instructors at SFU section of the copyright website. Please also see the Copyright Infographic, which concisely spells out how you can use copyright protected materials for teaching.

    Further information about the survey and how to complete it is available on the Copyright Provision Recordkeeping Survey page. Please send all questions about the survey to the Copyright Office at

  • In general, copyright laws in the U.S. and Canada are different.  For example, the U.S. has a provision known as ‘fair use’, which is different from the Canadian equivalent (‘fair dealing’).  Additionally, copyright generally expires sooner in Canada (50 years after the creator's death in most cases) than in the U.S. (70 years after the creator's death in most cases).  See the Copyright Act and SFU copyright policies for clarification on Canadian law.  The U.S. and Canada are both parties to international copyright treaties, however, meaning that works created in one country will be protected in the other country under that country's copyright laws.

  • The loan period for any circulating item in the collections at Bennett, Belzberg or Surrey Library depends on the material type, borrower category, and/or location.

    For details regarding loan periods for the General Collection see the Library's Borrowing Library Materials Guide.

    See the Reserves Guide for loan periods for items [including books, journal articles, videos, course materials, etc.]in the Reserves collection.

    See Media collections for loans periods for for audio and video materials.

  • Copyright does not last forever. The main purpose of copyright law is to allow for creators of works to be reasonably rewarded for their creative efforts. How long it lasts depends on which country you are in. In Canada, copyright generally lasts for the life of the author, plus 50 years (i.e., the "life plus 50" rule). By contrast, in the U.S. and Europe, copyright generally lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years, though it can differ depending on factors such as the type of work, the manner of publication and the date of creation. Use of a work in Canada is governed by the Canadian rules for the duration of copyright protection. 

    For example, in Canada, if a work is created on April 30, 1999, and the author dies on July 27, 2035, then copyright protection extends from April 30, 1999 to December 31, 2085. If the work was created by more than one person, copyright protection exists for the life of the creator who dies last, the remainder of the calendar year in which that person dies, plus 50 additional years. Some types of works such as sound recordings and some photographs and films may have a different length of copyright term. Both economic rights and moral rights subsist for the same period of time. 

    After copyright expires, a work becomes part of the public domain and may be freely copied and distributed. However, do not assume that works are in the public domain.

    Federal and provincial government documents are under Crown copyright. Crown copyright lasts for 50 years after the date of publication. Therefore, a government document published in 1998 is under crown copyright until December 31, 2048. More information on using federal government materials that are still under crown copyright can be found at About Crown Copyright.

  • A request (or hold) you place will cause books to be held for 7 days and media for 3 days after the item arrives at the Library.