Computer Use Policy

Meeting the information needs of library users is integral to the Mission of the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries. The library staff endeavors to develop collections, resources and services to meet these needs. It is within this context that the UTHSC Libraries offer access to the Internet and other electronic resources. Any health-related information searching is a legitimate use of these resources.

General Policy

  • Priority use of computers is given to UTHSC affiliates, area health professionals, and users seeking medical information. Health Science Center faculty, staff, and students must log in with their UTHSCSA Domain Username and Password.
  • A limited number of guest computers are available to the general public. Persons not affiliated with the Health Science Center must sign-in at the library Service Desk to use a computer and are limited to a maximum of one hour each day.  Additional time may be granted persons researching health-related topics. University sponsored e-mail programs are allowed and supported. Other web based e-mail programs may be utilized, but library staff may not be able to assist with problems.
  • Library computers may not be used for illegal, unauthorized, unethical, or commercial purposes. Please see the UTHSC’s Computer Ethics Policy and the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 33. Computer Crimes (http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.33.htm).
  • Authorized users of commercially licensed digital products such as electronic journals, books, and databases include UTHSC faculty, staff, and students and walk-in users of the UTHSC Libraries. Remote access to these digital resources is allowed only to UTHSC faculty, staff, and students.
  • Faculty, staff and students with UTHSCSA Domain Accounts may connect to the HSCwave wireless network at any library location.  Wireless networking is not available for other library users, but those users may connect their own computers to the Internet at designated laptop workstations.
  • Computer peripherals (other than personal storage devices or mobile devices) may not be physically attached to library computers or printers except in designated locations.
  • The decision to load personal software is made by library staff on a case by case basis. Personal software may be loaded with the assistance of library staff.
  • Library computer users are discouraged from storing personal files and documents on the Libraries’ computers. Computer users should save their work frequently to a USB drive, to a writable optical disc (i.e. CD/DVD), to an online storage service, or email documents to themselves.
  • All user data is erased from the Libraries’ public computers at least once a day and whenever a computer is rebooted.
  • Viewing of pornographic material may constitute a Class C misdemeanor under Texas Penal Code §43.22 (http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.43.htm#43.22) and may also violate the University’s policies on sexual harassment as stated in section 4.2.2 of the Handbook of Operating Procedures (http://www.uthscsa.edu/hop2000/4.2.2.pdf). Users of computers at the library should be aware of the public nature of shared facilities and should take care not to display images or play sounds that could create an atmosphere of harassment for others. For more information, please see the UTHSC Handbook of Operating Procedures Policy 4.2.2 (http://www.uthscsa.edu/hop2000/4.2.2.pdf). In addition, the university’s Internet Access Policy (http://www.uthscsa.edu/hop2000/5.5.10.pdf) states that “Accessing, posting, or sharing any racist, sexist, threatening, obscene, or otherwise objectionable material (i.e., visual, textual, or auditory entity) is strictly prohibited.”
  • Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a supervising adult at all times. An adult must sit at the same computer workstation with the child.  At the Ramirez Library, to comply with the building access policy, library users under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a supervising adult at all times.

Acceptable Uses

  • Accessing electronic resources provided by the UTHSC Libraries, such as electronic journals, books, and databases.
  • Use of Internet resources for academic, personal and/or professional study, communication, and/or networking.
  • Accessing the campus wired or wireless network anywhere in the library. Users with UTHSCSA Domain accounts may connect to the HSCwave wireless network using the instructions at http://ims.uthscsa.edu/computer_networking/network_wireless.aspx .
  • Syncing mobile devices.

Unacceptable Uses

  • Any viewing, listening, downloading or copying of material that constitutes copyright infringement, including making unlicensed copies of copyrighted CDs or DVDs.
  • Installation or use of unauthorized peer-to-peer software. See the UTHSC Handbook of Operating Procedures Policy 5.8.11 (http://www.uthscsa.edu/hop2000/5.8.11.pdf).
  • Viewing of material considered to be pornographic.
  • The institution reserves the right to audit and review access logs for any given user if it is suspected institutional assets were used in an inappropriate way.

Internet Use

  • The Internet contains a wealth of valuable information resources. However, users should be aware that some information may be inaccurate, outdated or offensive. Library users are advised to exercise judgment and discrimination when evaluating the usefulness and reliability of material found on the Internet. The UTHSC is not responsible for the content, security or reliability of web sites outside the uthscsa.edu domain.
  • Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users’ activities.
  • All persons accessing the Internet through UT System computers must abide by The UT System Information Resources Use and Security Policy (UTS 165, available at http://www.utsystem.edu/bor/procedures/policy/policies/uts165.html) or the UT System Information Resources Acceptable Use and Security Policy (INT 124, available at http://www.utsystem.edu/policy/policies/int124.html) and all Texas state laws and regulations concerning use of state property and computing resources.
  • Copyrighted works are protected regardless of the medium in which they are created or reproduced; thus, copyright extends to digital works and works transformed into digital format. Any copyright statements or symbols should be retained when printing a digital document. Please see the UT System Policy on “Use of Copyright Material” (UTS 107, available at http://www.utsystem.edu/policy/policies/uts107.html)
  • UTHSC personnel must abide by the HSC’s Handbook of Operating Procedures Internet Use policy 5.2.8 (http://www.uthscsa.edu/hop2000/5.2.8.pdf)

Printing and Digital Transmission of Documents

  • There is a per page charge for printing in the Library. The charge is 10 cents per page for TRAC accounts and 11 cents per page for departmental accounts.
  • A UTHSC ID can be used to create a TRAC account to pay for printing.  Service Desk staff provide guest printing and copying cards for users who do not have a HSC ID card.  The user must provide a valid state-issued ID and pay the total charge when they return the guest card.  Coins or bills cannot be used in the copy machines.
  • In some cases, users can download information to a USB drive instead of printing. Many library databases allow users to e-mail search results instead of printing. License agreements for some electronic journals, books, and other documents stipulate that users may not send a digital copy of an article or other document to other users. If in doubt about an authorized use of a commercially published article, book, or other document, please ask for assistance at one of the Service Desks.
  • No envelopes, labels or transparencies may be placed in the laser printers. Users may insert their own letter or legal size paper into the Manual Feed tray only.

Compliance

The HSC Libraries reserve the right to take appropriate action to ensure compliance with this policy. Library staff have the right to determine appropriateness of workstation use and can, at any time, require the patron to leave the workstation.

Policy effective November 20, 2012
Revisions approved by HSC Executive Committee

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