FAQs Browse

Can I embed YouTube videos in my course website?

Yes, as long as the content has not been posted in an infringing manner and there is no stated restriction on using the material. Do not embed, or link to, any material that you know, or suspect, has been illegally posted.

Can I get a card if I am not a student, faculty or staff at SFU?

Yes, External Borrower cards can be purchased at the Circulation/Loans desk at the Bennett (SFU Burnaby), Belzberg (SFU Vancouver) or Fraser (SFU Surrey) Libraries.

See External Borrowers: Borrowing Library materials for rates and further information.

All SFU Libraries accept online payment with a credit card. In addition, Library Loans at the Bennett Library accepts cash, personal cheques (with proper identification), debit and credit cards for payment. Belzberg and Surrey Libraries accept cash and personal cheques (with proper identification).

Can I get a library card for UBC or any other post-secondary libraries?

Undergraduate/graduate students, faculty and staff are entitled to reciprocal borrowing privileges at UBC and many other universities and colleges across Canada. Note: UBC requires proof of a local address when issuing their community library card.

For details, including a list of member institutions and information about registering for this service, see Borrowing privileges at other universities: Borrowing Library Materials, or contact Circulation Desk staff at:

  • WAC Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby): 778.782.4345
  • Belzberg Library (SFU Vancouver): 778.782.5050
  • Fraser Library (SFU Surrey): 778.782.7411
  • Telebook: 778.782.4896 (for  Distance Education students)
Can I get a RefWorks account through SFU Library?

No. Access to SFU RefWorks has been discontinued as of December 31, 2017, and is no longer supported. Questions? Contact citation-managers@sfu.ca

See Citation management software and tools for alternatives to RefWorks.

Can I include copies of another person’s images and materials in my PowerPoint presentations?

Under fair dealing you may generally copy up to 10% of another person’s work, including images, for inclusion in your PowerPoint presentations that you display to students enrolled in your course. You can copy and display an entire single image from a collection of images (e.g. a single photograph from a book of photographs), or up to 10% of a stand-alone image that is not part of a larger collection. You may also put this image in Canvas.

Under the educational institution exceptions in the Copyright Act, you may display an entire work in the classroom, including a stand-alone image that is not part of a larger collection of images. To do so you must ensure that there is not a commercially available copy (obtainable within a reasonable time and price) in the format required (S29.4 of Copyright Act). If you subsequently put this image in Canvas, you must destroy/remove the file from Canvas within 30 days of the end of the course. Simply making the file inaccessible is insufficient. (See S30.01 of the Copyright Act). You may also copy an entire work found online as long as there is no technological protection measure and no "clearly visible notice" prohibiting the use.

See the Copyright and Teaching Infographic for full details.

Can I include in my thesis works I have already published?

It all depends on the wording of the Author/Publisher Agreement, sometimes called a Copyright Transfer Agreement, that you signed with the publisher of your work. Often times these agreements transfer most copyright in your work to the publisher, leaving you with very few rights to the work. If your Author/Publisher Agreement does not allow for you to re-publish the material in your thesis, you will need to contact the publisher and ask them for permission to use the work.

If you are planning on submitting work to be published, and you already know that you will want to later include this material in your thesis, try to ensure that you get wording in the Author/Publisher Agreement that allows you to include the material in your thesis. The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) provides an author addendum and information about negotiating your publishing agreement here.

Can I just link to the electronic journal article myself on SFU's learning management system and skip using Library Reserves?

Yes, you can create a direct link yourself. Making Readings Available to Students describes several different ways to make required and supplementary readings available to students online and suggests the pros and cons of each option. Each option has specific benefits along with specific cautions, including copyright compliance.

Can I make copies of copyright protected works to hand out to students in class?

Yes. Under fair dealing you may make copies of another person’s works and hand them out to students enrolled in your course. Please see the Copyright and Teaching Infographic for details and limits. You must adhere to the amount that may be copied under fair dealing.

Can I photocopy a recent journal article and hand it out to my students?

Yes. The Application of Fair Dealing under Policy R30.04 permits the copying of an entire journal article. Copies may be handed out to the students enrolled in your course or you may post a copy of the article to Canvas. See the Copyright Infographic for further details on how you can share copyright protected materials for teaching.

Can I play films and videos in class?

You may play videos in class in the following circumstances:

  • You may show a film or other cinematographic work in the classroom as long as the work is not an infringing copy, the film or work was legally obtained, and you do not circumvent a technological protection measure (digital lock) to access the film or work.
  • If you want to show a television news program in the classroom, under the Copyright Act, educational institutions (or those acting under their authority) may copy television news programs or news commentaries and play them in class. 
  • You may perform a work available through the Internet (e.g. YouTube videos), except under the following circumstances:
    • The work is protected by digital locks preventing their performance,
    • A clearly visible notice prohibiting educational use is posted on the website or on the work itself, or
    • You have reason to believe that the work was copied or posted online in violation of the copyright owner’s rights.