Electronic Resources Usage Policy

Electronic Resources Usage Policy

For university-wide shared use of electronic resources (such as e-journals, e-books, and databases), the University of Tokyo has concluded agreements with the providers (publishers, etc.) on usage, including the prevention of unauthorized use. As with printed materials, infringing on copyrights is also considered as unauthorized use.

As use of electronic resources is common these days, we ask that you reconfirm the "Instructions and Directions for Use” and use the resources appropriately to maintain university-wide access.

1. Prohibited acts

Prohibited acts in this context refers to the following acts.

  • Use by persons other than members of the University of Tokyo (faculty members, students, etc.) and persons granted access by the libraries
  • Downloading, copying, and printing theses or storing them on a hard disk, etc. for purposes other than individual academic research and education. In addition, their distribution.
    * Use of electronic resources for purposes other than academic research and education by individuals is prohibited.
  • Transmitting to a third party by electronic means
    * It is a violation to send downloaded e-resource data to all members of the academic mailing list, including non-UTokyo members.
  • Systematic or large-volume downloading or printouts Copying or downloading an entire issue of a journal or a large amount of data in a short period of time 
    * Reloading multiple times in a short period may be considered as unauthorized use. 
     Large-volume downloading and excessive use

2. Warning of unauthorized use

In the event of prohibited acts, the provider (publisher, etc.) may issue a warning and the use of such electronic resources may be suspended throughout the University of Tokyo without prior warning.
Please be careful, as such suspension would significantly interfere with studies at the university. 

Typically, the provider (publisher, etc.) can monitor excessive and unauthorized use based on access logs. It also enables automatic detection of systematic downloading using download assistance software and tools.
If unauthorized use is detected, the provider (publisher, etc.) issues a warning to the university that there was excessive access or a large download, and notifies the university of the date and time of occurrence and the IP address information of the user.

The response varies depending on the provider (publisher, etc.), but, for example, the following measures are generally taken in the case of excessive access or large-volume downloads.

  • A warning is issued requesting an investigation.
  • A warning is issued requesting an investigation, and access from the IP address is suspended.
  • A warning is issued requesting an investigation, and access to a certain range of IP addresses including the relevant IP is suspended.
  • A warning is issued requesting an investigation, and access across the university is suspended.

Libraries are required to investigate, respond, and provide future prevention measures regarding the circumstances under which the activity took place (accidental, intentional, use of download assistance software, manual, etc.) and to provide future prevention measures. In response to this, the library conducts an investigation into the use of electronic resources based on the information provided.

If the investigation shows that it was not an unauthorized use, the library informs the provider (publisher, etc.) of the fact, and if the access has been suspended, the library requests the provider to lift the suspension.

Refer to the precaution below, Large-volume downloading and excessive use, to avoid any use that could be mistaken for fraud as well as any obvious misuse.

*The information page "現在利用制限中です / Your account is currently suspended." may be displayed. In this case, follow the instructions on the guidance page. This message is displayed when the IP or access source changes frequently and is recognized as unauthorized.

3. Systematic and Large-Volume Downloading

(More on "systematic or large-volume downloading" that has been mentioned in particular.)

3-1. Large-volume downloading and excessive use

  • Regarding "large volume" or "excessive" use, there is no uniform rule as to the acceptable download amount. If there is a separate provision for the provider, it is within the scope of that provision.
  • Downloading resources is processed automatically by opening the full text in pdf format, but please consider downloading as an act of reading the full text and be careful “not to download (open) one after another at a time when you cannot read the text." Also, the provider (publisher, etc.) may consider that downloading is equivalent to saving resources on personal computer and issue a warning depending on the number of downloads. (The terms of use often state that downloading an entire issue is prohibited.) Please consider that the basic rule is to use theses only when necessary for research. If you want to read through the entire issue, it is recommended to use HTML format or refer to the abstract.
    • Systematic downloading by using download support software or tools may be considered unauthorized use and may result in suspension of such electronic resources university-wide, so please do not attempt to do so.
      Please note that systematic acquisition of data from electronic resources contracted by the University of Tokyo is, in principle, not allowed, including for text mining and data mining. If you need the data for educational research, etc., you may obtain permission under certain conditions by consulting the publisher or other parties in advance. Please consult ASK Service if you wish to do so.

