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Course Reserves & TIP FAQ: Electronic reserves

Information about the Libraries' course reserves service and MIT's TIP (Textbook Information Provisioning) service

COVID-19 Reserves Update

Because of the unprecedented disruption of COVID-19 for MIT’s Fall semester, significant changes have been made to the course reserves service to better support the largely online environment. Please find more information on these changes here and our guide to electronic resources general collection here.

Contact Us

Have questions?  Contact us at:

Submit your reserves

Submit course reserve and textbook information via the TIP form or through Faculty Enlight

How do I submit electronic reserve requests?

Submit your request through the Semester Books Submission Form. Attach a complete syllabus that includes all the readings that you'd like posted to Stellar clearly marked.

Be sure to include:

  • A complete bibliographic citation for each reading, with page numbers indicated
  • The date each reading needs to be uploaded to Stellar

We will accept partial reading lists (i.e., readings for the first 5 weeks of the semester) as long as they contain all of the information listed above.

If you are not using Canvas and don't have a Stellar site, you can request a Stellar site through IS&T. If you encounter technical issues when accessing Stellar, please contact to report your problem.

Please note: This service provides materials to support courses with Stellar and Canvas sites.  Please see our Scan & Deliver page for information on how to request article/chapter scanning and delivery from on-campus collections for individual MIT faculty, staff, and students.

Fair use

Fair use provisions of the copyright law allow use of copyrighted materials on a limited basis for specific purposes without the permission of the copyright holder. To comply with fair use, the Libraries will generally scan and post onto a course management site no more than 10% or one chapter from a single book (depending on the work), and no more than one article per issue of a journal.

  • If an electronic reserve request complies with fair use, we will upload it to your course's course management site.
  • If it does not comply, we will ask you to either eliminate a portion of your request or place a copy of the book or journal on print reserve in the appropriate library.
No, the Libraries will only scan and post a reading if it complies with the "fair use" provisions of the copyright law. Please see our scholarly publishing office's guide to copyright and publishing for more information. We will explore options for gaining copyright permission or for placing the material on reserve in paper format in the appropriate library.
When the Libraries post a reading on a course management site or link to an electronic resource, we restrict access to comply with copyright law and licensing restrictions. Fair Use provisions of the copyright law allow use of copyrighted materials on a limited basis for specific purposes without the permission of the copyright holder. Additionally, some electronic resources are restricted by license agreements that limit use.
  • The student must be registered for the class. Check the Stellar User Guide for information on adding participants through the Access Control page in Stellar.
  • When the student logs into Stellar, they must choose the "MIT Kerberos account (or MIT web certificate)" option.
  • Cross-registered students need to register for a Kerberos ID. If they log into Stellar using a Touchstone Collaboration Account, they won't be authenticated as MIT users, and will be restricted from viewing restricted use documents and other electronic resources from the MIT Libraries.

Scanning for e-reserves

Yes. When you submit your request through the Semester Books Submission Form, be sure to include a complete bibliographic citation, and add a note to indicate you'll be providing a photocopy. Then, just drop the photocopy off at any library service desk.

We encourage you to submit reserve requests as soon as possible to ensure that material is available to students when they need it.

Photocopies should meet these guidelines:

  • Readings must comply with the "Fair Use" provision Copyright Law
  • Text must be legible
  • Pages should have a margin of at least .25 inches on all sides
  • Pages should be free of dark shadows in the margin or the binding
  • All pages should be included

We will not scan materials that are illegible or incomplete.

  • If the MIT Libraries own a legible copy of the item, we'll attempt to scan that copy.
  • Otherwise, we may ask you to supply an alternate copy.
All scans include the title page and copyright page. If you'd like us to include the bibliography, end notes, or other content, please specify these pages when you submit your request.

We scan all materials at 300dpi, and create a searchable PDF file.

  • If the reading contains color or gray content, those pages will be scanned to capture the content in its original state; otherwise all pages are scanned as black & white.
  • We can scan pages as 2UP (two pages side by side).

There is no cost to digitize e-reserve materials in Stellar or Canvas.

However, if you're using another course management system, you will be charged for scanning. Please contact the Libraries' Document Services department at for pricing information.