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Responsible Use of Electronic Resources



General Guidelines

Electronic resources available from the BC Libraries are licensed by Boston College University Libraries for non-commercial use by authorized users for educational or research purposes.

Use of electronic resources is subject to Copyright Law and license agreements which govern the access, use and reproduction of these resources. If these terms are violated, a license can be temporarily or permanently revoked. It is very important that all library patrons abide by terms of copyright laws and license agreements to ensure that the entire campus community has access to electronic resources without interruption.

Usually permitted

  • Making limited print or electronic copies (such as a single article.)
  • Using for personal, instructional or research needs.
  • Sharing content or password with authorized users.
  • Posting links to specific content.
  • Quoting with proper citation.


Usually not permitted

  • Excessive or systematic or substantial printing, copying or downloading (such as entire journal issues or books).
  • Using for commercial purposes (such as selling or re-distributing content.)
  • Allowing anyone other than authorized users to access the licensed resources, this includes sharing password.
  • Posting excessive amount of actual content or articles to websites or listservs.
  • Modifying, altering, or creating derivative works.
  • Removing copyright, trademark and proprietary notices.

Gray Areas

Some resources allow electronic reserves, course packs, multiple copies for classroom use and interlibrary lending. Others explicitly forbid one or more of these activities. Some publishers do not allow sharing their content with non-BC users, and only allow this activity with other authorized users within the Boston College community. For instructions on how to see license information for a specific electronic resources see instructions on how to access licensing details for individual resources.

Contact for help

Email us for any assistance with library electronic resources.