Textbook Ordering

Instructors must order textbooks well in advance, meeting the deadlines established by the University Bookstore or by other local bookstores that accept textbook orders. The University Bookstore has a helpful site where faculty can order books and arrange for course packs. Instructors may also ask students to acquire their books online, listing USBN and cost information for sites such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. 

A timely decision about what texts to use and order has many benefits. Prompt ordering of texts:

  • Ensures that students with disabilities can obtain their textbooks in time to arrange accommodations (e.g., conversion of a printed text to a taped one);
  • Enables students to sell textbooks at the end of the semester and helps ensure a supply of used textbooks at lower prices;
  • Allows time for changes to be made if a book is out of print or if a new edition has been published.

Textbook Royalties

Faculty members who assign books or other materials which they have written, edited, or published and from which they receive royalties or other remuneration may not profit financially from the purchase of these materials by their students. The faculty member must either refund the money to the students who purchased these materials or make other arrangements to avoid profiting from the students' use of the materials. Faculty may, for example, transfer the remuneration to the University, one of its units, or The University of Iowa Foundation (e.g., for a student scholarship fund).

Course Packs

The University Book Store will help instructors obtain copyright permissions for course packs prepared by them. Materials should be prepared as early as possible to allow time for permissions to be obtained (a process which may take up to two months) and to make arrangements for substitute materials if permission is not granted.

UI Printing & Mailing Services can also help with the creation of course packs and other materials. Using this service is usually preferred to local businesses. 

Copyright Law

When preparing course materials, instructors must take precautions to prevent a violation of an author's or publisher's copyright. Both published and unpublished works, whether printed or distributed by electronic means (e.g., over the internet or by e-mail), are protected under the Copyright Act of 1976. Instructors developing course materials to be distributed via a course web site or other electronic medium (e.g., CD-ROM or other storage medium) must also comply with copyright provisions. Copyright registration is not required for a work to be protected, nor is it necessary to sell the material in order to commit copyright infringement.

The University Libraries has useful information on copyright and fair use. Exceptions for fair use of copyright materials are set forth in the Copyright Act of 1976. In all other cases, instructors must obtain permission from the owner of the copyright before copying or distributing materials.

Educational use by itself does not protect the user from copyright infringement. When in doubt, instructors should request permission from the owner of the copyright by contacting the publisher. Requests should be made as early as possible to allow time to make arrangements for substitute materials if permission is not granted.

Questions about copyright law should be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (2660 UCC,319-335-2742).

Prohibition on Direct Sale of Classroom Materials

University policy prohibits "the sale of any classroom educational materials to students by faculty, staff, or departments". This policy is not intended to restrict course development or to impede course instruction. However, it does preclude faculty and staff from selling course packs or other course materials directly to students or collecting fees or other course fees directly from students.

Instructional Technology Resources

University College encourages all instructors to investigate – and if appropriate, adopt – the ICON course management system. ITS-Teaching, Learning, and Technology staff provides support for instructors (faculty, staff, graduate students) who would like to set up new courses in ICON.

In constructing class web pages and student assignments, instructors should be careful to conform to the University's Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources (Operations Manual). Faculty, staff, and students using information technologies are responsible for recognizing and honoring the intellectual property rights of others and making attribution as appropriate; refraining from improper intrusions into others' computer accounts or files; respecting rights of property and restrictions on access to and use of information; and refraining from wasting resources or preventing others' access.