May 26, 2022

IFLA Publishes Position Statement on Libraries and Data Mining

From  the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Web Site:

The IFLA Governing Board approved the statement December 4, 2013.

IFLA believes that legal certainty for text and data mining (TDM) can only be achieved by (statutory) exceptions. As an organization committed to the principle of freedom of access to information, and the belief that information should be utilised without restriction in ways vital to the educational and cultural well-being of communities, IFLA believes TDM to be an essential tool to the advancement of learning, and new forms of creation.

From the Statement:

Researchers must be able to share the results of text and data mining, as long as these results are not substitutable for the original copyright work – irrespective of copyright law, database law or contractual terms to the contrary. Without this right, legal uncertainty may prevent important research and data driven innovation putting researchers, institutions and innovators at risk.

IFLA does not support licensing as an appropriate solution for TDM. If a researcher or research institution, or another user accessing information through their library, has lawfully acquired digital content, including databases, the right to read this content should encompass the right to mine. Further, the sheer volume and diversity of information that can be utilised for text and data mining, which extends far beyond already licensed research data bases, and which are not viewed in silos, makes a licence-driven solution close to impossible.

Read the Complete Statement ||| PDF Version

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.