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Help : Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals

Frequently asked questions

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The service in general

Q
What kind of service is it?
A
The Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals is a service that allows you to use many digitized materials that are not available on the Internet as full-text images from devices such as personal computers. NDL official registered users who reside in Japan are eligible for this service. For more details about the registration procedure, please see the following pages:

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Q
What kind of materials are available?
A
Digitized materials for which images of the full text of the materials are not available on the Internet and for which it is difficult to obtain the original of for reasons such as it being out of print are eligible for transmission. Materials eligible for the service are those within the scope of the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries; specifically, about 550,000 books that were acquired by the NDL prior to 1969, about 20,000 rare books published during or after the Meiji period and Chinese books published during or after the late Qing Dynasty, and about 820,000 issues of about 10,000 periodicals published during or after the Meiji period that were published at least five years ago and were not published commercially. In total, as of May 2022, there are 1.52 million different materials available.

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Q
What is the difference between this service and the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries?
A
With the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries, users can use the service through terminals installed in partner libraries approved by the NDL. In contrast, the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals allows users to use the service from their own computers, etc., without limiting the location of use. Please note that the service is available only for materials within the scope of the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries (a total of 1.52 million items as of May 2022).

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Q
Do I need to pay a fee to the National Diet Library to use the service?
A
The service is free of charge. Please prepare your own device with Internet access and Internet connection. You will also need an available email address when you become a registered user via NDL Online.

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Q
Can simple registered users (formerly known as online registered uses) use the service?
A
Please understand that this service is not available to simple registered users. If you are already a simple registered user, please upgrade your user status to official registered user. This service is available to official registered users who have verified their name, present address and date of birth to use this service by the NDL, under term 3(1) of the Agreement on Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals by the National Diet Library as compiled by the Stakeholder Council for Digitization and Use of Library Materials, which comprises organizations of copyright holders, publishers and other interested parties, and experts.

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Q
Can I make copies or printouts of the materials?
A
This service is only for viewing (streaming), printouts of materials are not available. We aim to launch the print-out function in January 2023, and are currently making the necessary preparations such as system modifications.

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Q
Why can't I make a copy or printout?
A
The provision of printout functions requires that measures be taken to prevent or deter digital reproduction. Therefore, until the necessary measures are taken, the service will be provided for viewing (streaming) only. Please note that a remote copying service is available for materials subject to individual transmission. For more details, please see the Remote Photoduplication Service page.

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Q
What exactly is a "measure to prevent or discourage digital reproduction"?
A
It is assumed that a watermark and footprint, such as a User ID, will be added to the material.

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Q
Can I use the service from overseas?
A
At this time, we do not plan to offer this service to those who do not reside in Japan. This is because it is currently difficult to confirm the legality of overseas use of this service in accordance with local laws.

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How to use the service

Q
How can I use the service?
A
Persons who are already registered users
If you are an official registered user, you can view images of the text of materials to be sent through the NDL Digital Collections if you agree to the Terms of Service displayed when you log in to NDL Online. However, until December 2022, single sign-in will not be available between NDL Online and the NDL Digital Collections, so it is necessary to log in to both.
If you are a simple registered user (formerly known as online registered users), please upgrade your status to an official registered user. The procedure for upgrade is available at NDL Online, by postal mail, or in person at the NDL.
For details on user registration, please see the User Registration: official registration page.
Persons who are not already registered users
If you have never registered as a user with the NDL, please complete the registration process. You can register online via NDL Online, by postal mail, or in person at the NDL. For details on user registration, please see the User Registration: official registration page.

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Q
I can't see the image. What should I do?
A
Please check the following:
  1. That your User ID is valid.
  2. That your user type is "official registered user" and not "simple registered user."
  3. That you have agreed to the Terms of Service.
  4. That Country of Residence is set to "Japan."
  5. That you are logged in to the National Diet Library Digital Collections.
  6. That the Access Restrictions section of the content is not labeled as 国立国会図書館内公開 ("Available only at the NDL" written in Japanese).
How to confirm:
  • 1. If you are able to log in to NDL Online then your account is valid.
  • 2. 3. 4. Please see your My Account page on NDL Online to confirm.
  • 5. Apart from NDL Online, you can also login to the National Diet Library Digital Collections. Please login by clicking on the link on the Spotlight section on the top page of the National Diet Library Digital Collections. (Until December 2022)
  • 6. If the Access Restrictions section of the content is labeled as 国立国会図書館内公開 ("Available only at the NDL" written in Japanese), you will be unable to view it using this service. Please come to the NDL and view the content from the user terminals located in the NDL's facilities.

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Q
Do I need to agree to the Terms of Service?
A
You must agree to the Terms of Service to use the service. The Terms of Service can be viewed by clicking the View Terms of Service button on your My Account page after logging in to NDL Online. If you are a first-time user or if you haven't yet agreed to the Terms of Service, it will be displayed when you log in to the NDL Online. However, the Terms of Service are only displayed automatically for official registered users who reside in Japan, not for simple registered users (formerly known as online registered users) or users who have not yet agreed to the Terms of Service. It is not displayed for registered users who do not reside in Japan.

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Q
Are there any updates to the Terms of Service?
A
When the Terms of Service are updated, the Terms of Service will be automatically displayed again when you log in to NDL Online, and an email will be sent to your registered email address notifying you of the updated Terms of Service. If you wish to continue using the service, please agree to the latest version of the Terms of Service.

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Q
I have clicked "Do not agree" to the Terms of Service. How can I use the service?
A
Even if you have selected "Do not agree" once, you can display the Terms of Service again from the My Account page for viewing user information on the NDL Online. Please read the terms carefully and select "Agree."

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Q
Can I take a screenshot of the text image?
A
Article 31(5)(1) of the Japanese Copyright Act stipulates that "reproducing the work that has been transmitted via automatic public transmission, to the extent that this is found to be necessary to use the work personally", and so reproduction of the text images is permitted within the scope of personal use. There is a warning in section 6(1) of the Terms of Service for the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals, because the sending of screenshots of the text via email or uploading to social networking services (SNS) may be acts in violation of the Japanese Copyright Act. However, this is not intended to prohibit acts that are permitted under the Japanese Copyright Act, such as the application of rights limitation provisions.

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Q
Can I access materials that are being used by others at the same time?
A
There is no limit to the number of simultaneous views, so multiple people can access the same material at the same time.

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Q
Can I use the service within the facilities of the National Diet Library?
A
Users can bring their own terminals to any of the Tokyo Main Library, Kansai-kan, and the International Library of Children's Literature (ILCL) facilities and use the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals from the terminals they bring with them. However, printout is not available. If you wish to print out a copy, please use the user terminal provided at each facility.

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Q
Can facilities such as community centers and school libraries, which are not covered by the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries, also receive transmission of difficult-to-obtain materials?
A
This service is only available to individuals who have become registered users in advance, and not to facilities.

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Q
May I project the transmitted materials on a display at a training session?
A
It is possible for individuals who have become registered users in advance to publicly transmit received out-of-print materials for non-commercial purposes free of charge at facilities that meet certain requirements. For example, training and lectures can be conducted by projecting the materials to be transmitted on a monitor display. In order to do this the following requirements must be met: 1) the facility where the training is held must be public and 2) the facility must be staffed by librarians, assistant librarians, or other personnel with knowledge of copyright law in general.

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