Use of Electronic Resources

The Library purchases and subscribes to electronic information resources on behalf of the University. Under the terms of nationally-negotiated agreements, licences normally place limits on how electronic resources may be used, who may use them, the number of concurrent users and the locations from which networked access is permitted. Individual users are responsible for ensuring that their use of electronic resources complies with licence conditions.

Licence terms vary from publisher to publisher, but a few general principles are common to many:

Activities Normally Permitted

Authorised users, i.e. staff and students of Lancaster University, may usually:

  • print a copy of an article or chapter for personal use (research, teaching, private study)
  • download a copy of an article or chapter for personal use (research, teaching, private study)
  • send a copy of an article or chapter to another authorised user

Activities Sometimes Permitted

Some licences permit authorised users, i.e. staff and students of the Lancaster University, to:

  • incorporate articles or chapters into course packs for teaching use at Lancaster University (with appropriate acknowledgement of each article and its source)
  • make articles or chapters available through a secure intranet or VLE for teaching use at the Lancaster University (with appropriate acknowledgement of each article and its source)

Activities Normally Forbidden

Licence terms will normally not allow you to:

  • systematically download, save, or print from an e-resource, e.g. all articles from one issue of a journal, or an entire book
  • make multiple print or electronic copies (although use in course packs may be permitted)
  • mount articles or chapters on an internet server (although mounting on a secure VLE such as Moodle may be permitted)
  • use articles or chapters for commercial purposes, including student placements
  • send printed or electronic articles or chapters to unauthorised users, i.e. anyone who is not a student or a member of staff at the Lancaster University
  • remove or alter the authors' names, the journal or book title, the publisher's copyright notices, or other means of identification
  • alter, abridge, adapt or modify downloaded information

As a general rule if you want to use an electronic journal or book for anything other than reading online or making single copies of an article or chapter for personal use, you are advised to consult the licence terms for that resource. Many e-journal or e-book sites include a link to the terms and conditions of the licence.

If you have any queries about the use of Lancaster University electronic information resources, for teaching or study, please Contact Us.

Other Important Information

Current members of Lancaster University are issued with a username and password on registration. Usernames and passwords must not be deliberately or inadvertently revealed or made accessible to others. Users of the University's electronic information systems are bound by the University's Computer User Agreement.

For further details on general copyright matters, see the Library's Copyright page.