Skip to main content
site header image

Information Literacy: Plagiarism

An Information Literate Student is a Successful Student

BCC Copyright Policy



It is the policy of Berkshire Community College to acknowledge and abide by all applicable intellectual property laws, including but not limited to federal copyright law, Title 17 of the U.S. Code as amended at All individuals employed, enrolled, and/or using the facilities or resources of the College are expected to do the same. 

Copyright is defined as the exclusive right of an author to reproduce and create derivative works from, distribute, perform, display, sell, lend or rent original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium (print, audiovisual, online, and other media) which are not in the Public Domain and are thus protected under United States Copyright Law Title 17 of the U.S. Code.

It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, students and anyone using facilities or resources of the College to read, understand, and follow the BCC Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy.  Please clink on the links below to read the complete policy, related information, and summary of infringement penalties.

Link To The  College's Copyright Page

This Page Was Posted on July 9, 2017

Best Practices and Tools

Additional Resources

Fair Use and Copyright

Teach Act Faqs from the American Library Association

ARL Code of Best Practices: Fair Use  “a clear and easy-to-use statement of fair and reasonable approaches to fair use developed by and for librarians who support academic inquiry and higher education. The Code was developed in partnership with the Center for Social Media and the Washington College of Law at American University. “

Fair Use Evaluator  ( ) :  This tool “help users understand how to determine if the use of a protected work is a “fair use.” It helps users collect, organize, and document the information they may need to support a fair use claim, and provides a time-stamped PDF document for the users’ records.”

Exceptions for Instructors eTools  ( ) “Guides users through the educational exceptions in U.S. copyright law, helping to explain and clarify rights and responsibilities for the performance and display of copyrighted content in traditional, distance and blended educational models.”

 The Copyright Genie  ( )   This handy tool will help you determine if a work is covered by US Copyright. 

CONTU: Interlibrary Loans

Copyright Code 17

Why Cite Your Sources? The Problem of Plagiarism

Citing sources is one of the most important things you can do when writing a research paper. If you don't cite your sources in your paper, you could be accused of plagiarism.  What is plagiarism? BCC's catalog states::

Dishonesty and Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty in writing. When a student uses another writer's words and/or ideas and presents it as his/her own, he/she is plagiarizing. The faculty and staff at Berkshire Community College consider plagiarism a serious offense and encourage students to produce their best work, using their own ideas and language. When a student does use another writer's ideas and wording to support his/her own writing, he/she must give that writer credit.


If a situation arises in which an instructor suspects a student of plagiarizing and the problem cannot be resolved between the instructor and the student, then the instructor may refer the case to the Vice President for Academic Affairs who would then follow Due Process Guidelines to resolve the problem. If the student feels unjustly charged with plagiarism, he/she could use the grievance process in this policy guide as a means of resolving the problem.

Copyright FAQs for Faculty

Database Articles

How can I provide articles to my students on Moodle?   Can I copy an article in print and distribute it?

Pasting the persistent URL from a BCC database article into Moodle is the best way to make electronically accessible materials available to your students.  From on campus, students will automatically gain access to the article.  From off campus they may have to “authenticate” to gain access to about half of our database articles by entering their Username (library barcode) and password (last name in upper case).  This is because we license these databases separately.  Ebsco makes it especially easy by providing a Permalink under tools that incorporates authentication so that students can easily access material. 

If you plan to distribute a print copy of an article, you may create a one-time photocopy of the article for your class.  This can be done only once, after which permission needs to be granted by the publisher/author of the article. You cannot repeatedly copy and distribute a specific article in print each semester to your students.  This is in violation of Fair Use because of its impact on the market value, and therefore the rights of the copyright holder.  You can also place the print copy of a publication the College subscribes to on reserve in the library.

Articles on the Web

How do I incorporate free articles found on the Web to my students in Moodle?

If an article is located for free on a website, link to the home page of the site the article is in.  You can add instructions on how to find the article on that site.  By linking to the homepage, you provide attribution and credit of the item.  Avoid deep linking to the document directly.

Video/Media Excerpts

What do I need to know about incorporating media into my in-person and online classes?

The library subscribes to a number of streaming video databases that you are allowed by licensing to embed or provide links for in your Moodle courseware.  You can show these as well in your face-to-face classes.   You are also permitted to show and play media available freely from the world-wide-web as part of your face-to-face in-class activities without the need to get permission.   

Regarding any item recorded directly from television, after showing these items in class they should be destroyed within 45 days.  Do not use them each semester.  If you want to show a particular program that you recorded yourself every semester, buy a copy of the program.  For more information on using broadcast materials in the classroom, consult the ALA page for the TEACH Act.

Subject Guide

Karen Carreras-Hubbard's picture
Karen Carreras-Hubbard
Jonathan Edwards Library, Berkshire Community College
1350 West Street
Pittsfield, MA 01085