FAQs for the Remote Eresources service

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Find answers to and guidance on our most frequently asked questions.

Published date:

Why can't I access all of your electronic resources?

The Library has licence agreements with publishers governing access to all its electronic resources. In the majority of cases these licences only permit access on Library premises. Licences for these resources permit the Library's Reader Pass holders access whilst at home.

I've registered online for a Reader Pass. Can I access these resources?

Not yet. You need to go to the Reader Registration Office, with your identification and proof of address, and collecting your photographic pass. You are not fully registered until you have done this.

I've got a photographic Reader Pass, but it's expired. Can I still access these resources?

No. You need to renew your pass in order to get access.

Why do I have to login to access these resources?

Our catalogue Explore the British Library is available for searching without the need to login first. The terms of our licences mean we can only provide access to authorised users; by logging in, you are proving you are a current British Library Reader, and can therefore access the resource.

For the Readex databases, what are substantial or insubstantial portions of data?

There are no fixed numerical limits as what constitutes substantial. It will be determined by Readex on a case-by-case basis taking into account a number of factors. These will include:

  • the resource used
  • the level of the user
  • the number of documents that a user may require for a particular search/research project
  • patterns of downloading. For example the systematic downloading of data could be viewed as inappropriate.

In no event shall such quantity of data from the resource reasonably substitute for a comprehensive copy of the resource or any of the documents in the resource database that could prejudice or diminish Readex's advantage in licensing the resource database for commercial gain.

Who's responsible for the content of these eresources?

The Remote Eresources service gives access to information provided by other organisations. The British Library has no control over this content and availability. The British Library does not assume liability for content made available by third parties.

When will I be able to access other electronic resources on my own device?

We are running the pilot for six months from July 2019, in order to assess the impact of providing access to our subscribed resources in this way. No additional resources will be made available during this time.

Providing that the pilot is successful, we will start a programme of work to enable access to other subscribed eresources via Readers’ own devices. We can, however, only enable access to a resource if the publisher licence permits it. We have hundreds of resources; it will take some time to transfer access to the new model, and we are unable to specify when a particular resource will become available on your personal device. 

I can access resources remotely via my public library. Why can't you offer me the same access?

Licences governing the use of electronic resources by public libraries are different to those governing the use by the British Library. We can only provide you access if the licence we have permits us to do so.

Who will have access to my data when I use these resources?

All usage of the Library’s electronic resources is logged. Logs are anonymised for normal purposes such as usage analysis and fault finding, but authorised staff will be able to track an individual Reader's usage in specific circumstances, for example, a breach of the Library’s Terms of Use.

Usage data is retained in line with the Library’s Privacy Policy.

Will I be able to access non-print legal deposit (NPLD) content on my own device?

No. Access to Non-Print Legal Deposit (NPLD) content is subject to legislation, rather than licensing agreements. Currently that legislation restricts access to a single user at a time in each legal deposit library, and so access has to be managed very closely via software expressly used for that purpose.

As NPLD is not subscribed content, we are unable to include it in this programme of work.

Why does Safari appear not to recognise the Remote Eresrouces website's security certificate?

The certificate we are using for our website is valid for Safari. If you choose to continue to the website you can access the remote resources.