UIUC Library Licensed Electronic Resource Use Policy

UIUC Library

Licensed Electronic Resource Use Policy


Electronic resources made available by the University of Illinois Library to students, staff, faculty, and other authorized users, are for activities that support the University’s educational mission. The University Library’s ability to provide access, authorize use, and permit reproduction of licensed resources is governed by contractual license agreements and U.S. Copyright Law.

Access and use of many commercially available electronic resources provided by the University Libraries are governed by license agreements negotiated between the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and publishers or third party brokers. In general, these legally binding contracts allow students, staff, faculty, and other authorized users to access these resources for non-commercial, educational, scholarly and research purposes. Users of library-licensed resources must comply with the terms of agreements and be aware that publishers may monitor use of electronic resources to ensure that the terms of their licensing agreements are enforced. Breach of license may lead a publisher/vendor to turn off the University’s access without warning, and may threaten the entire campus’s access to a resource. Consequently, the University Library works closely with contractual partners and the Campus’ Chief Information Officer to resolve issues surrounding questionable use as they arise.

On and Off-Campus Access

Access to the resources licensed by the University Library is provided on campus through the Library’s computer terminals and from most other computer terminals on campus.


Off-campus access to the Library’s electronic resources is also available for authorized users as defined by our license agreements. Such access requires the user to log-in using his or her net ID and password.  This log-in verifies that the off-campus user is a part of the licensed user group of the University of Illinois community.


Inappropriate Use of Licensed Content

Authorized users must be aware that licenses generally prohibit the following uses:

  • Allowing anyone other than authorized users to access the licensed resources, this includes sharing passwords
  • Downloading entire issues of online journals or major portions of electronic books.
  • Using software or other automated tools to systematically download licensed content, such as robots or spiders
  • Using licensed resources for commercial purposes.


Consequences for Inappropriate Use

All other University policies pertaining to computer use and conduct are applicable in the use of Library computer terminals and electronic resources. These include:

The University Library collaborates with the Campus Information Officer’s Office of Security when violations are detected. Consequences for misuse of these resources may include referral to appropriate campus disciplinary bodies, suspension of access privileges, and suspension of use privileges for non-campus users.

Copyright and Electronic Resources

The copying of electronic resources made available by the University Libraries may be governed by both license agreements and U.S. Copyright Law. When electronic resources are licensed to the University Library, any copying and distribution is limited to the extent permitted in the license. When use of a specific electronic resource is not governed by license agreements, the provisions of U.S. Copyright Law, alone, control the making and distribution of copies.

U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.) provides exceptions to a copyright owner’s exclusive right to reproduce a copyrighted work. Section 107 permits fair use copying for certain purposes, including instances of non-commercial personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Making reproductions of copyright-protected electronic resources, even those not covered by a license agreement, requires permission from the copyright owner unless the copying qualifies as a fair use.

Reproductions of electronic resources made by the University Libraries for any of its users are made only to the extent allowed in the resource’s license agreement or under the provisions of copyright law, Section 108. Reproductions made by University Libraries under copyright law are provided to users with the understanding that copies will be used only for private study, scholarship, or research; and that those copies will become the property of the user and not be reproduced for further distribution.


Drafted:                      October 2008

Reviewed by AC:       November 2008

Approved by AC:       May 2009