The Wikipedia Library/Kit/Exchange policy

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Exchange policy:
Sharing sources

The Wikipedia Library doesn't have an overarching policy on using resource-sharing process like the Resource Exchange (en:w:WP:RX), which is a great and long-established service volunteers in our community provide to share individual copies of resources with other Wikipedia editors for a non-commercial, educational, purpose. It is common practice both on Wikipedia and in other research communities to share individual sources with research collaborators who need or request access.

We cannot give legal advice on how to use partner sources or discuss all of the individual cases in which a source could or should not be shared. We value the judgement of editors using donated access to do so in a way that improves Wikipedia and doesn't carelessly jeopardize our partnerships or incur personal legal risks.

When accepting subscription to a partner's resource, Wikipedia Library subscribers agree to follow the Terms of Use or Service put forward by our partners; each Wikipedia Library partnership's user expectations clearly describes this compliance. Moreover, the Wikipedia Library expectations guide subscribers to not share account access at a login level, nor to systematically scrape or disseminate a partner's materials. Other resource providers likely have similar terms.

Some of the Terms of Use or Service used by publishers recognize the ability to share with a limited number of individual research collaborators; others may not or explicitly do not. That leaves resource-sharing in a bit of a grey area. We want to encourage thoughtful sharing which advances our mission but without condoning behavior that violates the terms of access given by the publisher. Ultimately, the choice is up to you.

Here are some general tips if you decide to share content:

  • Check the specific partner page and Terms of Service, to see what expectations and/or limitations have been placed on access to a partner's resources.
  • Share content in a limited manner that is targeted at as few individuals as possible to achieve a specific improvement on Wikipedia.
  • Do not share your entire login access; share only an individual copy of a resource.
  • Share copies privately through email rather than with a publicly viewable link.
  • Recognize that you take on the individual risk when sharing content, and act in a way that is comfortable and safe for you.