Text and data mining (TDM)

Text and Data Mining (TDM) is a new exception to copyright infringement that allows for ‘computational analysis’ to be carried out without the risk of the University breaching it's obligations.

TDM can now be undertaken providing two criteria are met:

  • We have lawful access to the source material.

(This will normally be via a subscription held by the University, or where the source material is openly available.)

  • The analysis is undertaken for the purposes of non-commercial research.

(This means that the research must not be for commercial purposes.  it can be funded by commercial partners but the purpose must not be commercial in nature.)

All copies that are made under this exception must include a reference/ citation unless that is not practical/ impossible.

The TDM cannot be over-ridden by any agreement or contract which means that if even if a website tries to prevent TDM we are legally allowed to do it, provided the above criteria have been met.

However, owners of source materials may have technical protection measures on their services in order to maintain the stability and security of their platforms.  They are free to do this provided it does not unreasonably interfer with the exception.

Content providers can also introduce ‘added value’ measures, such as APIs that facilitate TDM activities and even enhance TDM functionality.  Please contact the Library (copyright@contacts.bham.ac.uk) before agreeing to one of these ‘click-through’ licences as they can place restrictions of your activity and researchers should assess the benefits of such schemes given the basic right to undertake TDM is now enshrined in law and cannot be overridden.

Useful Resources