The Library subscribes to thousands of electronic journals, books, datasets, and other databases for use by authorized users (typically restricted to current faculty, students, and staff and, in most cases, on-site visitors). The terms and conditions for using these resources are set out in electronic resource license agreements that the Library signs with each publisher.
Breaches of the university’s contractual arrangements with publishers could result in the suspension of access to the resources for the entire UC Berkeley community, and legal liability for the university or its users. It is the responsibility of individual authorized users to ensure that their use of electronic resources does not breach the terms and conditions specified in the license agreements.
Licenses vary from publisher to publisher; however, in general the following applies:
- uses consistent with the Fair Use provisions of the United States Copyright Act (Have questions about fair use? Contact the Office of Scholarly Communication Services at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- viewing, downloading, copying, printing, and saving a copy of search results
- viewing, downloading, copying, printing, and saving individual articles
- using e-resources for scholarly, educational, or scientific research, teaching, private study, and clinical purposes
- sending a copy of an article to another authorized user (i.e. current faculty, students, or staff)
- posting the URL to the publisher’s version of the article on a restricted class website (publisher links will allow only authorized users access)
- modifying the resource format in compliance with accessibility laws
Generally not permitted
The following activities generally are not permitted. Further, engaging in any of the activities included in the list below may result in an immediate suspension of the patron’s access to online library resources.
- use of robots or intelligent agents to do systematic, bulk, or automatic downloading of content in violation of a license agreement
- systematic downloading or printing of entire journal issues or volumes, or large portions of other e-resources
- using e-resources for commercial gain (i.e. reselling, redistributing, or republishing licensed content). This includes using resources for internships and/or outside work not connected with degree requirements such as a practicum.
- transmitting, disseminating, or otherwise making online content available to unauthorized users (i.e. sending to mailing lists or electronic bulletin boards)
- posting the publisher's version or PDF of an article to a website on the open web (instead, post the URL to the article which will allow only authorized users access)
- removing, obscuring, or modifying any copyright or other notices included in the materials
- sharing passwords/log-in information with unauthorized users
Ask Library staff
Do you have questions about whether a particular agreement allows what you want to do?
- For questions about text and data mining, email email@example.com (Although text and data mining can be considered a fair use, some licenses explicitly do not permit it. You can also consult our guide to text mining and computational analysis to discover text mining “friendly” agreements.)
- For all other questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Full licenses for many publishers, specifying all the terms and conditions, are available at their websites. Copies of agreements entered into by the California Digital Library (CDL) on behalf of the University of California system can be viewed at cdlib.org/services/collections/licensed/resources/redacted-license-agreements/.