Using Copyrighted and Library Content

Find out how you can legally and ethically use copyrighted and library content in your academic research, instruction, essays & writings, and creative projects. Legal disclaimer: this copyright guide is meant for informational & educational purposes only.

Library Research Guide

How Does a Patron Relate to the Library's License?


This page will assist you in understanding how a patron is an "authorized user" and how license terms appear with the search results to guide how a resource may be used.

There is a clause in every license with a library vendor that names the "authorized users" of the resource. As a land grant institution, we try to attain rights for walk-in users, which means that members of the public can come to a physical library site and access an electronic resource through a computer connected to the local network or computer in the library. Some of our scientific resources have restrictions that cannot guarantee this opportunity for the public. Other authorized users include affiliated researchers, currently enrolled students, and active faculty and staff.  

The authorized users of a library license must adhere to the terms of use specified in a license. The library has technology in place to restrict unauthorized users from accessing the electronic resources. Terms of use can refer to Interlibrary Loan services, authorized search activity of the resource during a search session, use in online course preparation, and scholarly sharing. We understand that it may be confusing navigating the terms of use for every library resource, and that is why we encourage reaching out to a librarian for further clarification.  

Electronic Resources Licenses and Terms of Use in Search It (Primo)

  Search It View It tab with license terms option

Search It License Terms

 A "license" is a contract between a library and a vendor specifying how to use an ebook, journal article, streaming video, or database. Terms of use (shown above) linked to Search It are interlibrary loan permissions, scholarly sharing permissions, distance education permissions, remote access, and walk-in use.

Please note: When a license field says "silent" it means that the license does not indicate whether or not a permission is given on a matter.

When Accessing Results on Google Scholar

Full text available through a library license is sometimes shown in Google Scholar search results. If you click on "Get it @ KSU", the link will go to a Search It menu showing which Kansas State University databases make this accessible.

Google Scholar result for K-State resource