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Graduate Spotlight

Pearls of Wisdom

Protecting Content and Copyright

As a participant in a T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (CNS) course, students are provided PDFs of course content. We provide these for the convenience of the students and to enhance the learning experience. For example, PDFs are beneficial to student’s who:

  • prefer note-taking or highlighting of printed text
  • utilize train or bus commutes to read and study course materials
  • do not always have access to the internet

Students often ask about the use of course materials outside of class, for example, in an article, or on a website. It is essential to understand that our course materials are the intellectual property of CNS and are copyrighted. So, as with all copyrighted materials, there are established ways to attribute and reference a source. In specific situations, (e.g., translation into another language) the author’s permission must be requested.

In general, CNS copyright-protected documents and the intellectual property within them are not to be:

  • duplicated or distributed
  • used directly in other presentations

The following frequently asked questions address the most common topics about the students’ use of CNS course materials outside of a CNS course context.

Read frequently asked questions
May I copy and use the course material elsewhere?
All course content is the intellectual property of CNS and is copyright-protected. This means that quotation of CNS course passages exceeding approx. 50 words goes beyond allowable usage. Further, as with any copyrighted materials, no part of CNS course handouts should be reproduced or used in any way outside of accepted citation standards for scholarly work.

For example, a short passage must be bracketed by quotation marks, with a source citation noted within the passage. For quotations of up to approx. 50 words, the quoted text must be indented, and the source cited. Source citation formats vary by type of publication. Although the citation format is at the author’s discretion, citation is required.

A widely used and acceptable approach to presenting others’ ideas is to summarize them in one’s own words, reference the source of the original idea, and include an embedded link to the article itself.

Is it okay to share course material with others for a class I am developing?
No. And here’s the reason. Your creation of original course materials, expressed in your words, from your viewpoint, avoids the inadvertent appropriation of CNS copyrighted intellectual property as your own.

May I translate the course material into another language?
Not without permission. A translation has the potential to change the meaning and intent of CNS materials. CNS has no easy way verify the accuracy of translations, therefore, permission is required.

Who/How do I ask for permission? Please contact us at:

May I copy or translate articles from the CNS website?
Each author must be contacted individually in order to reprint any article from the website. The best way to share information is to quote a passage using proper citation format with a link to the article itself. This drives traffic appropriately to the source.

May I reproduce a chart?
Permission is required to copy any images (such as charts and graphs) from CNS course materials. This is the same procedure one would follow if reproducing a chart from The China Study or another copyrighted work. Again, a summary of the findings, in your own words, with a reference directly to the source is the ideal way to share information from a chart or graph. Either way citing your source is essential.

The takeaway:

  • Course PDF materials are not to be reproduced and shared.
  • PDF files materials are solely for the students’ benefit while taking the course.
  • Students may cite portions of course materials using proper citations following standard academic protocol. However, the course material is not to be directly re-presented to other audiences for pay or otherwise.
  • We rely on the integrity of our student’s with regard to CNS intellectual property and copyrighted materials. Intellectual property violations are easily identifiable by simple software programs.