Q. May I send members of a journal club a copy of a journal article?
If the article is from a library or personally “subscribed” journal, look at the journal or publisher web site for conditions of use. Typically you will find this under “Terms and Conditions.” The publisher will state if an electronic copy of the article may be sent to club participants or if the article URL (persistent link) can be sent electronically or posted on a password protected website i.e. Blackboard .
For example, Wiley allows distribution of digital (PDF) copies for journal clubs. However the American Medical Association only allows print copies to be shared and you may not store, reproduce, or share copies in digital form. Each publisher has its own terms & conditions of use.
A photocopy of an article found in a print journal may be given to each member as these copies are considered “one copy per student” under Fair Use and becomes the personal property of the member. Scanning a print article and sending it electronically to members is considered “making multiple copies” and is not allowed under fair use.
UNMC versus Non-UNMC Members
UNMC faculty, staff, and students are allowed access to all subscribed library materials, both print and electronic. Non-UNMC journal club members may access library subscription materials when the member is on campus. They may make photocopies of print materials and may print out, email, or save to a portable device, i.e. flash drive using the library’s public access computers. Non-UNMC (unauthorized) users may not access electronic materials from off-campus.
If a journal club member is not from UNMC and does not subscribe personally to a journal, you may make a printed copy of an article to give them. Some publishers (e.g. Wiley) allow authorized users (UNMC faculty, staff, or students) to transmit ONE digital copy of an article to a colleague for educational or scholarly use. As mentioned above, each publisher has its own terms and conditions of use determined in each license. Check with the Library if you have any questions.