Who is Entitled to Access Electronic Resources Licensed for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Campus?

Who is Entitled to Access Electronic Resources Licensed for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Campus?

Most online resources available to users at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) are acquired via licenses (i.e., contractual, legal agreements) between the vendor and the University of Illinois. Typically, licenses are priced based upon individual campus’ number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) students, although other factors may be used. The University Library handles the majority of UIUC licenses for electronic content. When our needs align with other University of Illinois’ campuses or with consortial partners, we may pursue cooperative license agreements.

What is a licensed resource?

A licensed electronic resource is an online database to which the University Library subscribes through a contractual, legal agreement. These can include primary source book/journal collections, streaming video services, digitized primary resources, or collections of other secondary sources such as indexing or reference materials.

As each campus library support the academic aims of each campus, the libraries typically license access for each campus separately. It is not uncommon for the three University of Illinois campuses to collaborate on such licenses, but the overriding concern at each library is supporting the mission of their home campus.

Who can use licensed resources?

The licenses that regulate use of these materials are legally binding documents that require the University Library to restrict off-campus access to current faculty, staff, and students (in credit-earning courses) at UIUC. This is a non-negotiable part of the contracts the Library is required to sign. Fee-for-access options for persons not affiliated with the University are not available.

As a public institution, the University Library is committed to serving as a major resource for the non-University community. To support some community access to the University Library’s resources, the University Library seeks licenses that allow the general public to access electronic resources from within its facilities. Visiting academics and members of the local community who are not currently faculty, staff, or currently enrolled students (in credit-earning courses) may use the online resources that we provide, but only if they enter facilities managed by UIUC.

While each vendor has its own unique licensing language, in general most licenses allow authorized users to:

  • Print / Download / Quote for teaching/research/personal uses
  • Create links to specific articles rather than a resource home page (e.g. the Libraries regularly creates such “deep links” as a convenience for faculty and students as part of its Electronic Reserves service, which makes customized web pages for specific courses/classes)
  • Email articles to other authorized users

How does the library/campus ensure that only authorized users have access?

Most vendors limit access to the IP numbers of campus computers. Authorized users wishing to access library-licensed e-resources from off campus may connect through library-created login links. This allows the University Library to verify recognized campus users’ credentials. Users who access licensed e-resources from off-campus through the University Library’s web site will be prompted to log in with their netid and password.

For this login to be successful, each user must have either:

  • An active appointment that is recorded in the University of Illinois’ Banner System
  • A current student admission or registration.

Once properly recorded in the aforementioned systems, each current staff/student will be entitled to use online resources licensed by the University Library.

A former employee or student who is no longer registered would be unable to access licensed library resources remotely; s/he could use the resources inside any campus library as a member of the public. Although UIUC currently keeps student email accounts active (at no charge) for a period of time after the last registration, this extension of email privileges does not include remote access to licensed library resources.

What are the steps for troubleshooting access problems?

It depends on the resource and the nature of the problem. If a user has a current UIUC appointment and has determined, through troubleshooting the issue with library personnel, that their access is not being denied for technical reasons, s/he should contact their departmental Human Resources office and request that they verify that their appointment is coded in keeping with established campus practices.

If your department has already submitted a request for an appointment and they need to follow-up on the request, the department/unit HR contact should work with either Academic or Staff Human Resources as appropriate.

What about off-campus programs or more loosely affiliated individuals? Are there ways to get them access?

Distance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus does not matter. The primary requirement is that individuals have an official, properly documented service/student relationship with the University. For individuals affiliated through a University program, the relevant unit or academic department must make this determination of affiliation. Designations of affiliation can then be recorded in the HR office serving their department or college.

What about summer institutes/programs run by departments?

The temporary nature of summer programs does not matter. Any type of visiting staff must have an official University appointment. Such appointments can be “without salary, with appointment.” It is incumbent upon the HR office serving the department or college in question to ensure that their employees are properly entered into the system.

Any type of student must still be registered (even for zero credit). Departments who need assistance in setting up a registration protocol for programs should contact appropriate college or campus offices directly.

Are there any “special cases”?

Some UIC faculty members carry formal appointments in colleges or departments on the UIUC campus. They are considered “dual appointment staff” who have both UIUC and UIC Library access privileges. Any faculty member with multiple appointments across campuses should obtain library privileges for each campus (e.g. UI-Springfield faculty members who also have appointments on the UI-Urbana campus gets both UIS and UIUC access privileges).

What about University Administration?

Despite physical location, the University of Illinois’ University Administration (UA) is not technically part of the UIUC campus. UA employees who do not carry faculty or staff appointments on any of the University of Illinois’ campuses cannot access resources licensed on behalf of their registered faculty, staff, and credit-earning students.

What about donors, alumni and other with similar connections to the UI-Urbana campus?

Status as a donor to the University of Illinois, the UI Foundation, or any unit on the UI-Urbana campus does not meet the criteria established for access privileges by vendors in their license agreements. Donors and alumni who do not carry active faculty, staff, or student appointments cannot access the Library’s licensed electronic resources.

I have a proxy borrowing card to do research for a faculty member. Can I also get remote access?

No. The University Library’s Proxy Card allows you to check out materials on behalf of the faculty member. These privileges do not extend to library-licensed databases, which are governed by legally binding contracts. As a registered student, faculty, or staff member, you should be able to access these resources by using your own credentials. Sharing a UIUC account or password is forbidden by University policy and by our database contracts.

Who is responsible for enabling access to licensed resources?

The University Library is responsible for selecting information resources, creating access links to them, ensuring their discoverability in library-supported systems, and troubleshooting operations involving licensed electronic resources.

The access provided to individuals affiliated with the Urbana-campus depends upon the status of that individual in either human resource or student registration systems. The University Library has neither the authority nor the capacity to establish or override the status for any particular individuals on campus.

Can students who are not currently enrolled access databases and e-journals from outside the library?

No. Students who are not currently enrolled cannot access databases and e-journals from outside the University Library. They are welcome to visit the University Library, but they are unable to be given off-campus access.

How does the University Library respond to vendor reports of unauthorized use?

The University Library actively works with content providers, campus IT authorities, and other campus units to identify and interrupt unauthorized use of licenses electronic resources. For more information, please see the UIUC Library’s Licensed Electronic Resource Use Policy: http://www.library.illinois.edu/administration/collections/policies/LicensedElectronicResourcesUsePolicy.html.

Last Updated: 8/2013