3-2. Stop the browser's prefetch function

When using electronic resources, the act of accessing a large amount of resources in a short period of time is regarded as a breach of contract, and, as a result, the provider (publisher, etc.) may suspend access across the University of Tokyo.

Recently, there have been many cases where the “prefetch function” of a web browser caused unintended large-volume download and access.
The “prefetch function” continuously accesses links on a page in the background while the user is browsing the page. As a result, even if you think you are using electronic resources normally, you may end up downloading or accessing large quantities without realizing it.

Please disable this function by changing the browser settings when using the electronic resources.

How to disable the prefetch function in each browser (As of January 4, 2023)

  • Microsoft Edge (New Edge, Chromium Edge)
    Go to “Settings” – “Cookies and site permissions” and click “manage and delete cookies and site data.” Turn off “Preload pages for faster browsing and searching.” (There have been many reports of this occurring in Microsoft Edge (formerly Edge), but support it ended on March 9, 2021. Please use the new Edge.)
  • Google Chrome
    On the upper right of the screen, click the settings icon "" and “Settings.”
    In Privacy and Security, select “Cookies and other site data” and turn off “Preload pages for faster browsing and searching.”
  • Mozilla Firefox
    Type “about:config” in the address bar and press Enter.
    When the warning message “This might void your warranty” appears, click “I accept the risk.”
    * The following operations should be performed with care.
    Set “network.prefetch-next” to “false.”
  • Safari (Mac)
    From “Safari” on the menu bar, click “Preferences.”
    Click “Search” tab and uncheck “Preload Top Hits in the Background.”

3-3. Check the reference management software settings

Some reference management software has a feature that automatically downloads multiple PDF files at once. Please disable these functions, as they are considered large-volume downloads by the publisher. The following is a list of reference management tools commonly used at the University of Tokyo, but please check the settings of Zotero and other tools as well, and change them as necessary.


  • If you are using the purchased version,please disable the Find Full Text feature.
    • Set as follows. Open Edit → Preferences from EndNote's top menu. Select "Find Full Text" from the left menu and uncheck "Automatically invoke Find Full Text on newly-imported references" at the bottom.
  • EndNote online does not have a Find Full Text feature.
  • The browser extension "EndNote Click" does something similar to the browser's prefetch function. If you wish to use it, please do not register your institution and set "Use only free available PDF references".


  • Change the settings of "Mendeley Web Importer".
    • "Mendeley Web Importer" is a browser extension and a tool for reading the bibliographic information of the displayed page. At that time, if there is a PDF available, it will be a function to download together with the bibliographic information, but we will change the setting.
    • Click the Web Importer icon to display a screen for selecting which bibliographic information to import → Click "..." at the bottom right of the displayed screen to open the setting screen → Uncheck "Add PDFs if available". Please check "Display pop-up 'View PDF' button when PDF is located on a web page." →Click ”Back to list”. The Web Importer icon will display a screen for selecting which bibliographic information to import, so you can avoid batch downloading by selecting the necessary documents and using them.

4. The University of Tokyo Information Ethics Guidelines

Refer to The University of Tokyo’s Information Ethics Guidelines for appropriate use.
(Please see the "Guidelines for Information Ethics and Computer Use" on the above page.)

5Other notes

  • Account, ID, and password management
    • Please keep your UTokyo Account and password strictly confidential so that they will not be leaked to a third party.
      When using this service, please access from your own personal computer as much as possible. If you use the service from a computer that is not managed by you, the account and password you entered may remain on the computer and be misused by others.
      *Please do not ever enter your password, even when making inquiries.
    • For your UTokyo Account, please check the following.
      https://utelecon.adm.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/utokyo_account/ (utelecon)
    • Certain databases may use ID and password for access. It is prohibited to share such ID and password with anyone other than University of Tokyo members. Also, please be careful to dispose of your memos, etc. so that they are not leaked.
  • Other matters
    • Depending on your browser, some electronic resources may not be available.

      If they are not available, please try the following.

      • Check the recommended browsers and versions in the ”Database List” or the help page of the relevant electronic resource and use the one that matches.

      • Clear your browser cache.

      • Use another browser.

      • Check whether information on maintenance and malfunctions is posted in the ”Database List”, etc.