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The Duke University Libraries provide access to thousands of purchased and licensed electronic journals, books, and databases for use by authorized users (current faculty, students, staff, and, in most cases, on-site visitors). It is the responsibility of individual users to ensure that their use of these electronic resources is consistent with the terms and conditions under which the resources are made available, which includes properly citing sources when making use of the content. Duke University Libraries’ ability to provide access, authorize use, and permit reproduction of licensed resources is governed by contractual license agreements and U.S. Copyright Law. Unless informed of any additional restrictions on use of specific resources, users should be guided by the general principles listed below.

Engagement in any of the activities included in the Not Permitted list below may result in immediate suspension of a user's access to e-resources. Breaches of the University's agreements with publishers could result in the suspension of access to the resources for the entire Duke University community.


  • Viewing, downloading, copying, printing and saving a copy of search results
  • Viewing, downloading, copying, printing and saving individual articles
  • Using e-resources for scholarly, educational or scientific research, teaching, private study and clinical purposes
  • Sending a copy of an article to another authorized user (i.e. current faculty, students or staff)
  • Posting the URL to the publisher's version of the article on a class website (publisher links will allow access only by authorized users)

Not Permitted

  • Use of robots or intelligent agents to do systematic, bulk or automatic downloading
  • Systematic downloading or printing of entire journal issues or volumes or large portions of other e-resources
  • Using e-resources for commercial gain (i.e. reselling, redistributing or republishing licensed content)
  • Transmitting, disseminating or otherwise making online content available to unauthorized users (i.e., sending to mailing lists or electronic bulletin boards)
  • Posting the publisher's version or PDF of an article to an open class website (instead, post the URL to the article, which will allow access only by authorized users)
  • Disregarding copyright or intellectual property rights as posted on publisher websites

Questions about these and other uses of electronic resources, including data-mining and text-mining, should be directed to

[The content and wording of this page were adapted with permission from the web site of the Library of the University of California Berkeley.]