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Using Electronic Resources

Use Policy for “Penn Only” Electronic Resources

The Penn Libraries license resources in support of the teaching and research mission of the University.  For that reason, use of Penn Libraries licensed resources is generally restricted to current students, faculty, and staff.  Most licensing arrangements restrict the access we can provide to other library users. Visitors to the library are invited to use the Franklin Catalog and Articles+, although access to many of the linked online resources is restricted.


Publications, databases, and associated content are copyright protected. All reproductions of copyrighted material must be for noncommercial educational “fair use” as defined by 17 U.S.C. 107.


Users should consult the terms governing use (often referred to as "Terms and Conditions" or "Conditions of Use") on the homepage of a resource to inform themselves of restrictions and ensure that their use complies with copyright and contractual restrictions. Publishers and information providers carefully monitor the use of their resources. Clear policy violations and suspected misuses can result in suspension of access for individual users. Such actions can also result in the cancelation of the service for the entire University.  In general, and unless otherwise noted, users should follow the guidelines below. 

Permitted uses

  • Accessing, searching, and browsing the database or publication.
  • Printing or downloading a limited number of articles, records, abstracts, or parts of chapters for personal use, teaching or research
  • Transmitting to a colleague (in hard copy or electronically) minimal, insubstantial amounts of licensed content for personal use or scholarly, educational, or scientific research or professional use but in no case for re-sale.
  • Using, with appropriate credit, figures, tables and brief excerpts from content in your own scientific, scholarly and educational works.

Prohibited uses

  • Use of robots or scripts to access licensed materials, automated reading and/or extraction of any data.
  • Printing or downloading excessive portions of a resource, such as entire electronic books, entire issues of journals or excessive numbers of search results.
  • Selling copies of content printed or downloaded.
  • Redistributing restricted electronic information to nonsubscribers or to nonsubscribing institutions. For example, posting material downloaded from these resources to a website or using these resources for commercial purposes. 

Please contact the Acquisitions, Access and Licensing Department for clarification of appropriate use and restrictions on a particular database. 

 All use must conform to the University of Pennsylvania’s Acceptable Use Policy on Electronic Resources.

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