UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections Usage and Feedback Policy

University Libraries, Unt Policy And Procedure Memorandum.

Summary

This document describes the policies governing the interaction of external users with materials in the UNT Libraries’ (UNTL) Digital Collections.

Scope

This document describes the policies governing the interaction of external users with materials in the UNT Libraries’ (UNTL) Digital Collections.

Access

UNTL acquires, manages, and preserves digital resources so that they remain accessible to its constituents over the long term. Although the UNTL supports open access and endeavors to make its digital resources accessible to all users, some items may have certain limitations on access due to legal, donor, and/or other restrictions.

The designation of access for a resource does not imply that the resource is in the Public Domain as many of the items in the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections are still covered under copyright. It is up to the user to investigate the usage limitations for items they are interested in reusing for the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections.

Categories of Access

The four categories of access currently utilized by the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections include:

Public Access:

Resource is available via the Web to the public around the world with no limitations on who can access the resource. (All public domain items and Federal Government Documents fall into this category.)

UNT Community:

Resource is available to anyone on the UNT Denton Campus, or by a current UNT Community member with use of a valid EUID when off campus.

UNT Community Strict:

Resource is available only to current UNT Community members who are required to authenticate using their EUID before each use, no matter their physical location.

Physical Premises:

Resources do not require authentication, but are only available in the physical buildings of the UNT Libraries, on computers connected to the Local Area Network (note WiFi cannot connect to these resources).

Embargoes

In some cases, materials are included in the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections under embargo, which is essentially a pre-release state. While the embargo is in effect, the digital resource is not available to any users, regardless of location or affiliation. When the embargo date passes, the digital resource automatically becomes available under the stipulated access level. Generally, materials become publicly accessible when the embargo expires, however, it is possible for items to have restricted access and be available to only the specified user group at the end of the embargo period.

Whenever possible, contact information will be included so that users can request a copy directly from the creator(s) while the embargo is in effect. However, we cannot guarantee that contact information is correct, or that a copy will be provided.

Rights/terms of Use

All materials in the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections are subject to specific terms of use.

Items in the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. The contents of the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections are made publicly available by our contributing partners for use in research, teaching, and private study.

Although the nature of archival and manuscript collections sometimes makes it difficult to determine the copyright status of an item, it is the end user’s responsibility to use it according to all applicable terms. Please contact the contributing partner for additional information regarding copyright status of a particular digital image, text, data set, or sound or video recording. The UNT Digital Libraries will make contact information for contributing partners publicly available.

Conditions of Use

By using the digital images, texts, data sets, audio and video recordings, and other materials in the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections, you, as user, agree to follow these conditions of use:

  • UNT Libraries does not have authority to grant or deny permissions to use images or content from resources that are in the public domain or items covered under a Creative Commons License.
  • Responsibility for any use of these materials rests exclusively with the user.
  • Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by copyright law requires the written permission of the copyright owners.
  • When using items from the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections, users should give proper credit to the contributing partner and the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections system from which they retrieved the item.

User Privacy

Surveys and Assessments

Information and data obtained by the UNT Libraries in support of assessment of services, collections, resources, etc., or in support of research related to depository services, are considered confidential and will not be shared except in aggregations or with the express permission of participants, to protect privacy.

Logging

The UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections access systems (i.e., The Portal to Texas History, the UNT Digital Library, and The Gateway to Oklahoma History) frequently track or “log” the actions performed by users of those systems using mechanisms common to Web server technologies.

Information from transaction logs are aggregated for reporting on types of use and use of materials. For this purpose, information regarding individual identities are removed.

These transaction log files are retained as a research dataset by the UNT Libraries for use in research, system modeling, or the identification of errors. If a valid research request for these log files is accepted by the UNT Libraries, only an IP anonymized version of the files is provided.

Authentication

The UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections makes use of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) as a mechanism to allow individuals who are affiliated with UNT to authenticate into the UNT Digital Library.

Google Analytics

The UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections uses Google Analytics, a Web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”) to help understand how the site is being used and to improve our interface and services. Google Analytics operates through the use of a “cookie,” which is a text file placed on a user’s computer that contains information about their use of the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections. The information stored in the cookie (including IP addresses) will be transmitted to and stored by Google. The UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections uses this information for analytical and feature-improvement-related purposes only. We do not transmit any information to other third parties. For more information .

