Examining Electronic Resource Access Policies for Unaffiliated Patrons at ARL Libraries

Peter Fernandez


This study investigates the posted policies of publicly funded Association of Research Libraries (ARL) to determine if and how they moderate unaffiliated users’ access to their digital collections. It uses the lens of print collections to illustrate how unaffiliated users access has evolved in reaction to electronic resources. The majority of policies examined allow unaffiliated users’ to access electronic resources but use a variety of methods to moderate and control how unaffiliated patrons can access these resources.  The four most common methods of moderating access are: content, affiliation, time limits, and authentication. This research has significance for other libraries attempting to craft their own policies.


academic libraries; ARL libraries; e-resources; collection development; public access; policies

Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.