New Exceptions to Copyright Applicable to Research: Text and Data Mining

In June 2014 a number of exceptions to copyright came into force: ‘text and data mining’, ‘research and private study’, ‘education and teaching’, ‘archiving and preservation’ and ‘accessible formats for disabled people’.


Of particular relevance to the research community will be the ability to use automated text and data mining technologies, to assist with processing large amounts of data for non-commercial research purposes. All types of copyright work are covered by this exception. It will no longer be necessary to obtain permission from the copyright holder to copy the work for analysis, provided the researcher already has lawful access to the content, for example, by using subscription content. The requirement to acknowledge the use of copyright works in these circumstances would probably be impractical and it would be acceptable to refer to the databases where the works were lawfully obtained. Prior to this exception, most non-commercial text and data mining concentrated on using licensed material, or documents published using the open access route. This exception will give a huge boost to those that want to mine facts for the benefits of efficiency, developing new knowledge and the broader societal and economic benefits that it may potentially bring.

In her recent blog post Extracting more information from scientific literature, Jacqui Hodgkinson explores the pros and cons of using automated systems versus manual text mining of published research. Expect to see both commercial and open source text mining applications proliferate to unlock the potential of text mining, now that the main barrier to using it effectively has been removed.

Further information is available from:
Content Mine project:

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