Course Hero, a website that makes study documents from nationwide universities available online, is designed to make studying an easier process for students.
But for University administrators and professors alike, the website is making it more difficult to oversee intellectual property.
“Finding your work in a place you didn’t expect it, where you didn’t put it up, is disconcerting,” said McKay Coble, chairwoman of the Faculty Council.
While administrators do not want to prohibit the use of Course Hero — with content including lecture notes, readings and other types of documents — they are seeking ways to give professors more control over their content on the website.
More than 6.5 million documents are currently on the site, according to Course Hero. The website is free for a limited number of documents, but an upgraded membership costs between $6.95 and $39.95 per month, depending on the length of the subscription.
The site contains about 350 links to UNC-Chapel Hill content ranging from specific subjects to entire departments.
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the site is required to remove content when the owners of the material request that it be taken down.
Course Hero’s policy requires professors to fill out a form to have individual items removed — a process that can be lengthy and burdensome, officials said.
“It’s a challenge for faculty to spend the extra time,” said Bruce Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost.