Western Libraries

Licensed Use Guidelines for Electronic Resources

The University of Western Ontario (Western) has negotiated, on behalf of its user community, many license agreements for electronic resources. These agreements outline terms of use and protection of copyright.

Publishers regularly monitor usage and should unauthorized use be discovered and verified, permission to access a licensed resource can be blocked. Violation of a license agreement by anyone in the user community can potentially result in the cancellation of the agreement and the suspension of access for the entire institution.

It is the responsibility of each member of the Western community to be aware of and abide by the following conditions when using the electronic resources made available by the Library.

Licence conditions may be shown on the web site of a given electronic resource under such headings as "Acceptable Use", "Conditions of Use", "Terms of Use", or "Copyright". License conditions may also be indicated on an article saved or printed from a database or online journal.

Summary Table

Normally acceptable to:NOT acceptable to:

search, view, retrieve, and display content for non-commercial personal, instructional, or academic research needs

use electronic resources provided by the library for commercial purposes

download, print, copy, or temporarily save reasonable amounts (as defined by Canadian Copyright law) of the resource for non-commercial personal use such as scholarly research and private study

engage in systematic or substantial printing, copying or downloading of content (such as entire journal issues, financial and/or data sets, e-books, etc.)

download, print, copy, or temporarily save reasonable amounts (as defined by Canadian Copyright law) of the resource for educational use, such as teaching


share content with other current Western faculty, staff, and students

share content or right to access with unauthorized persons or organizations

post links to specific content in such a way that it is available only to other authorized users

post actual content or articles to web sites or listservs, private (e.g. a corporate intranet) or public

access the content remotely if you have a Western Identity (including a User ID and Password)

modify or alter the content of licensed resources in any way

Unacceptable use of Electronic Resources

User accounts with suspicious patterns of behavior are blocked from accessing the Western Libraries' proxy server. In addition Western ITS is contacted with evidence of the suspicious behavior and a request to have the Western computing account blocked.
When a Western computer account has been disabled, the user can no longer access any of the Western online services including off-campus access to library resources, e-mail, webCT, course registration etc. In order to reinstate access the user has to request ITS to reactivate their computer account.

Looking for an Electronic Resource License?

License permissions can also be searched by the name of an entire collection or package of electronic journals or e-books, for example: Elsevier ScienceDirect. For permissions related to a specific journal article, please use the Journals search instead.


Last revised on February 20, 2014