Four Factors of Fair Use – The Second Factor: The Nature of the Copyrighted Work

When assessing the second factor of fair use, think about the work itself. Courts tend to favor factual works over more highly creative works as a fair use. So an original poem or short story would garner stronger copyright protections from the courts than a factual article on the etiology of diabetes mellitus. Courts are typically more protective of creative works (art, poetry, film) than non-fiction works. In the same way, courts have favored published works over non-published manuscripts, giving recognition to an author’s right to first publication. There may also be other factors to consider, such as if the work is out of print, or if is an “orphan work,” where the author or copyright holder is unknown or can’t be found after a due-diligence search. Most of the time, however, the courts have focused discussion of this factor around the factual vs creative content and the publication status of the material.

Check out these LibGuides for more information on copyright, fair use, and finding and using images:

Questions? Contact Peggy Tahir, Education & Copyright Librarian.

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Four Factors of Fair Use – The First Factor: The Purpose and Character of the Use

The first factor of fair use centers around why you are using the portion of copyrighted material, and what you want to do with it. The courts generally favor, and it is written into the fair use statute, that nonprofit educational uses are favored over a commercial use of the copyrighted material. Courts also tend to favor transformative use, so when weighing this factor, think about whether or not your use is transformative. Types of transformative uses include parody, indexes, or criticisms; for example, if you took two different methods sections from two different papers and marked them up to illustrate to your students how one method was an example of an excellent research methodology, while the other was an example of a poor or incomplete methodology.

Even so, transformative use is not always necessary for the first factor to be determined as a fair use. The law explicitly states “teaching, including multiple copies for classroom use” as an example of a fair use. Non-transformative uses must rely more heavily on the non-commercial aspect of a use and the public or educational benefit of the use.

Check out these LibGuides for more information on copyright, fair use, and finding and using images:

Questions? Contact Peggy Tahir, Education & Copyright Librarian.

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Fair Use Week 2017 – The Four Factors of Fair Use

It’s Fair Use Week, and I’m going to be blogging for the week on the four factors of fair use. When is a use fair? How much of a work can I use? What should I think about when I’m using materials that are protected by copyright? When are permissions needed?

Most of the time, fair use is interpreted and determined by the courts in copyright infringement lawsuits. Fair use is the part of U.S. Copyright Law (Section 107) that allows an individual to use portions of a copyrighted work without obtaining permissions from the copyright holder. However, the person must determine whether the use is “fair,” by conducting a critical assessment weighing four factors about the material being used. All four factors must be considered during the assessment. Each day, there will be a blog post on one of the four factors and considerations to think about and apply during the assessment process.

Besides the blog posts, the Library will be hosting a table in the lobby of the Medical Sciences Building on Thursday, February 23, from 12:00-1:00pm, and in the lobby of the Parnassus Library from 1:30-2:30pm. Stop by, learn about fair use, ask any copyright questions, and grab a snack to go!

Check out these LibGuides for more information on copyright, fair use, and finding and using images:

Questions? Contact Peggy Tahir, Education & Copyright Librarian.

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Drug Apps for your Phone

Image showing location of Micromedex on UCSF Library homepageA frequent question we hear from students and others is, “What is the best drug app available to me through UCSF?”

This topic is confusing and the “right answer” seems to change every few months. Stay tuned for the changes that are sure to come! The answer for now, however, follows.

Micromedex is available to you.

Steps to add it to your phone and gain access to the content:

Go to Consider doing this step on a device with a larger screen!

Find Micromedex (see image to left), click on that link, on the next page find the black Micromedex box (see image below). Click on that.

Image showing Micromedex homepage

That click-flurry brings you to Micromedex itself!

At the bottom right of the page you will see “Download Mobile Apps“, while here, copy the password in Step 4. You will need it to activate your app.

Next, bring out your mobile device, go to your app store of choice, locate and download the Micromedex app…

Enter the magic password you have already copied to activate the app.

An annoyance: you will need to update this password periodically.

Lexicomp. This one is not available for now.

As I understand the story, UCSF has a limited number of mobile licenses, they are all out in use.

However, Lexicomp is the drug database used in the UpToDate app, so if you have UTD, you already have Lexicomp. If you want the UTD app, follow these steps:

  1. Access UpToDate from the UCSF Library homepage ( This should also work through the UTD link in APeX.
  2. Create a personal account.
  3. Download the UTD app from you app store of choice to your mobile device. You are allowed to add UTD app to two devices.
  4. Sign in to the app with your personal account information. You should be good to go!

Note: This process can be a bit persnickety. Let us know if you have problems.

Epocrates is part of AthenaHealth since 2013 but they still make a good, free drug app.

See this page: for info. Create an account and you can download the free version. I really like the pill identifier feature. They have a drug interaction module as well. Quite a bit to like about this app. As you can see there is a premium version but the $175 price tag is too much for what you get.

The app received good reviews. I added it to my phone, but cannot recommend it due to the large number of ads and the somewhat sparse information presented. If you pay $4.99 you can get rid of ads for a year. The drug information appears to be the same material found on package inserts. The app has a set of additional features similar to those in Epocrates. These include a pill identifier, an interaction checker, side effects, symptom checker, and more.

Bottom line: For a solid basic drug reference, Micromedex will do fine for you. If you already have UTD on your phone or plan to add it, try looking up drugs in UTD and see if you are satisfied with the information you find. More bells and whistles? Try the free version of Epocrates.

Do you have other options you would recommend? If so, respond to this post.

