General Terms of Use for Electronic Resources

(See the Glossary of Licensing Terms for definitions)

James Madison University Libraries has contracted with a large variety of vendors and publishers to provide authorized users with thousands of electronic resources. In addition, JMU Libraries is pleased to offer access to resources purchased by the state consortium, The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA). Public, government, and other open access resources are made available on the Libraries’ website, as well.

Both the Libraries and VIVA have negotiated licensing agreements which specify the obligations of both the Libraries and the vendors. These licenses regulate the access, use, and reproduction of these resources. Additionally, the use of electronic resources must meet standards for fair use under copyright law. If license terms are violated by ANY user , the vendor has the right to temporarily suspend access to the user or for the ENTIRE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY. In some cases, licenses may be permanently revoked.

The specific terms of each license will vary from vendor to vendor, but below are some general guidelines to help users follow the terms of the agreements.

Unless otherwise specified in the resource record or within the resource itself:

The User May (with proper attribution): The User May NOT:
Print, copy, or download a single copy each of a limited number of excerpts (citations, abstracts, articles, or chapters). Print, copy, or download multiple copies or substantial amounts of excerpts, such as entire journal issues or books.
Use excerpts for scholarly or research needs. Use excerpts for commercial purposes.
Share excerpts with other authorized users. Share with third parties outside of the JMU community.
Make multiple copies of excerpts for instructional purposes under Fair Use guidelines. Post actual content to web sites or listservs.
Create links to specific content in Blackboard or other limited access platforms. Modify excerpts, integrate excerpts into other material, or create derivative works from excerpts without express written permission from the vendor or publisher.

Additionally, sources MUST always be properly cited, whether used in a published or unpublished document. The library offers CheckCite, a tool to help format citations, as well as a selection of style manuals.

JMU Libraries is not responsible for the privacy of any data shared across the Internet.  Our licenses specify that a vendor will make every effort to protect such data and the anonymity of the users and will not share private data with third parties.   However, web transactions are not always 100% secure and may, thus, be open to third parties.

If you have any questions regarding proper use of a resource, Ask the Library.

Use of many of the libraries' electronic resources is governed by license agreements which restrict use to the JMU community and to walk-in patrons.  Each user is responsible for limiting use to individual, noncommercial purposes, without systematically downloading, distributing, or retaining substantial portions of information.  The use of software, including scripts, agents, or robots, is generally prohibited and may result in the loss of access to these resources for the entire JMU community.