Library news: Publishers make wide range of learning material available online in response to COVID-19

Posted on April 02, 2020

The Department of Library Services would like to bring to your attention that a number of publishers and aggregators of scholarly materials have stepped up to support online learning in response to the current health emergency of COVID-19. These publishers include EBSCO, Cambridge, Sage, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley. South African universities also received a memorandum from the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) and the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO), in which they present their assistance to South African universities during the disaster period.

Upon examining communication from the publishers, we observed that the offerings are varied. Some provide access to archives,  journal articles, eBooks, or ancillary materials, like PowerPoint presentations, etc. In some cases, access restrictions may apply. Other publishers are extending assistance to universities who are moving online for the first time, and these offerings come with additional services such as digitization of print resources, which may be at an additional cost.

As a library, we would like to recommend the following:

  1. We would like to support the use of open educational resources (OERs), where they are available. If you are unsure if resources are OERs, you are welcome to contact your information specialist or the copyright officer, Zama Khanyile, in the library at [email protected]
  2. If lecturers want to use material on ClickUP, which are currently only available in printed format in the Library (with no electronic version available), DALRO will make digitized copies available within the normally permitted limits on a case-by-case basis. To coordinate the application process, lecturers can submit these requests to the Library ([email protected]), who will forward it to DALRO and handle the related administration.
  3. When there is a need to remotely access digital materials, which fall under a restricted university-wide license, DALRO has agreed to allow a case-by-case emergency license, lifting these restrictions, allowing the digital materials to be hosted on the learning system. Please also refer these request to the library at [email protected]

More information on copyright is available at or contact your information specialist, to assist you.

For a list of additional trusted resources, offering free access to research and relevant content during the COVID-19 crisis, go to

Lindiwe Soyizwapi


- Author Marguerite Nel

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