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What is the proper etiquette for copying a guide from another LibGuides system? Is it necessary to get permission from the guide owner?

Last Updated: Jun 06, 2012  |  778 Views

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We recommend that you ask the original guide owner for permission to copy their guide into your system. While it's not "required" to have permission, it is nice to give folks the option to say "no" before copying. Also, keep in mind that when you copy a guide into your system, the original guide owner will receive an email notification that their guide was copied, including which system copied it - so it's just nice to let folks know before you do it.

Of course, if you're reusing content from our Best Of site (, all the guides featured there have been cleared for sharing, so you don't need to ask permission on those. In addition, many guides/systems have prepared statements clearing their guides for sharing - for example, Rich Gause at UCF included a "Permission to Reuse This Content" tab on his awesome "How To" guide (, and Jason Puckett and Joel Glogowski use a Creative Commons license on their guides (see their EndNote guide at for an example)

Answered by Sarah PawlekBookmark and Share

Other Answers / Comments (4)

  1. If reusing content from a"Best of" site, what is the proper etiquette for giving credit to the source?
    by judy howie on Sep 14, 2011.
  2. We'd always recommend giving a should out / credit to the original guide author & institution. As far as what that credit should look like, we don't have a one-size-fits-all answer - but it never hurts to write the original guide owner and ask them how they'd like to be acknowledged!
    by Sarah Pawlek on Sep 15, 2011.
  3. Would it be possible for LibGuide to automatically (once permission is granted)list the original guide author's name and a permission statement within the shared page/box?
    by Robert Battenfeld on May 22, 2012.
  4. Hi, Robert -

    In our experience, there's a wide variety in terms of what gets copied. Some of our clients want to use entire guides - others are interested in a single box from a guide. We've also seen a wide variety in terms of how much attribution people want; sometimes attribution is given through a Creative Commons license, while in others, it may be given through a short note. Some people may want you to give attribution to them, while others may want you to give attribution to their institution.

    Because of this wide range of circumstances, we think it's best that the person who created the original guide and the person copying the guide discuss what would work best for them.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions or suggestions!
    by Laura Harris on May 22, 2012.

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