AI & Library Resources: An Explanation

November 3rd, 2023

How does generative AI work?

Use this link to go to the database policies page.

First, let's look at how generative AI works. Every time someone asks a question about text or images they have loaded into AI either by uploading a file, adding a link, or pasting in text, they are helping to train the model. The models always need more information in order to improve. Keep in mind- this is just an overview. The actual process is more complex than shown here.

6 step graphic titled "How does generative AI work" written by GPT4.,0

The reason this is tricky for copyright and licensing is that in general, once something has been entered into generative AI, the creator or license holder can't control if/how it is reused by the model. 

The only way to control this is to not enter private or proprietary content into a generative AI model. This is where the entities holding copyrights and providing licenses are stepping in and either adding or adjusting their terms of use to include circumstances where entering this content into generative AI is permitted or prohibited. 

What does this mean for the library?

When the library subscribes to a database we are required to agree to the resource's terms of use. Some have restrictions stating that the database can be used for educational or research purposes only and cannot be used for commercial purposes. One of the common requirements in the Krupp Library's subscriptions is that only authorized users are provided access to the resources, usually students, faculty, and staff- that's why you are asked to create an account or authenticate with your Bryant credentials for some of the databases.

The Krupp Library team does our best to work with our vendors to provide our users with the broadest amount of access possible so everyone can benefit from these tools (intellectual freedom) while also working to educate people about copyright (intellectual property). 

What does this mean for me?

This isn't a significant change to how you've been using the library resources in your coursework or research. You still have access to the same awesome resources as always, we're just asking you on behalf of the license holders to not enter content from certain databases into things like ChatGPT, Bing AI, etc. If you're not sure whether something can or should be used with AI we ask you to use your best judgment. If you get a feeling it probably isn't allowed, hold off until you can check with the library team. We'll give you the best information we can so you can decide what to do next.

What are the policies for each database?

The various database vendors notify the library of any changes or confirmations of their terms of use, and we're collecting them so you know what is and is not permitted when it comes to generative AI. You can view the individual policies on this page here as well as in the descriptions for the related databases on the Articles & Databases page. We'll do our best to provide you with updated information as soon as we receive it.


Ask the library! Call, stop by, or email us at Want someone to geek out about AI with, or just get you started? Email Allison Papini at and she'll be happy to chat.




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