Questions? Contact


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Altmetric’s Top 100 Articles of 2016 – check out UCSF!

The company Altmetric, which produces those colorful donut wheel scores you see in UCSF Profiles and many publisher websites, put together this beautiful compilation of the 100 articles with the top Altmetric scores for 2016.

Altmetrics captures attention paid to scholarly articles by news and policy sources, blog posts, and social media sharing. It helps measure the immediate impact of a study and compliments more traditional measures such as article citations which take time to accumulate.

UCSF authors earned three of the top 100 scores. Check out which three!

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If you tried RefWorks recently and it did not work…

PQDue to some confusion about UCSF Library’s RefWorks institutional account, those of you who tried to sign up for the New RefWorks over the last few weeks might have received an error message and not been able to use the product. That problem is resolved now!

As I have said in several of my last posts, the new RefWorks is a terrific product. Easy to set up and use. If you need a reference manager or want to change from what you currently use, I encourage you to try the New RefWorks. You can find RefWorks at

Please contact me if you have questions or problems.

— Whit

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Mac Users who use EndNote. Do not upgrade to the new MacOS Sierra





The PDF viewer and annotator built into EndNote x7.7 (the latest version) does not work with MacOS 10.12 (Sierra). Hopefully this will be corrected soon. As EndNote is just about to come out with a major upgrade (EndNote X8) in November 2016 I suspect we will have to wait before the compatibility problem with Sierra is fixed. — Whit

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EndNote X8

Just a quick note to those of you who use EndNote and those of you who want to.

After a 3.5 year hiatus, a new major upgrade to EndNote will be released in November. Usually EndNote updates about every 18 months but there has been disquiet in the EndNote world and EndNote and related businesses (Web of Science) has been spun off from Thomson-Reuters to form Clarivate Analytics. See .

Not many details yet about EndNote X8 so I believe we will need to wait to see how it functions and what new features it brings. See  https:x8-product2// for more about EndNote X8.

For those with UCSF email, you can buy EndNote X7 for $78 from OnTheHub UCSF. If you purchase now you will receive a free upgrade to X8. See the following link for more about UCSF OnTheHub and the academic discounts available to you (

Please let me know if you have questions.


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Using the New RefWorks: Writing in Word and GoogleDocs

We have talked about two of the essential elements of reference managers: adding information to RefWorks and organizing your RefWorks library. We will cover the third element in this post: adding in-text citations and a reference list to a document or to create a bibliography of articles.

In the set up section we covered downloading and installing a bit of software that works with Microsoft Word or GoogleDocs to add references to your writing from your RefWorks library.

Now open Word and be sure you see evidence of a RefWorks plugin.

If you have Word 2016 you will find RefWorks by clicking on the Insert tab, finding Add-ins, then finding MyAdd-Ins. There you should see RefWorks. Highlight RefWorks and click insert.

rw1Your Word page will now look like (image below):

rw2If you have Word for Mac 2011 you will see an inconspicuous toolbar in the far upper left (see image below). Each icon will identify itself if you hover over it, here you will want to login the first time you use it. It is best to sync after each session in which you add to your RefWorks library. Remember that RW is web-based so that it can take 2-5 minutes to update at times.

rw3I suggest you drag the tool bar to a better spot on the page by clicking and dragging on the far left of the tool bar (if you click in the circle at the far left you will close the tool bar).

If you have Word for Windows 2013 you will see a RefWorks or ProQuest tab in Word. Log in and sync as mentioned above.

Formatting a Word document

With the RefWorks Citation Manager selected (see image below), pick the article or articles you want to cite. If you will cite more than one article check the boxes and then Cite this (see image two belowrw2 rw4).

You will also notice below the Word options on the tools page, there is a plug-in for GoogleDocs. You can have both Word and Google docs plug-ins. Click on the link to GoogleDocs and follow the instructions that follow.

Once again, this is enough to get you started. Please send me any questions you have.


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Using the New RefWorks; Adding and Organizing Information

Importing information to the new RefWorks is ridiculously easy. We will refer to RefWorks as RW for the rest of this note.

Citing articles in Word is very similar to “Legacy” RW.

Now for some details.


Once you have identified articles from PubMed you wish to save to RW, click on the Save to RefWorks bookmarklet. You will see a list of the articles on your PubMed page, check off the ones you want, then Save to RefWorks at the bottom of the page.  See image below. That’s it!

pubmed-rw-1Most other databases (e.g., Web of Science, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, etc.) work the same way.

An exception is Embase. Choose the articles you want from Embase, select Export (see image below). 

embase-rw-2Next, choose Direct Export to RefWorks (see image below), download a small file to your computer and then import that file into RefWorks by clicking the + icon on top left bar of RW page.

emb-rw-3PDFs you can drag and drop a PDF on RW and it will find citation information for you.

For websites, click on Save to RefWorks bookmarklet. RefWorks, like all reference managers, has trouble finding the information it needs to create a citation from websites. Always check the information to make sure RW has it right

For GoogleScholar, set preferences to RefWorks and you can import one article at a

   gs-rw-2 To do so see two images below and left.

  1. Go to

  2. Click on Settings

  3. Change Bibliography Manager to RefWorks

Finally, you may organize what you put in RW by checking the boxes of the articles you would like to place in a folder. Then click on the folder icon (red arrow below). Finally either create a new folder or add checked articles to an existing

The final installment of this series will be about using RefWorks to add citations and references to Microsoft Word or GoogleDocs.

Final post in this series will discuss how to use the new RW to cite article in Word or GoogleDocs. –Whit

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