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Appropriate Use of Licensed Electronic Resources

Electronic resources available from the Washburn University Libraries' web sites are licensed by the Libraries for non-commercial use by Washburn faculty, staff, students, and on-site visitors at Washburn campus locations, for educational or research purposes only.

The following are answers for licensing questions commonly asked by Washburn faculty, staff, and students:

Q.  What is a license agreement?
A.  A license agreement is a contract between an intellectual property owner (or licensor) and a subscriber (the library or the university). Unlike print resources, libraries do not own most electronic or digital resources. Instead, a license agreement is negotiated and signed with each owner, which allows the library's users to access the electronic information for a specified amount of time for a specified fee.

Q.  What use restrictions are set by license agreements?
A.  Although each license is unique, common restrictions found in licenses for digital information products include the following:

    -The content may be used only for non-commercial educational, clinical, or research purposes.
    -Individuals who are not affiliated with the library that has licensed the product may not use the content, or may use content only when physically present in a library building.
    -Printing and downloading of e-resources are generally subject to copyright restrictions and limited to "fair use" as defined by U.S. copyright law. For further information see
    -Altering, recompiling, systematic or programmatic copying, reselling, redistributing or republishing of electronic content is typically prohibited.
    -Systematic downloading of substantial portions of an electronic title is not permitted.
    -Altering or removing copyright or proprietary notices is prohibited.

Q.  Who is an authorized user?
A.  The definition of an authorized user depends on the terms set out in the license of a particular electronic resource. Generally authorized users are the registered students, faculty, and staff of the institution purchasing the electronic resource. In many cases, authorized users also include members of the public who use the e-resource on library premises.

Q.  May I download an entire journal issue?
A.  NO. This is also a violation of basic copyright principles.

Q.  May I e-mail full-text articles to individuals who are not affiliated with Washburn?
A.  As a general rule, you may not e-mail full-text articles to unauthorized users.

For additional information about copyright at Washburn University, see:

For assistance with remote access or connection problems, please contact Mabee Library.