A: When you post a PDF on the internal website or server, you are taking the copy that the publisher provides for your own personal use and redistributing that copy. One of the “rights” of the copyright holder (i.e. the publisher) is to redistribute the work.
Publishers do not consider the following to be fair use:
Posting a PDF file of an article:
- on an internal web page
- on an external web page
- in a database or file accessible to many different people
In addition to complying with the copyright law, the libraries who subscribe to online journals also have to comply with license agreements, which further restrict access.
While you cannot post PDF articles on internal websites, external websites or databases, you can post links to those articles.
Please note that copyright law applies to Open Access titles as well as paid subscriptions! This means that a link, not a PDF copy, must still be used even for Open Access articles and files.