In some cases, posted course material is indexed by search engines. You can use the search engine to find the infringing material. For our example, we will assume we want to search for course content related to PGE 301. We want to customize the search such that we find content that is related only to UT's PGE 301. We want to exclude any content that is on UT web servers to reduce the false-positive rate.
- If you have not yet done so, create a Google account. If you have a Google account, log into it for this process. You can create a new account just for this process or use a pre-existing one. To create a new account, go to Google's Create an Account page.
- Go to the Google Alerts page.
On this page, you can configure a search that will periodically report on the content that you are searching for. You can indicate how often it searches, how many results to report, and where you want the results delivered via email.
- In the "Search terms:" field, enter one of the following, replacing "PGE 301" with your course name. To be thorough, you may also want to redo each search replacing "University of Texas" with "UT".
PGE 301 course notes University of Texas -site:utexas.edu
PGE 301 lecture notes University of Texas -site:utexas.edu
PGE 301 exam University of Texas -site:utexas.edu
PGE 301 problem set University of Texas -site:utexas.edu
PGE 301 homework University of Texas -site:utexas.edu
- For "Type:", choose "Everything".
- For "How often:", choose how often you want to see a report. Your choices are "Once a day", "As-it-happens", and "Once a week".
- For "Volume:", you should choose "Only the best results". Otherwise, you will have to sort through a large number of repeated entries or incorrect results.
- For "Deliver to:", choose the email address you are logged in as. That email account will receive a message periodically (based on what you put for "How often:") with the search results. Check this account for results.
- If there are unique or uncommon words or phrases in your content, you should include those in your searches. For example, if a particular class in PGE 301 focused on a "widget", put the following in "Search items:":
PGE 301 widget University of Texas -site:utexas.edu
Sites known to redistribute course materials
The list of sites that act as markets or bulletin boards for course information changes every day. As of this writing, these are the sites that are the most popular. You may want to add these sites to your search terms. Alternatively, you may wish to get an account on the sites in order to locate material that has not been indexed by the search engines. For information on creating accounts on each site, see their web pages.
- Course Hero http://www.coursehero.com/
- ScribD http://www.scribd.com/
- Notehall http://www.notehall.com/
- Koofers http://www.koofers.com/
- CampusBuddy http://www.campusbuddy.com/