Database Usage Guidelines

The University Libraries contract with a variety of vendors and publishers to provide users with thousands of databases and other electronic resources (abstracts, e-journals, full text, etc.).

Responsible Use of Databases

In addition to paying for these resources, the Libraries typically negotiate license agreements that stipulate how and by whom they may be used. If license terms are violated by anyone, licensors usually have the right to temporarily suspend access for the entire community. In some cases, licenses can be permanently revoked.

Database and electronic resources accessible through DU Libraries are licensed for scholarly, research, and educational purposes, and are not intended for commercial use. Misuse of database and electronic resources could result in the entire DU community’s loss of access to these resources, and patrons who misuse database and electronic resources may be subject to University disciplinary policies.

You can help prevent problems with our electronic resource providers by adhering to acceptable, and avoiding unacceptable, use.

Acceptable Use

  • Making limited print or electronic copies (such as single articles)
  • Using for personal, instructional, or research needs
  • Sharing with DU faculty, staff, and students
  • Posting links to specific content

Unacceptable Use

  • 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 DU faculty, staff, and students
  • Posting actual content or articles to web sites or listservs
  • Modifying, altering, or creating derivative works

Always acknowledge the source of any published or unpublished research when using data found in databases.

Some resources allow inclusion for electronic reserves, course packs, and multiple copies for classroom use and interlibrary lending. Others explicitly forbid one or more of these activities. If you have questions about content usage, contact

Sharing with Non-DU Users

Peer-to-peer informal sharing with non-DU users for research, teaching, and educational purposes may be permitted. For example, if you are working with a colleague at another institution and wish to share an article of mutual interest, you may send that article in print or electronically if this use is allowed. Some publishers do not allow sharing with non-DU users, and only allow this activity with other authorized users within the University of Denver community.

See the University Libraries' Fair Use and Copyright Statement for more information.

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