Conditions of Use and Licensing Restrictions for Electronic Resources

The Montana State University Library subscribes to thousands of electronic journals, books, and other databases for use by authorized users (current faculty, students, and staff, and in most cases on-site visitors). The terms and conditions for using these resources are set out in electronic resource license agreements with each publisher. It is the responsibility of individual users to ensure their use of electronic resources does not breach the terms and conditions specified in the license agreements. Licenses vary from publisher to publisher; however, the general principles are:




  • viewing, downloading, copying, printing and saving a copy of search results

  • viewing, downloading, copying, printing and saving individual articles

  • using e-resources for scholarly, educational or scientific research, teaching, private study and clinical purposes

  • sending a copy of an article to another authorized user (i.e. current faculty, students or staff)

  • posting the URL to the publisher's version of the article on a class website (when posting a URL, include the MSU Library proxy prefix to ensure off-campus access for authorized users)


Not Permitted:

  • use of robots or intelligent agents to do systematic, bulk or automatic downloading is not permitted

  • systematic downloading or printing of entire journal issues or volumes, or large portions of other e-resources is not permitted

  • using e-resources for commercial gain is not permitted (i.e. reselling, redistributing or republishing licensed content)

  • transmitting, disseminating or otherwise making online content available to unauthorized users (i.e. sending to mailing lists or electronic bulletin boards) is not permitted

  • posting the publisher's version or PDF of an article to an open class website is not permitted (instead, post the URL to the article which will allow only authorized users access)


Breaches of the University's contractual arrangements with publishers could result in the suspension of access to the resources for the entire Montana State University community.