virtual reading room

n. an online research environment in which the discoverability and/or downloading of materials is deliberately limited, and/or access is restricted to researchers who have created a limited-term account and agreed to terms of use similar to those that apply in a physical reading room of an archives an online environment in which digital materials are made freely available


As applies to the first definition, discoverability may be deliberately limited through restrictions on search engine crawls of full-text content or limited to data mining while restricting researchers from downloading materials. The purpose of limiting access is to provide remote availability of research materials while protecting the repository by: limiting discoverability of potentially private or copyrighted content, shifting accountability for violating fair use to researchers, and demonstrating intent to provide access only for educational, personal, or research purposes.