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Text & Data Mining



This guide is intended to help researchers and librarians find the content, tools, training and other assistance available to engage in successful text mining research at Boston College.

Policies for Mining Licensed Content

If you wish to undertake a text or data mining project with content from the Libraries’ licensed databases, please contact a Subject Librarian to investigate options, which may include negotiating with the vendor or purchasing access to the data. Although many database licenses prohibit text and data mining and the use of software such as scripts, agents, or robots, we are actively negotiating text mining rights with database vendors. Unauthorized text or data mining in violation of our licenses can result in loss of access for the entire Boston College community.

Best Practice Tips

  • We can help you contact database publishers. If you want access to information that you can’t easily access through a database, we can help you get in touch with the right people at the database publisher and identify what options you might have. Options may include choices of delivery methods and negotiations regarding authorized uses. We can also provide assistance throughout the process of working with the publisher.

  • This may take time. If you are considering a text or data mining project, you should contact us early in your process as publishers may be slow to respond to requests for data and negotiations may take time, particularly since this is not a topic that all publishers have considered.

  • Publishers may charge for access to their data. Some publishers offer access to text and data mining projects only if the user pays an additional fee. Alternatively, some may sell their data separately specifically for this purpose. We can help you to identify the most economical and efficient method of getting the access you need.

  • Open Access alternatives may exist. Depending on the nature of your research, there may be Open Access journals, databases or datasets that you can use. We can help you to identify whether such a source would work for your project.

  • We can assist with data management and preservation during your project. The Digital Scholarship Group can provide assistance with text mining techniques and project management. Once you’ve accessed the data and your project is underway, we can also provide assistance with your data management or preservation needs.

‚ÄčAdditional best practices for working with your data are available on our Data Management guide.

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Lester Carver
315 O'Neill Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Model Licenses

Several libraries and associations have developed model language to be included in content licenses in order to assure the ability to text/data mine content.