Using articles, journals and newspapers

Embedding and linking

Embedding and linking to articles removes many copyright problems. Where possible, link or embed an article, instead of scanning, photocopying, or downloading/uploading.

Using snippets and quotes

You can use snippets or quotes from articles as long as you don't use more than what would be considered 1% of a work.

  • 1% of the number of pages of a publication totalling more than 200 pages.
  • 1% of the number of pages in a paginated electronic work, such as PDF.
  • 1% of the number of words of an electronic work that is not paginated.

Scanning

You can scan articles under the fair dealing provisions for the purposes of research and study, and criticism and review. You are allowed to scan:

  • one article from a journal issue
  • more articles if their subject matter is related or if the use of the article is for the same course or research.

For your research or study purposes, you can store scanned articles online for the duration of your course only.  You must store them behind a password and not make them available to anyone else. Fair dealing for research and study does not apply to public use.

Printing

You can print copies of articles under the fair dealing provisions. You may print copies from websites or photocopy articles from printed copies of newspapers or journals.

You are allowed to print:

  • one article from a journal issue
  • more articles if their subject matter is related or if the use of the article is for the same course or research.

Sources

Institutional repositories and open access journals

Open access journals and institutional repositories contain scholarly academic articles that are available online. You can link to, embed, download and print articles within these repositories. A list of repositories in Australian and New Zealand universities is available from the Australasian Open Access Repositories site.

To find open access resources, go to:

Downloading from Library databases

You can download a single copy of an article for your own use, but you must not upload it to blogs, websites or social media platforms.

If you'd like to share articles with your fellow students, send them a link instead. The majority of Library databases allow you to link to articles.. 

Downloading from websites

You can download articles under the fair dealing provisions for the purposes of research and study, and criticism and review. You are allowed to download:

  • one article from a journal issue
  • more articles if their subject matter is related or if the use of the article is for the same course or research.

For your research or study purposes, you can store downloaded articles for the duration of your course only.  You must store them behind a password and not make them available to anyone else. Fair dealing for research and study does not apply to public use. 

Fair dealing explained

About fair dealing and fair use

Fair dealing allows the use of copyright works by students for research and study purposes only. The fair dealing provisions do not allow posting to public sites such as Blogger, Issuu or other open publishing platforms. The fair use terminology is an American provision for using copyright works and does not apply in Australia.

The fair dealing provisions are closed provisions, which means they only apply during a course of study or research. Unlike Creative Commons or free licensed works, copyright works can only be kept on RMIT's online platforms, such as Canvas or blogs, while you are studying. Once you finish your studies, you must delete any copyrighted articles you have downloaded.

The fair dealing provisions rely on you to be genuine in an act of fair dealing. Use other people's work only for research and study, or criticism and review purposes. 

For research or study

When undertaking a course of instruction or personal private research.

This provision allows students and researchers to rely on using a reasonable portion of copyright works as part of their research or study. Showing works to others as part of a public event, exhibition or competition is not covered by fair dealing and will require the permission of the copyright holder.

For criticism or review

When undertaking a legitimate task that involves criticising or reviewing a copyright work.

For example, a magazine review about a new film release that includes an image of the DVD cover could be considered a legitimate reliance on the fair dealing provision of criticism or review. As the act of review or criticism is a genuine act, an act of forming an opinion on the work – the film. 

For parody and satire

Copyright holders don’t usually licence criticism of their works, such as an adaption/mashup, that could cast them and the brand in a bad light. If you intend to use a copyrighted work for the purpose of parody or satire, it must be a legitimate use that transforms the original work into a work that is either satirical or humorous. There are important considerations you must make:

  • are you planning to use a substantial amount of the existing work?
  • is your usage of this work likely to interfere with its existing or potential market?
  • is what you are planning to use an important part of the work?
  • and in using that part, would your work compete in the market place with the original work?

If a substantial amount of the original work has been used, and the part used was an important part of the original work, and the use could have been licensed within the existing market, then the use would most probably be considered unfair and a breach of fair dealing/copyright law. 

Flag Image

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.