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York University Libraries > Acceptable Use Guidelines for Electronic Resources

Acceptable Use Guidelines for Electronic Resources

York University Libraries have signed license agreements with a variety of vendors and publishers to provide York University students, faculty, and staff with access to thousands of electronic resources (online databases, indexes, e-journals, e-books, etc.) to support their teaching, learning, and research activities.

These license agreements restrict access to the electronic resources to authorized users: generally, current York University students, faculty, and staff. They also set out acceptable and unacceptable uses of the electronic resources by authorized users. Users who breach license agreements may lose access to resources and may face other disciplinary or legal consequences. Misuse may also result in loss of access to a given resource for the entire York University community.

License conditions may be shown on the web site of a given electronic resource under such headings as “Acceptable Use”, “Conditions of Use”, or “Copyright”. License conditions may also be indicated on an article saved or printed from a database or online journal. Please contact a librarian if you have questions concerning the acceptable uses of electronic resources available through York University Libraries.

As a general guide to acceptable use of licensed electronic products, we ask users to observe the following points.

It is normally acceptable to: It is normally NOT acceptable to:
  • search, view, retrieve, and display content for non-commercial personal, instructional, or academic research needs
  • sell or re-distribute content, or provide access to someone outside of the university community, such as an employer
  • save, print, or make copies of reasonable amounts or parts of the resource (such as individual journal articles) for non-commercial personal use
  • engage in systematic or substantial printing, copying or downloading of content (such as entire journal issues, financial and/or datasets, etc.)
  • share content with other current York University faculty, staff, and students
  • share content with people other than current York University faculty, staff, and students
  • post links to specific content in such a way that it is available only to other authorized users
  • post actual content or articles to web sites or listservs, private (e.g. a corporate intranet) or public
  • modify or alter the content of licensed resources in any way

Some license agreements may make express allowances for such uses as electronic reserves, course kits, multiple copies for classroom use, interlibrary loan, or in-library use by community members. Other license agreements may prohibit one or more of these or other uses. Note that use of electronic resources is also restricted by the Canadian Copyright Act except as indicated in specific license agreements.

Always acknowledge your source appropriately on any published or unpublished document when you use data found on electronic resources.