A user can choose to opt out of this tracing by using one of the following methods:

Personally identifiable information in items in the repository

See Redaction Policy below.

Redaction And Removal Requests Policy

The University of North Texas Libraries work to acquire, preserve, provide access to, and disseminate recorded knowledge in all its forms.

Library staff may not remove content, in whole or in part, from our digital holdings without significantly affecting the quality and usefulness of our collections. Removals and redactions, no matter how small, create inconsistencies between the original materials and the versions preserved and presented by the Library. These inconsistencies hinder the trustworthiness and scholarly value of our collections to the detriment of our users worldwide.

We will not redact or remove portions of previously-published content from our digital library collections. Previously-published content includes newspapers, magazines, journals, books, archived websites, and newsletters.

Exceptions to this policy will be considered for content that contains certain types of protected information including health information, student records, financial information, and personally identifiable information, such as Social Security and driver’s license numbers. When submitting a request for removal of published content, please specify how the content falls into a class of protected information.

Requests for removal and redaction of materials which have not been previously published, such as content contained within collections of archival documents or photographs, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Some records generated by the University of North Texas may fall under the jurisdiction of the Texas Public Information Act (Texas Government Code Sec. 552). These records include, but are not limited to, UNT Board of Regents’ meeting information, annual budgets, and publications such as North Texan magazine. These publications are considered state records and may not be redacted or removed from the digital library.

As a result, examples of content that UNT Libraries do not redact are:

  • Public announcements (e.g., marriage, death, or birth records)
  • Materials added under valid, signed digital rights agreements
  • Information generated in a public forum
  • Information in the public record
  • Information in the public domain

If a digital object is identified as being online without sufficient rights provided to the UNT Libraries by the rights holder, the UNT Libraries will work with the rights holder to remedy the situation. The expected steps involved in the process include:

  • UNTL is alerted to a copyright or intellectual property challenge
  • UNTL suppresses the record and access to the digital object during the review period
  • A review of the resource, the partnership or rights agreements associated with the item or collection, and the issues brought up by the rights holder is conducted by UNTL staff
  • UNTL communicates with the rights holder the findings of the internal review, and if in error works with the rights holder to hopefully restore access to the resource. If an agreement is not made, then the resource remains suppressed from public access.

User Feedback

The UNT Digital Libraries receives a variety of comments, questions, and requests through various means, including:

  • Forms submitted from The Portal to Texas History, UNT Digital Library, or Gateway to Oklahoma History websites
  • Forms submitted through the UNT Libraries website, such as the “Ask Us” form
  • Direct contact via e-mail or phone calls with staff members

Responses

UNT Digital Libraries staff members answer feedback questions as received, within a reasonable amount of time, dependent on staff availability. In some cases, UNT Digital Libraries staff members may forward queries or comments to more appropriate subject experts instead.

Staff members will not answer questions that appear to be automated spam, questions that do not include an e-mail address for reply, or questions that contain inciting comments rather than relevant questions.

All requests for permission to use materials from the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections or to acquire high-resolution copies of image files must be directed to the contributing partner (see Rights/Terms of Use above).

Examples of Services Not Offered by Digital Libraries Staff

The UNT Digital Libraries do not:

  • Provide access to embargoed or restricted materials to persons outside the designated community
  • Provide appraisals for materials
  • Provide research assistance including genealogy research, or other services that do not directly pertain to the maintenance or usage of the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections
  • Provide technical support or guarantee the functionality of sites that are not operated or maintained by the UNT Digital Libraries
  • Directly sell copies (digital or physical) of materials in the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections
    • In some specific instances, the UNT Digital Libraries provide links to third-party services that sell a particular item, however, UNT does not maintain responsibility for those sites
  • Buy physical or digital items from individuals for inclusion in the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections
  • Provide legal advice in any form

Review Cycle

This policy will be reviewed and updated as needed with a full review every two years to assure timely revisions as technology progresses, expectations related to access, and digital library collections mature.

Dates

  • Approved: 09/16/15
  • Revised: 01/12/17

License Information

This Policy: "UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections Usage and Feedback Policy" by UNT Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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