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University of Utah Library Guides

Mountain West Digital Library: FAQs

This is a guide for users of the Mountain West Digital Library. Here you can find links to other helpful websites as well as guidelines for conducting research.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to search each repository separately?

No, the MWDL portal by default searches all the digital collections on all our regional repositories at once.  (You have the option to search only one repository if you like. To do this, use Advanced Search to specify "Digital Repository" and type in the name of the repository.)

I am trying to look at a digital resource that came up in MWDL's search results, but, when I click on the link, I see a screen that says "System unavailable." Why can't I get through?

The records in our index link to digital resources hosted on repositories around the region, and sometimes those servers go down temporarily. Since most of our repositories are managed by university and college libraries, where staff works only during business hours, there may be no one around to restart the server.  Please check again after the start of the next business day in Mountain Time (Pacific Time for our Nevada repositories).

What is the copyright on digital resources found in the Mountain West Digital Library?

Most digital resources are copyrighted by the collection partner responsible for managing the digital collection. A few resources are in the public domain, but this is rare. The copyright is usually given in the metadata field called "Rights".

What usage rights are granted for digital resources found in the Mountain West Digital Library?

The usage rights that partners are willing to grant you varies.  A few of our partners grant specific usage rights up-front -- for example, using the Creative Commons licensing system -- right in the metadata for the digital resource.  Check the metadata under "Rights" or "Usage Rights" for this information, if it exists.  In those cases, you can use the resource as specified without contacting the partner.  Most partners, however, simply state that they hold copyright and give contact information for you to use to contact them to request permission for your specific use. Many partners have one-page Permission Request Forms you can submit asking for usage rights.  Most partners, but not all, will freely grant low-volume usage for non-commercial purposes, particularly for educational or personal use. Most partners, but not all, will arrange for you to pay a fee for high-volume and/or commercial use. The key is to contact the partner listed under "Rights".

How do I obtain permission to use digital resources that I found through the Mountain West Digital Library?

You will need to contact the partner that holds the copyright to the digital resource. Contact information is usually listed under "Rights" in the metadata for the item.

How do I give appropriate attribution to a digital resource found online? How do I cite it in my paper, presentation, etc.?

How you cite resources from the MWDL will vary somewhat depending on the type of resource that you are accessing and the citation format you are using (APA, MLA, Chicago). However, there are standard pieces of information that you will need to include in the citation, regardless of format. Most of these elements can be found in the metadata of each item.

I have found an error in the metadata about a digital resource. How do I get this corrected?

Our partners are grateful for the help of others in updating or correcting the information about digital resources. As you might imagine, many times the original metadata cataloger had little information to go on. Please contact the copyright holder of the digital resource. This information is usually in the "Rights" field in the metadata.

More FAQ Info

For a complete list of FAQs, visit the MWDL FAQ page.

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