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Use of Instructor-Produced Materials for Course Requirements

Classification number 1599.05
Framework category Academic
Approving authority Academic Council
Policy owner Vice-President, Academic and Provost
Approval date March 2010
Review date To be assigned
Last updated Editorial Amendments, February 18, 2020

I.  Preamble

The University is committed to providing the highest quality teaching and learning environment that exposes students to the latest developments in the field and draws on a broad range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.  As part of this commitment, Faculties and programs endeavour to facilitate students’ easy access to course material and, to the extent possible, making it available online through the campus learning management system.  There may be occasions, however, where instructors would request permission to include as required reading in their courses materials they have developed themselves in order to address specific learning objectives or to fill a gap in a particular area of study.  In such cases, it is reasonable to acknowledge the contribution of the author through a modest royalty; however, in doing so it is important to ensure that any such arrangement does not place an instructor in a real or perceived conflict of interest pursuant to the applicable University policies.  The following protocol therefore sets out the process by which instructors may request to have materials that they have developed designated as “required” for a course that they teach, and their subsequent distribution to students for that purpose.


  1. Authorization to designate instructor-produced materials as a course requirement

    In all cases instructors who wish to designate their own work as a requirement of a course that they are teaching must make their request to the Faculty Dean with written justification of the ways in which this material advances the particular learning objectives of the course.  The request should also include reasons why electronic and other means available on campus are not sufficient for the purposes of making this material accessible to students.  If approved, the Dean will provide written authorization to the instructor to arrange for the production and distribution of the materials.  A copy of the authorization will also be sent to the Associate Provost Academic.

  2. Production and sale of instructor-produced materials

    All instructor-produced materials must be distributed through the University Bookstore.  Instructors are not permitted to sell any course-related materials directly to students.  Once authorization is received from the Dean, arrangements for the production and sale of instructor-produce materials, and the determination of any such royalty or other payment to accrue from them, must be made by the instructor in accordance with the following guidelines:

    1. Published works – Instructors who have entered into a contract with a bona-fide third-party publishing firm must provide a completed Textbook Order Form, along with the Dean’s written approval to the Bookstore, which will issue a purchase order to the publisher to arrange for the sale of this material.  Any royalties received by the instructor for this publication will be within his/her negotiated contract with the publisher.

    2. Print materials – Instructors who have developed their own print material must arrange for the work to be produced by the University and sold through the Bookstore.  If a royalty is to be added to the work, the amount of the royalty will be determined by the Bookstore Manager and will normally range from a minimum of $1.00 to a maximum of $5.00 per work, using $0.05 per page as a guideline.  Any request to exceed these guidelines will require approval from the Associate Provost, Academic.  No royalties will be paid on unsold documents.

    3. Materials containing copyright works of other authors  

      Instructional materials which contain copyright works of other authors must adhere to the terms of the University’s agreement with Access Copyright.  Access Copyright provides the university with a limited license to sell and distribute copyright works for educational purposes.  It is the responsibility of each instructor to familiarize themselves with the terms of this agreement and make arrangements with the Bookstore for their reproduction and distribution.  The applicable restrictions can be found in Schedule D of the Access Copyright agreement which is attached here for reference.

      In addition to the requirements of Schedule D, clause 8(a) of the Access Copyright agreement stipulates that any work sold by the University under the Access Copyright agreement “may only be sold for an amount which does not exceed the cost of making such Copies, an amount to cover royalties payable to Access Copyright in respect of making such Copies, and administrative overhead costs.”  In other words, no Ontario Tech University royalties may be charged on any materials that are not 100% original work of the author/instructor.

  3. Referral for non-compliance

    In the event that the terms of this protocol are not followed, the instructor will be advised of the process for arranging to have such materials prepared and produced as set out above.  Any matter of perceived non-compliance will be referred to the appropriate Dean who will then review the issue and take whatever action is warranted under the circumstances.