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Responsible Use of Online Resources

Use of all library online resources (e-journals, databases, and e-books) is subject to copyright laws and contractual agreements.  Violation of copyright law and/or terms of the agreements may result in the suspension of access to online resources for the entire EMU community.

License Agreements:

  • The use of library online resources is governed by license agreements negotiated between the library and the publishers/suppliers. 
  • Virtually all of these licenses include terms which prohibit authorized users (currently enrolled students, faculty, staff and other users (walk-in patrons)) from engaging in “excessive or systematic” downloading when using that resource

Excessive/Systematic Downloading:
Here are examples of what publishers refer to as “excessive downloading”:

  • Rapidly downloading one article after another
  • Continuously downloading tables of contents, search results, citations, or output
  • Downloading entire issues or volumes of an e-journal
  • Downloading the entire content of an e-book or multimedia resource
  • Using robots, spiders, or other automated programs to download from online resources.

Other License Violations:
Other actions which would also violate license terms include:

  • Sharing passwords with unauthorized users
  • Redistributing information from online resources to unauthorized users
  • Posting information retrieved or downloaded from online resources to a listserv, a website, or an email list
  • Reselling  of  journal text, output, search results, or other information in any form or medium
  • Redistributing of materials to non-subscribers or to non-subscribing institutions
  • Removing copyright, trademark and proprietary notices

Violation Consequences:
Publishers monitor overall account activity and when they notice excessive downloading, will immediately terminate the library’s access to their resource.  They notify the library of the problem and the library is required to investigate and notify the individual of their violation of the contract terms and receive assurances that they will not do it again.  Once resolved, the vendor is notified and the service is restored. 

Additional questions about the appropriate use of online resources may be directed to
Kathie Mason, Collections Librarian: [email protected]

April 13, 2009


Halle Library, 955 W. Circle Dr, Ypsilanti MI, USA 48197 Phone:734.487.0020