When and where deposited electronic publications are available for access

Deposited electronic works are not made available for use until at least seven days after they are deposited or harvested. After then, deposited works may be made available for access by users of the legal deposit libraries.

The Joint Committee on Legal Deposit has agreed as follows:

  • The Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 defines a reader  as 'a person who, for the purposes of research or study and with the permission of a deposit library, is on library premises controlled by it', and the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013 set out the terms on which works may be displayed for readers 'on library premises controlled by the deposit library'
  • This means that deposited works may not be made available online, including for readers logging in remotely. They can only be viewed on the premises of the six deposit libraries defined in clause 14 of the Act and, for legal publications, the library of the Faculty of Advocates
  • The Secretary of State has confirmed that 'these regulations do not unreasonably prejudice the interests of persons who publish works to which these Regulations relate'. Relevant considerations include the scope (i.e. number and spread) of locations in which deposited material may be used, and the security arrangements governing access in those locations. In connection with these, if in future any change is proposed that a member of the Joint Committee on Legal Deposit regards as unreasonably prejudicing publishers' interests, the Joint Committee will discuss the proposals in accordance with the dispute resolution process and, if appropriate, ask the Secretary of State to review the regulations.

Access to electronic legal deposit material

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