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a tool to help faculty identify and assign course reading materials

In Depth Q&A

How can the library help with course material selection?
The library owns or subscribes to a variety of resources in electronic and physical formats, and any of these resources can be incorporated as required or optional course readings.  In addition to our existing course reserves service, SIPX provides a convenient venue for the assignment of readings from our journal and ebook databases.  As content is added or otherwise updated in our subscription databases, these changes will be reflected in SIPX as well.  Your library liaison can help you search our collections for appropriate, high-quality content for your course; s/he can also help you navigate the growing body of open educational resources available online, all of which (unlike traditional course texts) would cost nothing to students.  When possible, the library can help you find suitable alternatives to high-cost course readings.

What are the advantages of using SIPX?

From the library perspective, SIPX has some major benefits.  For unlimited license or open access material (that is, everything that shows up as "free" in SIPX), the tool allows you to assign the reading as a PDF rather than a weblink, which means students will have uninterrupted access even if the originating database or website goes down.  SIPX also provides a convenient way to request copyright clearance in cases where such permission is required.  If you are assigning a course pack comprised of journal articles and book chapters, SIPX will help you build that and charge students only for items not already held by the library.  There are additional benefits from the point of view of instructional design.  However, SIPX is not the optimal tool for all possible assigned content.

The library doesn't own the material (SIPX charges for use), but I want to make it available for free.

Here is the guidance from SIPX: "If you want to use a reading under fair use, post it directly in your LMS course; you won't need to use SIPX."  SIPX can help provide copyright clearance where the library does not own content and you do not judge your use to fall within fair use guidelines.  Fair use is an exemption to the need for copyright clearance.  

What if I want to add a web link?

You can do that either within your course in Blackboard or within the SIPX tool.  However, it may be more efficient to link to the reading outside the SIPX tool.

What if the library has it but it’s not in SIPX?

If the item is an ebook, it is likely a limited license ebook.  This means that only a finite number of users (usually 1 or 3) can use it simultaneously, which may pose a challenge for accessibility in larger classes.  SIPX doesn’t permit access to this content via its tool: SIPX makes PDFs of readings available, and if a PDF were provided for a limited license item (rather than having access behind a login), it would void the limitation imposed by the license (unlimited people can download a PDF). However, you can always link to the resource outside of SIPX.  (Linking is not reproducing.)

What about assigning for-price materials (book chapters, articles, etc., that Lesley doesn’t own)?

Our focus is to help you to make use of subscription content, owned content, and free (web or public domain) content.  Wherever possible, your library liaison will help you find alternatives to fee-based course materials.
What about linking to audio or video content?  
While you can always link to our subscription content, SIPX does not currently provide copyright and permissions guidance or purchase options for audiovisual material.

Training Documentation by SIPX

SIPX has produced a number of training documents.  With some overlap, the following documents cover topics from selecting course materials, to editing PDFs, to generating analytics about reading behavior.

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