Yale University Library News

Know your limits: Download responsibly

February 8, 2017

Yale University Library provides access to an extraordinary wealth of online resources, including journals, e-books, and digitized archives.  Most resources are acquired through license agreements that explicitly prohibit systematic downloading of large quantities of content.  When large-scale downloading occurs (intentionally or unintentionally), publishers protect their content by shutting down our access.  Access may be blocked only for the IP address from which the improper traffic originates, but can also extend to the entire Yale network. 

Please help the Library protect its shared access to resources and be mindful of these limits.  Download thresholds vary by publisher, so the best advice is to simply avoid activities that could look like an automated attempt to download significant quantities of materials.  A variety of activities could look suspicious to a publisher including web scraping, high volume manual downloads, or even large retrievals of PDFs via EndNote.

If your research requires download of a large corpus for text or data mining, the Library may be able to help you gain access through alternative means. Yale researchers who need help getting started with a Humanities project, can visit the Digital Humanities Lab during their office hours. The StatLab can help with statistical analysis or projects in the Sciences or Social Sciences.  Staff in both locations can work with you and a subject specialist to identify potential resources.