Rules for using digital sources

If you wish to use the digital sources at TU Delft Library, there are a number of important conditions to which you must adhere. The content of academic and scientific sources is licensed for users who are recognised as employees or students of TU Delft by means of an IP-number or a dial-up account.

What is and is not permitted?

There are many different licences in use which impose a range of restrictions. However, there is agreement about certain actions which users are not permitted to carry out with digital materials. Below you find a list of the most important infringements.

Systematic manual downloads

It is not exactly clear what publishers mean by the systematic downloading of content. Publishers will probably tolerate dozens or even a hundred downloads per hour without any problem. However, in the case of hundreds of downloads per hour or thousands of downloads in a single session, publishers will almost invariably interpret this as abuse and consider it to be an infringement of the licence. Access will then be blocked and the licensee will be taken to task for the abuse. You should therefore make sure you behave responsibly in order to prevent the University becoming a victim of your systematic downloads.

Programmed downloads: ‘spidering’

As well as systematic manual downloads, the use of a spider (webcrawler), intended to download data systematically from a specific website, is of course also forbidden. The use of spiders is permitted to create a local copy of pages found, in order to process and index these pages for search engines, but not as a means of archiving the content.

Copyright / re-use of materials

In many cases, the copyright on digital sources is in the hands of the publisher of the publication. It is not permitted to re-use the publications in one's own published work without the permission of the publisher. For works covered by Creative Commons or Open Access, the free use of academic publications is permitted under certain conditions. In all cases, you should check with the publisher whether or not you can re-use the information. Proper acknowledgement of sources is compulsory for all materials used.

Sale and transfer to third parties

It is prohibited for materials bought under licence to be sold to third parties. This applies both within and outside the institution for which the material has been purchased. It is also not permitted to make the materials available to third parties free of charge. Permission is always required from the publisher for materials to be made available to third parties. Requests for this should be made via the TU Delft Library licence managers.

Permanent archiving

Large-scale archiving of articles on a local server or the permanent use of such a server as an archive is not permitted – whether in collaboration with third parties or not. However, the temporary storage of archive material for personal use is permitted. Agreements with regard to the creation of centralised back-up files and the provision of archive files by publishers may only be arranged by the licence managers at TU Delft Library.

Making changes to original work

It is not permitted to infringe the copyright of an original work by compiling several original texts together in a single document or by amending the original texts. Processing materials in such a way is an infringement of the copyright held by the publisher or author.

This list is not intended as a set of binding legal conditions but rather as guidance for the appropriate use of academic material.

What happens in the event of misuse?

In the event of misuse, the IP address used will be blocked. In the most serious cases, the publisher will (temporarily) block all access for the licensee (TU Delft Library) to its information source. This will mean that noone at TU Delft will have access to that information at that time. In order to protect digital content across TU Delft, TU Delft Library will respond immediately to any abuse reported by publishers!