Michigan State University

Terms of Use for Electronic Journals and Other Electronic Resources

Electronic Resources: Terms of Use

The MSU Libraries subscribe to numerous electronic journals, databases and similar resources through licenses. The publishers and distributors of these resources require compliance with the terms and conditions of use of these products. Violation of the terms of use may result in loss of access to the resource and termination of library privileges. With some exceptions, access is limited to current MSU students, faculty and staff and to members of the general public on a walk-in basis, for non-commercial research purposes. Keep the following guidelines in mind:

Generally Permitted: 

  • making limited printed or electronic copies
  • using for personal, instructional or research needs
  • sharing with MSU students, faculty, and staff
  • posting links to specific content
  • screening a library-purchased streaming film for a group of MSU faculty, staff, or students

Generally Not Permitted:

  • systematic or substantial printing, copying or downloading (such as entire journal issues or books)
  • selling or re-distributing content, or providing it to an employer
  • sharing with people other than MSU students, faculty, and staff
  • posting content or articles to web sites or listservs
  • modifying, altering, or creating derivative works
  • screening a library-purchased streaming film for non-MSU people unless you have obtained public performance rights.  

Note on Special Uses (please ask if you are planning projects like these):

  • Text and data mining are allowed for some of resources but not others.  Generally, you must contact the vendor/publisher directly to request permission for this use.
  • Use of library electronic resources in combination with an AI (artificial intelligence) tool is not allowed by some of our licenses.  

Individual licenses and copyright law have other specific guidelines. Many resources post a "terms of use" link for users to view their rights. When in doubt about use or for questions, please contact Susan Kendall, Head of Collection Strategies and Copyright Librarian.

All use is governed by the MSU Acceptable Use Policy and academic standards regarding plagiarism. Please note specifically section 3.2.1 of the Acceptable Use Policy: "When using MSU IT resources or resources owned by third parties that are accessed using MSU IT resources, Users must comply with all applicable federal and state laws, all applicable University rules, ordinances, and policies, and the terms of any contract or license which governs the use of the third-party resource and by which the User or the University is bound".