Copyright issues for electronic information

Copyright protection means that you can only use electronic work – e.g. HTML or PDF documents, computer programs or files of statistical data – within the scope of the authorisation imposed by the copyright owner.

This usually means you can print/download a single copy for personal use for private study and research.

The following kinds of use are normally prohibited unless you have the permission of the copyright owner:

  • copying or reproduction e.g. making multiple photocopies of an HTML or PDF document
  • distribution e.g. downloading a PDF file and sending it as an email attachment
  • republishing e.g. putting a document protected by copyright on a web server for others to access
  • alteration e.g. removing any proprietary marking or copyright statement from any copy made
  • systematic downloading e.g.downloading a copy of every article in a journal in order to create a local archive.

The College has separate licences with publishers governing use of electronic journals and databases.  These require staff and students to comply with the terms and conditions and copyright restrictions, normally listed on the homepage of the service or publisher.

Please note: General copyright law prohibits the placing of journal articles in a Virtual Learning Environment such as QMplus but some licences may allow for this.  You must make sure you have permission to do so before going ahead.

Privacy

When you search for and/or access bibliographic resources such as journal articles, your request may be routed through the UK OpenURL Router Service (openurl.ac.uk), which is administered by EDINA at the University of Edinburgh.  The Router service captures and anonymises activity data which are then included in an aggregation of data about use of bibliographic resources throughout UK Higher Education (UK HE).  The aggregation is used as the basis of services for users in UK HE and is made available to the public so that others may use it as the basis of services.  The aggregation contains no information that could identify you as an individual.