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Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources

Most electronic resources, including databases, ejournals, and other electronic content, provided by the university libraries are governed by license agreements that restrict use to currently enrolled GW students, faculty, and staff, and to walk-in users physically present in the Library. The use of each online resource is governed by applicable copyright laws as well as the terms of the license between GW and the publisher.

The following activities are generally prohibited:

  • Commercial use: Electronic resources licensed to the University are restricted to academic usage. Separate licenses, payments, and permissions are required for commercial use.
  • Downloading an excessive portion of a resource.
  • Electronically transmitting online content to non-GW affiliates.
  • Posting articles on a public website. 
  • When including an article in a Blackboard course, please post a link instead. For information on adding full-text resources to your Blackboard page, please consult the course reserves page or the Himmelfarb Library course reserves page.
  • Use of robots or spiders or other programs for automatic or systematic downloading of content.
  • Creating a derivative database from the electronic resource and making that available to others.
  • Sharing IDs and Passwords: As stated in GW's Acceptable Use for Computing Systems and Services, GW users should not share their UserIDs and passwords, nor should they enable anyone who is not an authorized user to gain access to materials licensed to GW.

Publishers and vendors carefully monitor web activity. Breaches of the license terms may result in loss of privileges for the individual and loss of electronic resource access for the entire University.

Specific terms and conditions for each electronic resource are generally available from a link on the publisher's site. If you have any questions about your intended use of the resource, please consult these terms or ask library staff for assistance.