Q. The library subscribes to a lot of databases. Can I use material I find there in the same way I'd use material I find in hard-copies that the library owns?

It depends. For most electronic materials, such as Lexis-Nexis or digital journal subscriptions, the terms of access to the materials are described in a contract between the library and the service provider. These terms can limit what users can do with electronic materials. Using automated programs to retrieve large numbers of articles from commercial databases could be prohibited, for example, even though such use might be fair if a contract weren’t involved. You should check with a librarian to see what limitations might exist before making unusual new uses of licensed materials. If you want to use such databases in a way that the license terms do not permit, please alert your librarians to this fact. They may be able to renegotiate a contract or get more appropriate terms the next licensing round. 

"Fair Use Code FAQ For Professors" by Association of Research Libraries


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  • Last Updated Sep 28, 2018
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  • Answered By Lori Driscoll

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