All publicly available materials, either in print or in electronic formats, are subject to copyright legislation.

Material produced by the UKHSA is subject to Crown copyright. Please refer to the Publications page (UKHSA Intranet) for more information.

For all other materials, we are, at present, covered by the NHS copyright licence. All staff must follow the guidance, contact [email protected] if you are in any doubt.

Our licence

The licence gives us certain rights and permissions to make limited copies from materials that have been purchased by the organisation, for example, articles from print and online journals to which the UKHSA subscribes or books that have been bought by UKHSA.

It does not cover copying from your own personal subscriptions unless you have donated these permanently to the library.

The licence covers

  • photocopying
  • scanning a paper copy to PDF
  • copying of digital content, for example from an online journal


You may copy for the following reasons

  • private study
  • non-commercial research
  • other non-commercial reasons, including journal clubs, media and PR


Please remember

  • material required for commercial purposes will need to pay an additional copyright fee
  • PDFs obtained under the NHS Copyright licence should not be placed on a publicly available website
  • digital copies may not be stored on a server, or systematically indexed, with the intention of creating an electronic library or similar corporate information resource. However, you may store digital material that you need to share with colleagues in the same work group
  • you can only use material obtained within UKHSA for UKHSA -related work


You may copy the following amounts

  • either 5 per cent or a single chapter of a book, whichever is the greater
  • up to 2 articles from any single issue of  a journal or, where the issue or a substantial part of it is dedicated to a particular theme, any number of articles dealing with that particular theme
  • up to 2 letters per issue of a journal – letters should be treated as an article


You may not copy

  • newspaper articles
  • articles excluded from the licence – this applies to some US publishers. Check the list
  • images or multimedia (unless you have written permission)

Further information on the NHS copyright licence

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