Search Google Scholar

or browse databases: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

You are here




Libraries & Spaces


Information for:

You are here

Responsible Use of Electronic Resources

Use of electronic resources is subject to Copyright Law and license agreements which govern the access, use and reproduction of these resources. If these terms are violated, a license can be temporarily or permanently revoked. It is very important that all library patrons abide by terms of copyright laws and license agreements to ensure that the entire campus community has access to electronic resources without interruption.

Usually PermittedUsually not Permitted
Making limited print or electronic copies (such as single articles) Excessive or systematic or substantial printing, copying or downloading (such as entire journal issues or books)
Using for personal, instructional or research needs Using for commercial purposes (such as selling or re-distributing content)
Sharing content or password with authorized users Sharing content or password with non-authorized users
Posting links to specific content Posting actual content or articles to websites or listservs
Quoting with proper citation Modifying, altering, or creating derivative works

Grey areas: Some resources allow electronic reserves, course packs, multiple copies for classroom use and interlibrary lending. Others explicitly forbid one or more of these activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an electronic resource?

Electronic resources are e-journals, databases, and e-books available online via the Web.

What are license agreements and why does the Library sign license agreements?

A license agreement is an agreement between publishers and the Library about under what terms and conditions the Library will gain access to the electronic resource. The Library cannot provide access to most electronic resources without a signed license agreement. Publishers demand these agreements to prevent unauthorized redistribution or use of their copyrighted works.

Who are authorized users?

The majority of license agreements define authorized users as currently enrolled students, faculty and staff of Georgetown University. In most cases, walk-in users (individuals who are physically present on GU campus and who are not current GU students, faculty or staff) are included.

Useful Links

Copyright Act of 1976

U.S. Copyright Office

Georgetown University Computer Systems Acceptable Use Policy


Any question or additional information about appropriate use of licensed electronic resources may be directed to Meg Oakley, Director, Copyright & Scholarly Communication, at or 202-687-0302.