Licence terms & conditions

The University signs a license agreement for each eResource to which we subscribe. These documents form contracts in law & as such are legally binding. Users of each of these resources must observe the specific terms & conditions for each resource that they use. There are usually links to the license on the publisher's web site & you should read these before starting to use the service.

Use of Library eResources is also subject to the University's IT Services Code of Practice & will require a valid UCard.

Who is allowed to use eResources?

Access to eResources is restricted to staff & registered students of the University of Sheffield. This includes visiting scholars, honorary staff and students' union staff who are still engaged in University activities. Such groups are normally termed "Authorised Users". Note that visiting scholars, honorary staff and  students' union staff will need a green Associate UCard to access eResources.

Some eResources are also available to "Walk-in" Library users who are not otherwise termed Authorised Users. In line with national developments the Library intends to make this limited group of eResources available via kiosk computers in selected libraries. This initiative is still under development at both national & local level.

From where can I access them?

Authorised Users are usually permitted to access eResources regardless of their location. Use from outside the U.K. may not be allowed in the case of a small number of eResources as specified by the resource vendor. If this is the case, instructions will be posted on the Library Web page for individual eResources.

What can I use them for?

For your course of study, private study & research. Use for commercial purposes is not allowed, but staff & students on projects funded by commercial concerns are allowed to use them for their personal academic work.

What is forbidden?

Commercial use is not permitted.  In some cases it is possible to request a waiver to permit limited use for commercial purposes and you should contact the Library if you think you may be in such a position. Unless a waiver is obtained through the Library, commercial use is forbidden.

You must not make systematic downloads of data for any purpose either manually or by using a computer program.

For example you must not:

  • Download all the articles from one volume or a single issue of an electronic journal
  • Use a reference manager tool to download all articles from a search

It is illegal to download and store data in large quantities.

Furthermore, on no account should you remove, alter or obscure any copyright notices or text from an electronic resource or make multiple electronic or print copies of articles.

Articles or text should not be distributed to unauthorised users by any means including email or password-sharing.

What can I do with the data?

You can read, download & print copies of individual articles for your personal use (research, teaching, private study). You must not copy the data into another database system or Internet site for use by people other than yourself.

If you wish to include an article or text within My Online Learning Environment (MOLE) or a reading list, please confirm that this is allowed by contacting the Library.

If you are in any doubt about your legal obligations or the extent of the data you may download, contact Library Help.

What about copyright?

You must respect the intellectual property rights of authors of material in the database. Additional guidance about copyright is available from the full copyright guide in the See Also box.