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Custom Courseware Facts

No copyright fee increases Custom Courseware
To clarify, there are no copyright fee increases in the production of custom courseware packages produced by the Custom Courseware Department at the Campus Store.

No additional charges for using many e-Library materials in Courseware
As a McMaster University operation, the Custom Courseware Department can include many
e-journal articles and ebook selections, with permission and at no cost, as part of many of the
e-resource licenses negotiated by the McMaster University Libraries.

No deadline for submitting Custom Courseware
Faculty have indicated that the Custom Courseware Department set unreasonable deadlines for submitting courseware material. It is never too later. We will work quickly and efficiently to complete all courseware projects in a timely manner.

Campus Store makes financial contribution to Student Success
The Campus Store gives back to McMaster students through our financial contribution of over
$1 million to McMaster University each year.


Custom Courseware Information for Instructors

Custom Courseware is a service that assists you in creating “coursepacks.” A coursepack is usually a print compilation of scanned material from a variety of sources such as books, journals, lab notes, textbooks, websites, etc., which you have decided to use in a course. Essentially, it is like having a textbook created specifically for your course.

By creating a coursepack for your course, you can ensure that students have access to essential content. Everything you want to teach, everything the students need to read all in one book.

We make preparing custom courseware easy:

  1. Bring in the materials you would like to include in your coursepack,
  2. and a list indicating the order in which you would like it to appear;
  3. we will take care of the rest!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I want to create a new coursepack; what do I need to provide?

    Bring in the materials you would like to include in the coursepack, as well as a list that indicates the order in which you would like the material to appear. You do not need to photocopy all of the articles for us; the best quality copy is achieved when we scan directly from the book. When you provide the book, you also supply us with all the necessary bibliographic information.

    If you cannot bring the book to us, please supply us with a photocopy of the material and full bibliographic details, including the total number of pages. You do not need to provide hard copies of journal articles that exist online; we are able to use those electronic copies to create your coursepack.

  • I want to use my previous coursepack; do I need to bring in all my material again?

    We do not need you to bring in hard copies of material that has been used in previous terms. Coursepacks are stored digitally and so articles can be retrieved, rearranged and/or deleted in subsequent terms. You only need to bring in material that has not been used before.

  • When should I bring in my material?

    We will not turn you away! We always accept courseware material submissions and make every effort to have them on the shelf as soon as possible. However, the sooner you are able to bring in your material, the better. Turnaround time may not be as quick in August and December, as we are preparing for the upcoming semester.

  • Does reusing an old coursepack save time?

    The short answer is: it depends. While eliminating the need to scan materials anew saves time, clearing copyright and printing a coursepack are still time-consuming activities. Because copyright is granted on a one-time basis and must be obtained each time material is being used in a course, it can take almost as long to produce a coursepack the second time around.

  • What kinds of materials can I include in a coursepack?

    There are many kinds of material that can be included in a coursepack: chapters of books, journal, magazine and newspaper articles, essays, plays, one chapter of a textbook, out-of-print material, a syllabus, lecture notes, assignments it is really up to you.

    The rules that govern copyright allowances for coursepacks are complex, with many exceptions, and are subject to change. However, when selecting material to include in a coursepack, a good rule of thumb is to limit your material to one article, chapter or essay from a given publication. Material that is found online (excluding things such as online journals, which have clear copyright terms) is not necessarily free to reproduce; in fact, it can be quite expensive and obtaining copyright permission to reproduce it can be time consuming. For more information on copyright, see General Copyright Guidelines. If you have specific questions, please contact the Custom Courseware Department.

  • Do I need to obtain permission to use copyrighted material in a coursepack?

    Yes. We do this for you. Copyright permission must be secured from a copyright holder of any published work before we can legally reproduce it in a coursepack. Our department will negotiate and secure all necessary permission for copyrighted materials and remit all appropriate royalty payments.

  • Should I include material that can be accessed online, such as e-journals?

    It is up to you. Students are often strapped for money, and charging them for material that they can access for free seems unfair. On the other hand, some students find it inconvenient to be tracking down and printing out articles every week; it is time-consuming and can also be costly, and they prefer to have all of their course materials in one place.

    Fortunately we have a win-win solution. We can produce an optional coursepack that contains only e-journal articles. There are no copyright fees for many of the articles that can be obtained online through the McMaster University library website. The coursepack would be available to purchase via Print to Order or raincheck for those students who wish to have a printed and bound copy of their course materials.

  • Copyright has been cleared for all of the material in my coursepack; can I post this material on WebCT, Learnlink, etc.?

    No. The copyright permission that is obtained for coursepacks applies to coursepacks only. It is a violation of copyright law to post copyrighted materials on a website without obtaining permission. It is possible to request separate permission to post material on a secure, password protected site.

  • Can I proofread my coursepack?

    Yes. You may proofread your coursepack before we send it to print. If production timelines are critical, you may choose to waive the proofreading stage.

  • When will my coursepack be available for students to purchase?

    Our goal is to have all courseware on the shelves for the first day of class. You can help us achieve this by bringing your material in early! It takes time for us to apply for and receive copyright permission for all of the materials you want included in your coursepack, and to professionally scan, proofread and print it. How long your coursepack takes to produce depends upon the material that it contains.

  • How many desk copies am I allowed?

    One complimentary desk copy is available, free of charge, for every 25 students enrolled in your course. Your department may purchase additional copies as required at a reduced price of production costs only.

  • Can I have a CD created to accompany my courseware?

    Yes. We are able to produce CDs of your own material.

Course Materials Buyer/Courseware Coordinator
Amber Dawkins
ext. 22621
"Respecting Intellectual Property in the Academic Environment"