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Penn State University Libraries

Course Reserves Services

Using Electronic Reserves

University Park and World Campus instructors: bring or send photocopies of all materials to be scanned (see below for exceptions) to the Lending Services Desk in Pattee Library.

 

Book Selections

As a general rule, no more than 15% of the total pages in a book or monograph can be posted on electronic reserve over the course of a semester. We can post more than 15% of works that are in the Public Domain, and works for which the copyright holder allows the use of a larger amount in writing.

 

Sending Files

We will accept .html, .doc, .rtf, .ppt and other documents in electronic format, such as course syllabi, reading lists, lecture notes, sample student assignments, pre-publication articles, etc. The PDF files produced from these formats are generally of much higher quality and smaller file size than if the same documents were scanned.

Please note: Posting unpublished documents on electronic reserve requires the written permission of the author(s).

To send e-reserve files to the appropriate staff, please follow these steps:

  1. When filling out the Electronic Reserve Request Form, choose the option (in the Contact Information box) to receive a copy of your request via email.
  2. After you receive the request, open it and use "Reply All" to start a new message.
  3. Attach the files to the message and send.
    • Please send files in batches of no more than four files per email.
    • Please use descriptive file names that can be readily matched with the request form citations.
 

Scanning PDF Documents

Note: As we have a great deal of experience at balancing accessibility (i.e. file size) and image quality, we generally prefer to scan all documents (from photocopies) ourselves. If you prefer to scan your own documents, please review the following tips.

File size is important to keep in mind when scanning, particularly for students accessing e-reserves off-campus, possibly through a slow connection. We recommend that files be no larger than 1 MB.

  • Avoid scanning in color unless it is vital to understanding the material: The large file size of a color document can cause downloading and printing problems.
  • Pages with all text: Scan these pages at a resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch) using the black-and-white bitmap/line art/text/monochrome setting (the name of the setting varies by scanner manufacturer).
    • This setting converts every pixel to either white or black, depending on where it falls on the spectrum between these extremes. This produces clear contrast between text and background, and a relatively small file.
  • Pages with images: Scan these at 200 dpi using the grayscale/image/text & image setting.
    • This setting preserves the 256 shades of gray between black and white recognized by most scanners, and thus reproduces images like paintings and photographs much more accurately. However, the recognition of 256 shades (versus two with the black-and-white setting) yields much larger files.
Students at computers in the ITS lab
 

Journal Articles

As a general rule no more than two articles from any single issue of a journal or magazine can be posted on electronic reserve over the course of a semester. This limit does not apply to articles that are available online (either through the University Libraries' licensed resources or on the open Web), are in the Public Domain, or for which the copyright holder allows the use of the article in writing.

 

Full-text Articles

We can create durable links to full-text articles available through most, but not all, of the Libraries' licensed databases including:

Proquest
JSTOR
Elsevier ScienceDirect
EBSCOhost
Springer
Sage Premier
Wiley Interscience
LexisNexis
NewsBank

We may link to any number of articles in a single issue of a journal/magazine available through a licensed database.

Use The CAT or the E-Journal Title Search to determine if a journal or periodical is available through one of the Libraries' licensed databases. (Note: If your search is successful, be sure to check that the Coverage Dates range includes the volume/year you're looking for.)

Photocopies are not required for articles available through a licensed database.

 

Links to External Webpages/Documents

We can create e-reserves that link to any webpage or document that is freely available (i.e. does not require payment or registration) online.

When requesting a webpage, please include the URL in the Electronic Reserve Request Form.

Note: If a webpage is removed or relocated, please contact your Course Reserves staff. They will restore access to the page as soon as possible.

Photocopies are not required for links to webpages.