Course Content Access and Appropriate use Policy
Stanford University School of Medicine course materials are intended for curriculum and course-related purposes and are copyrighted by the University. Appropriate access to this content is given for personal academic study and review purposes only. Unless otherwise stated in writing, this content may not be shared, distributed, modified, transmitted, reused, sold or otherwise disseminated. These materials may also be protected by additional copyright; any further use of this material may be in violation of federal copyright law. Violators of this policy will be referred to the Committee on Professionalism, Performance, and Promotion for disciplinary purposes.
- Information for Students
- Information for Faculty
- Additional Resources
- Labels for Sharing (downloadable icons)
Personal Use: Since I'm an enrolled student, can I keep the course materials I get from class or on CourseWork? Can I archive them on my hard drive?
Yes, you may keep copies of these materials for your own personal use and reference only. All print and electronic content prepared for a School of Medicine course, including TA and CourseWork materials, are owned and copyrighted by Stanford University. All materials are provided exclusively for use by students enrolled in Stanford's School of Medicine. These materials may include but are not limited to TA handouts, course syllabi, video and audio, and lecture slides.
Getting Permission: I would like to use an image from a faculty member's lecture slides in a poster I'm creating. Can I repurpose course content?
No, the law states that you must request permission to use copyrighted materials. An aspiring professional should always request permission from the copyright holder before repurposing content in any fashion, as it is unethical to display materials without giving explicit credit to the copyright holder. Lecture material contains content owned by the faculty, but also often materials copyrighted by other sources. Faculty can give you permission to use content they have created, but for other materials see the links below for more information on what is acceptable.
Sharing With Classmates: I downloaded Genetics TA review slides from the CourseWork. Can I email or in any other way share this content with other students?
Yes, if content is clearly labeled "Open to School of Medicine," then you may share current content with other student enrolled in the medical school.
Yes, if the content is labeled "Open to Current Quarter's Students," then you may share only with other students who are currently enrolled in that course.
No, if there is no designation, then materials are by default restricted and intended for your own personal review and you may not share them.
You can always share your own personal course notes with each other.
Sharing With Classmates: One of my classmates was absent for a session and a handout was given out that isn't on CourseWork. The handout does not have a sharing statement or icon. Can I give my classmate a copy?
No, by default unlabeled content should not be shared. In this case it possible that the faculty member intended for this handout only to be given out in the context of the particular session. If you believe a resource should be placed on CourseWork for students to download, please contact the course director.
Handing Down Prior Course Materials: Can I give a current 1st-year student some TA handouts and lecture videos I got last year in the same course?
No, faculty update course content regularly to reflect changes in medical practice and may have removed outdated or incorrect materials. Further, faculty often have educational reasons behind the timing for distribution of course materials, which could be undermined by this action. Content that is no longer available should not be shared nor used. If you believe that materials you have from a prior course might be useful for currently enrolled students, please contact the course director to suggest that it can be made available.
Using Prior Course Materials: A 3rd-year student offered me a collection of her lecture videos and TA notes from her year. Should I use them to prepare better for my exams?
No, you should not use course materials that were intended for students in an earlier year. The 3rd-year student is violating this policy by offering you these materials. Faculty review content often to ensure you are receiving the most relevant and useful content and any outdated or incorrect materials are removed. Also, your use of this material might undermine the educational goals or give you unfair advantage over your classmates, which could be a violation of the honor code. If you believe an archival resource might be useful for your classmates, please contact the course director.
Access to CourseWork Courses: If I'm a 1st-year student, can I log into a 2nd year CourseWork course so I'll know what to prepare for?
Yes, if the course director determines that it would be helpful for students to gain access to course materials in advance. Course directors carefully plan out how to introduce course materials and they determine who may access individual CourseWork courses. Educational Technology staff help enroll students and auditors into CourseWork as determined by course directors. If you believe you should have access to a course and cannot add that course by CourseWork's "Joinable Sites" feature, you should contact the course's coordinator or director so that they can add you manually, or if they are unreachable, email .
Sharing Outside of School: Can I share course materials with my friends at UCSF School of Medicine?
No, all course content is private and restricted by default. You should not share course materials (lecture slides, videos, TA materials) with anyone outside the school in order to honor the copyright and intellectual property holders of these materials.
Why does the School of Medicine need this policy?
Stanford has a long history of making educational content accessible to students. In 2003 the School of Medicine created a policy on "Appropriate Use of Electronic Media" to help clarify how students may access and use course materials on CourseWork. As students are increasingly requesting more availability and easier access to educational content, schools and faculty are developing clearer policies to define limits and expectations. This new policy keeps Stanford at the forefront of providing students access to content and multimedia while protecting faculty members' intellectual property and Stanford's copyright interests. This policy was reviewed and approved by the Committee on Courses and Curriculum (CCC) as well as the University Counsel's Office.
What do I have to do?
This policy gives you the opportunity to decide specifically how your course content is distributed and shared. If you do nothing, then your content is restricted for use ONLY by students currently enrolled in your course. By default, currently enrolled students have full access but will not be allowed to share your course content with each other, including lecture slides, handouts, notes, TA materials, or any other course materials. The purpose of this restriction is to allow the course director to control what materials students have access to and when they gain that access. Students will only be able to get course content by attending class sessions in person or by downloading what you post in CourseWork.
To allow students access to any other level of permission to share specific materials, use the icons and wording below.
What is the best way to distribute my course materials to students?
Materials should be posted for student reference on CourseWork. This allows faculty to grant appropriate access to the students in their course. This also allows students 24-hour access to reprint materials as needed for study. Many courses also distribute hard copies of their course syllabus and other materials.
Will this be publicized and enforced?
Yes. Students will be required to review and agree to abide by this policy before gaining access to any School of Medicine course on CourseWork. This is a school policy and violators of this policy will be referred to the Committee on Professionalism, Performance, and Promotion (CP3).
The Provost's Statement on Copyrights:
A document explaining how copyright laws apply to educational materials at Stanford, with special attention to use of digital media. This document references the TEACH Act laws.
Stanford University Honor Code:
The Honor Code is the University's statement on academic integrity written by students in 1921. It articulates University expectations of students and faculty in establishing and maintaining the highest standards in academic work. Another one of the guiding principles of Stanford University is the Fundamental Standard.
Copyright and Fair Use from the Stanford Libraries:
This comprehensive website explains how copyright, fair use, and permissions apply to the use of online and offline educational media.
By default, all materials on CourseWork are restricted, private, and intended only for your personal use and review. With clear written labeling, course faculty may selectively permit specific resources to be shared with varying degrees of availability.
Files should be labeled clearly similar to this: