Question for Nexis users

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  • Anyone here use and/or administer Nexis?

    My question is regarding the Alert feature. My understanding is that one can email an article to a single person or give a single copy to someone who is not a Nexis account holder. But is it proper to set up an email Alert for a single user in your organization who does not have a Nexis account (be it citation or full?)

    Thanks to anyone who has input on this.
  • Westofrome,

    I believe this is going to be determined by the terms and conditions in the license agreement that govern your use of Nexis more than it will by copyright law. License agreements fall under contract law, and as such they will take precedence over the provisions of federal copyright law (which is why we need to be very careful to read the fine print in such agreements and not sign away important rights, like fair use, but that's another matter...).

    I logged on to Lexis/Nexis on my campus and clicked the Terms & Conditions link that appears at the bottom of the main search page. These are the General Terms and Conditions (GTC). Your institution (or you personally, if you're an individual subscriber) may have a more specific agreement that includes information not included in the GTC.

    Sec. 2.1 of the GTC says that "only individuals authorized by the subscribing organization may access and use the Online Services." So it appears that whether or not a user in your organization can use the email Alert service comes down to how that phrase "individuals authorized by the subscribing organization" is properly defined. Does it mean that the organization is free to decide who is authorized? I don't see anywhere in the GTC where "authorized users" is defined, as I've seen in several of the license agreements my library has signed with other database vendors, so it seems unclear to me.

    In your case you said the person who would receive the email alert is actually in your organization, but doesn't have a Nexis account. I expect that would be less problematic than if you set up the alert for someone who is wholly external to the subscribing institution, but I'm afraid that's just speculation on my part. If your subscription price is based on number of users, and if the email alerts went to people who weren’t included among those numbers when the license agreement was signed, then it appears you’d be getting something for nothing and Lexis/Nexis might have reasonable cause to object.

    I'd suggest you run this by your legal counsel, or at least run it by the person responsible for signing and negotiating database license agreements in your organization. You might even call Lexis/Nexis and ask them, but I'd at least take a good look at the GTC beforehand so you know what it allows.

    (I should also add that my campus’ subscription to Lexis/Nexis doesn't include the Alert feature, so if Lexis/Nexis provides context-sensitive help for this feature I wasn’t able to see it.)

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