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Responsible Use of Electronic Resources

The University of Washington Libraries contracts with a variety of vendors and publishers to provide users with thousands of electronic resources (databases, abstracts, e-journals, full text, etc.) costing millions of dollars per year.

In addition to paying for these resources, the Libraries negotiates license agreements that stipulate how and by whom they may be used. If license terms are violated by anyone, licensors can suspend access for the entire University community permanently!

You can help by adhering to "good practice" and avoiding improper use. Here are some good rules of thumb:

Do's & Don'ts

Usually OK

Usually Not OK

Making limited print or electronic copies
(such as single articles)

Systematic or substantial printing, copying or downloading
(such as entire journal issues or books)

Using for personal, instructional or research needs

Selling or re-distributing content, or providing it to an employer

Sharing with UW faculty, staff and students

Sharing with people other than UW faculty, staff and students

Posting links to specific content

Posting actual content or articles to web sites or listservs

 

Modifying, altering, or creating derivative works

Always acknowledge your sources for any published or unpublished electronic resources.

License Terms

  • Authorized Users. The group of users allowed to use the product. Typically includes currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff of the University of Washington.
    • Walk-ins” (non-UW) are often included but may only use the licensed materials when present in a library facility.
  • Course Pack – Print or Electronic. Right to use limited portions of print or electronic copies of licensed materials in collections or compilations assembled for the use by students in a class for the purposes of instruction only.
    • Permitted. Copyright clearance has already been granted for this use. Course packs must be provided on a cost recovery basis only, and not sold for profit.
    • Probibited. The material needs to have copyright cleared with the publisher before proceeding with inclusion in a course pack.
  • Course Reserve – Print or Electronic. Right to use limited portions of print or electronic copies of licensed materials in collections or compilations assembled for the use by students in a class for the purposes of instruction only.
    • Permitted. Electronic materials must be secured and never made available on the open web.
    • Prohibited; use links. Instructors may NOT upload a copy of the licensed materials to Canvas or another course management system; instead, include a link to the document requiring users to authenticate.
  • Digitally Copy. Authorized Users are allowed to electronically display, download, or digitally copy a reasonable portion of the licensed materials for the purposes of scholarly research or private study only.
  • Electronic Link. The right to provide links to the licensed materials (in Canvas/other course management systems) or web pages where users must authenticate.
  • Fair Use Clause. Affirms fair use rights under U.S. Copyright law (17 USC Section 107). For more information on Fair Use, see Copyright Introduction: Fair Use
  • Print Copy. Authorized Users are allowed to print a reasonable portion of the licensed materials for the purposes of scholarly research or private study only.
    • Reasonable Portion. A selected amount of material needed for the purposes of scholarly research or private study only. This amount may be specified by the licensor or may be defined within the scope of “Fair Use” in Section 107 of the Copyright Act.
  • Remote Access. Authorized Users (except “Walk-ins”) may access the resource from an off-site location.
  • Scholarly Sharing: Permitted. The right of Authorized Users to distribute a copy of individual articles or reasonable portions of the licensed materials in print or electronic form to a colleague for research, teaching, or educational purposes only.
  • Scholarly Sharing: Prohibited or UW Only. Distributing a copy of individual articles or reasonable portions of the licensed materials is allowed ONLY with other University of Washington authorized users.

More Information