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Misuse of e-resources by individual users in violation of the Library’s license agreements with publishers may result in the suspension or termination of the entire University community’s access to Library-subscribed e-resources.

The use of Library-subscribed e-resources is governed by license agreements negotiated between the University Library and publishers/vendors. It is important that our users abide by the terms of these agreements so that the entire University community can enjoy uninterrupted access to Library-subscribed e-resources. Please familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of using electronic resources and adhere to the rules laid out below:

Authorized Users

  • Electronic resources are provided to current HKBU faculty, staff, students, and other authorized users only.


  • The entirety of the content of Library-subscribed e-resources is protected by the copyright of the publishers/vendors.
  • Users are warned that they are fully responsible for any legal consequences arising from the infringement of applicable copyright laws.

Appropriate Use

  • Users may download, save, and print a reasonable portion of text, search results, or other information obtained from e-resources provided they are used solely for studying, teaching, or research purposes.
  • Do not share your access password with others.
  • Do not copy and use information obtained from e-resources in your own work without proper attribution.

Excessive/Systematic Downloading

  • Systematic or programmatic downloading, copying, or archiving of an excessive portion of an e-resource in any form or medium is strictly prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Downloading articles one after the other continuously for a period of time
    • Downloading tables of contents, search results, or citations continuously for a period of time
    • Downloading the complete run of an e-journal
    • Downloading entire ebooks
    • Archiving of downloaded materials on local servers outside the control of the publisher/vendor without permission
  • If you are unsure as to whether your planned use of an e-resource constitutes excessive/systematic downloading, please ask the Library for advice.

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools

  • E-resource content should not be used in combination with third-party AI tools (including HKBU ChatGPT). Uploading of licensed content to AI tools results in the sharing of copyrighted materials with unauthorised third parties, infringing the rights of the e-resource provider. 

Text mining

  • Using programmatic tools to scrape database search results or downloading large amounts of data from databases for text mining can result in access being suspended for the entire University community.
  • If you are considering text mining or computational text analysis of a Library-subscribed e-resource, please ask the Library first to see if such usage is permitted under the license agreement.

Redistribution of Information

  • Reselling, redistributing, or reproduction of an e-resources content, search results, other output, or other information in any medium or form is strictly prohibited.
  • Posting retrieved/downloaded materials to a listserv, website, or email list is prohibited.
  • Redistribution of materials to non-subscribers or non-subscribing institutions is prohibited.

Consequences of Agreement Violations

  • Publisher/vendors reserve the right to monitor the use of e-resources and track account activity. If unusual activity is detected, the source of the suspected misuse will be traced.
  • The publisher/vendor may ask the Library to issue a warning to the user responsible, or even deny access to the e-resource involved to the entire University community.
  • Users are fully responsible for the legal and monetary penalties that may be applied by the publisher/vendor. The Library may also suspend violators from access to other Library-subscribed e-resources, or take other action as appropriate under the User Behaviour Policy.

Last updated: 11 June 2024