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Responsible Use of Electronic Resources

The San Jose State University Library contracts with a variety of vendors and publishers to provide authorized users with thousands of electronic resources (databases, abstracts, e-journals, full text, etc.) costing millions of dollars per year.

In addition to paying for these resources, the Library typically negotiates license agreements that stipulate how and by whom they may be used. These contractual license agreements govern the access, use, and reproduction of these resources. Additionally, the use of electronic resources must meet standards for fair use under copyright law and comply with University policy S96-11 Fair use of Copyrighted Materials; Intellectual Property. If license terms are violated by anyone, licensors have the right to temporarily suspend access for the entire University community. In some cases, licenses can be permanently revoked.

You can help prevent problems with our electronic resource providers by adhering to "good practice" and avoiding improper use. While licenses vary, here are some general terms of use for Library resources.

Unless Otherwise Noted:


  • Make limited print or electronic copies (such as single articles) with proper attribution
  • Use materials for personal, instructional or research needs
  • Share with SJSU faculty, staff and students
  • Create links to specific content


  • Engage in systematic or substantial printing, copying or downloading (such as entire journal issues or books)
  • Sell or redistribute content, use it for commercial purposes, or provide it to an employer
  • Share with people other than SJSU faculty, staff and students
  • Post actual content or articles to web sites or listservs
  • Modify, alter, or create derivative works

Always acknowledge your source on any published or unpublished document when you use information found on electronic resources.

** Some vendors allow inclusion for electronic reserves, course packs, and multiple copies for classroom use and interlibrary lending. Others explicitly forbid one or more of these activities.