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Using Libraries

Electronic copyright

The principles of fair dealing apply to electronic materials in the same way as they do to printed materials, in general:

  • It is reasonable to download an article from an electronic journal for private study.
  • It is not appropriate to download an entire journal.
  • It is not permitted to download an article and then to post it on the internet, making it available to others.

Some general practical guidelines about copying electronically are published by JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) and the Publishers' Association. These notes are based upon a longer report produced by the same authorities, which considers the issues in considerably more detail.

Web resources

The ease of access to materials on the web does not mean that they are freely available for you to use and reproduce however you wish. Many sites will have a copyright statement which explains what you may and may not do. A considerable amount of material has been put on the web without permission from the copyright holder, this does not give you the right to use it yourself. Further information can be found at the IPO website.

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