Entitlements for accessing licensed resources

Electronic resources available through the Libraries are shared according to their licenses (i.e., contractual, legal agreements).


The University Libraries manages most of the University of Minnesota —Twin Cities campus licenses for electronic content. The University Libraries typically license access for the Twin Cities campus alone, as each campus has a separate library administration and budget. In some cases, the Libraries share licensing and associated costs with the Crookston, Duluth, and Morris campuses.

About licensed resources

A licensed electronic resource is an online resource that the University Libraries provide through a contractual, legal agreement. These include book/journal collections and indexing or reference type materials.

Who can use licensed resources

Licenses are legally binding documents that usually require that the University Libraries limit off-campus access to current faculty, staff, and students (in credit-earning courses) at the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. This is a non-negotiable part of the contracts the Libraries are required to sign and there are typically no fee-for-access options for persons not affiliated with the University.

The University Libraries is a resource for the broader community. In order to maintain community access to University Libraries resources, the Libraries ensure that all licenses allow the general public to access electronic resources from within Libraries' facilities.  

While each vendor has its own unique licensing language, most licenses allow authorized users to:

  • print/download/quote for teaching/research/personal uses, 
  • create links to specific articles, and
  • email articles to other authorized users.

Managing access

Most e-resource vendors limit access to the IP numbers of campus computers. Users who access library-licensed e-resources from off campus through the Libraries' web site must first log in with their University Internet ID and password.

For this login to be successful, each user must have either:

  • an active staff appointment that is recorded in the University's Human Resources Management System (UM HRMS), or  
  • a current student admission or registration that is recorded in the Office of the Registrar's web registration system (including the Graduate School zero-credit registration).

These users make up the official count of University of Minnesota — Twin Cities users that is reported to library vendors as the basis for license fees. Once properly recorded by the UM HRMS or Registrar, each user will have a library access entitlement or "flag" automatically added to their University Internet (X.500) account.

A student who is no longer registered is unable to access licensed library resources remotely. 

Human Resources Management System requirements

Faculty and staff must have one of the following employment categories or groups associated with their UM HRMS record for off-campus access to Library resources. If you believe you should have access off-campus access but don't, contact the departmental Human Resources office and ask that they verify that their UM HRMS record carries one of the following associations.

  • Pre-Start Hire
  • Regular CS/BU
  • Regular P&A
  • Regular Faculty
  • Academic (P&A and Faculty) without salary, with appointment
  • Clinical Faculty without salary, with appointment
  • Visiting Faculty or P&A without salary, with appointment
  • Regents
  • Temporary Posted
  • Temporary No-Post (CS/BU)
  • POI-Affiliate

Note: Each individual needs to be providing a service to the University of Minnesota to gain online access to electronic resources. A "sponsored account" does not officially document a service relationship with the University of Minnesota and is thus not eligible for remote access to the Libraries' electronic resources. Visiting Faculty are represented in the Human Resources Management System in varying ways, but only those who provide a service to the University that meets the Human Resources criteria above qualify for remote access.

Contact the Office of Human Resources for assistance.

Off-campus access for programs or more loosely affiliated individuals

The primary requirement for remote access to electronic resources is that individuals have an official, properly documented service/student relationship with the University. For individuals affiliated through a University program, the relevant unit or academic department must make this determination of affiliation. Designations of affiliation can then be recorded in the UM HRMS by their departmental HR office.

Access for summer institutes/programs

The temporary / seasonal nature of summer programs does not matter. Any type of visiting staff must still have an official University appointment, recorded in PeopleSoft. Note that such an appointment can be "without salary, with appointment."

Any type of visiting student must still be registered through the Office of the Registrar. Departments who need assistance in setting up a registration protocol for their summer program should contact the Office of the Registrar directly.

Coordinate campus access exceptions

Though the Medical School, Duluth, and the College of Pharmacy, Duluth, are on the Duluth campus, they are integral parts of the Academic Health Center, Twin Cities. Thus Duluth's med school staff and affiliated students carry associated Twin Cities Library access privileges.

Some Duluth faculty are formal advisors for Twin Cities graduate students. As such, they are considered dual appointment staff and carry both Duluth and Twin Cities Library access privileges. Any faculty with multiple appointments across campuses should obtain the library privileges for each campus (e.g. a Crookston faculty member who is also a faculty member in the Twin Cities campus Extension Service thus gets both Crookston and Twin Cities access privileges).

The Rochester campus is considered administratively part of the Twin Cities, so their staff/students have the same remote access privileges as Twin Cities-based users.

Limited use of proxy cards for physical materials

The University Libraries' Proxy Card is for checking out materials only. Borrowing privileges do not extend to electronic resources, which are governed by legally binding contracts with publishers. Sharing of one's U of M Internet account password with anyone is forbidden by University policy and by our database contracts.

Responsibility for enabling access to licensed resources