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ONCORES: Online Course Reserve System

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is ONCORES?
A: ONCORES, short for Online Course Reserve system, was developed by the HSU Library as a means to deliver course reserve materials to HSU students via the world wide web.
Q: What are the advantages of using ONCORES to serve reserve materials, as opposed to traditional print reserves?
A: ONCORES provides the following advantages over print reserves:
  • Accessibility - reserve materials are accessible over the web 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any location;
  • Availability - reserve materials are always available, since they can never be checked out to another student or misplaced;
  • Increased readership - offering reserve materials through ONCORES may be expected to increase readership, since the materials are more readily available;
  • Convenience - reserve materials may be printed out or downloaded for personal off-line use.
    Q: Why should a faculty member use ONCORES when the same material could be linked from their personal web page or Moodle site?
    A: ONCORES offers the following distinct advantages to both the faculty member and student:
  • Library staff do virtually all of the work once the faculty member has identified an item for reserve. These services include retrieving a document from the Library collection (as available), scanning and converting it to either portable document format (PDF) or hypertext markup language (HTML), and creating the necessary record in the HSU Library Catalog;
  • Library staff are available to provide logistical support, training, and consultation to both faculty and students, as needed to foster the effective use of the system;
  • Using the HSU Library Catalog, ONCORES provides the student with a single easy-to-use interface through which to access electronic reserve materials;
  • Library staff ensure that copyright-protected materials are afforded the safeguards stipulated in the United States Copyright Act, and that those materials are served in accordance with applicable University policy.
    Q: I understand that links to course reserve readings can also be provided within the HSU Moodle course management system. How does this differ from the services offered through ONCORES?

    ONCORES and Moodle both provide students with password-protected electronic access to reserve readings via the web, relying primarily upon accessible PDF documents. The basic difference is that ONCORES is a standalone service, with readings searchable via the Course Reserve search interface in the HSU Library Catalog, which is available to all instructors regardless of whether or not you are using Moodle. At the option of the instructor, ONCORES personnel will also provide you with a persistent link to an electronic reserve reading, which you can then post in Moodle, should you wish.


    Q: What sorts of materials can a faculty member place on reserve through ONCORES?
    A: Faculty may place both copyright-protected and non-copyrighted works on ONCORES. Access to copyright-protected works must be provided in compliance with the same Fair Use guidelines which the Library applies to print reserve materials, unless the faculty member has specifically obtained clearance from the copyright holder to serve the work electronically. Non-copyrighted materials which can be offered through ONCORES without restriction include faculty-developed course syllabi, lecture notes, reading lists, solution sets, examinations, etc. Links can also be forged from ONCORES to copyright-free Internet sites, such as a faculty member's web page.
    Q: How do students and faculty access readings in ONCORES?

    Readings in ONCORES are accessed via a current generation web browser on any web-accessible personal computer or internet device, using the Course Reserve search feature in the HSU Library Catalog. Note that all users will be prompted for the ONCORES user name and password before they are allowed to access a reading. ONCORES staff provide this log-in information to the instructor, who is, in turn, expected to inform his or her students.

    To access ONCORES readings in Moodle, each student or instructor must use their personal campus log-in.

    Q: Which electronic formats are supported by ONCORES?
    A: Most ONCORES documents are served in accessible PDF format. However, we will on occasion convert a document to HTML format if the faculty member has a compelling reason why that format would be preferable to PDF. Faculty interested in having their materials served in a format other than PDF should discuss the options with the ONCORES coordinator. Note that free Adobe Acrobat Reader software must be installed on client personal computers and Internet devices in order to view PDF documents.
    Q: Are ONCORES readings accessible to students with disabilities?
    A: Yes, in compliance with the CSU Accessible Technology Initiative, ONCORES staff make every effort to serve readings in a format that is accessible using screen-reading or other adaptive software, to meet the needs of students with hearing, visual, or mobility impairments. Additional information about campus policies, services, and facilities for disabled students is available from the Student Disability Resource Center.
    Q: What is the turnaround time for getting reserve materials into ONCORES?
    A: Library staff process reserve materials as quickly as possible, but turnaround time will vary depending upon the time of year, the number of requests in the queue, and other factors. As with all reserve materials, faculty are advised to submit their requests as early as they can and tell us when students will need them. This is especially important with ONCORES, since the scanning and conversion process can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. Faculty members can help minimize turnaround time by following the ONCORES Submission Guidelines when submitting requests.
    Q: Why can't I access ONCORES articles by author or title?
    A: We are using the Course Reserve search feature of the HSU Library Catalog to facilitate access to information about reserve readings, including both ONCORES and print reserves. For copyright compliance purposes, that interface only allows reserve readings to be searched by instructor, department, and/or course name. Such limitations should not present a problem, however, since these readings are intended for the use of the students enrolled in a particular course, using information from their instructor.
    Q: How do I submit reserve materials for ONCORES?
    A: HSU faculty should complete an ONCORES Request Form, following the ONCORES Submission Guidelines, and forward it either electronically, by campus mail, or in-person to the Library Reserve Office located in Library 110 (behind the Circulation Desk). At faculty request, Library staff will also retrieve items from the Library collection for inclusion in ONCORES. Due to the additional work involved, however, such retrieval may add to the turnaround time for posting those materials online.
    Q: Where can I find more information about ONCORES?
    A: Further information can be found at About ONCORES, or by contacting ONCORES staff by e-mail, by telephone at 826-4401, or in-person in the Library Reserve Office in Library 110 (behind the Circulation Desk.