THIS POLICY WAS LAST MODIFIED ON: April 27, 2011
The ProQuest promise
The digital world is uncertain, but we try hard to make the ProQuest Sites safe and secure because we understand your privacy is important to you. This Policy was created so that you can make informed choices about your activity when you visit the ProQuest Sites. The Policy sets forth the manner in which your information may be used. We promise to inform you about what we collect and to make efforts to keep your information safe.
To assist you in making informed choices about which ProQuest Sites you wish to visit, and how you wish to operate once there, we have developed this Policy. In addition, we continue to make efforts to provide you with a link to this Policy (or to a relevant portion of this Policy) whenever personally identifiable information is collected online.
ProQuest is a large company and it collects information in different ways. This Policy applies only to personally identifiable information we collect online through your use of the ProQuest Sites unless otherwise specified.
What sites are covered
What is personally identifiable information
We define personally identifiable information as information that, if collected and reviewed, could uniquely identify you, or in some cases, be used to locate you ("Personal Information"). For instance, your full name, coupled with your email address, is likely to personally identify you. Under the law, Personal Information is defined broadly and may include, for example, your full name coupled with other information, such as a national identification number (like a social security number), an IP address, your mobile phone number, your birth date, and/or your residence address could also be defined as Personal Information.
The ProQuest landscape
The ProQuest Sites do not automatically collect your Personal Information through your use of our Sites unless you choose to share it with us. If you choose to provide your Personal Information in connection with your use of any of the ProQuest Sites as described herein, we will collect the Personal Information you provide to us such as your first and last name, email address, physical address, Institution, title/role, academic subject area, degree, research interest, degree pursued, credit card or financial information, and/or other information that you share with us.
Some ProQuest Sites do not allow you to provide and do not collect any Personal Information from you through your use of the Site and may either require no password at all or a single authentication method (such as a single Institutional password, group code and/or account ID used by everyone) (collectively "General Authentication Information") allowing full access to all aspects and features of the Site. This General Authentication Information allows us to determine whether you are entitled to access and use the Site (and its materials and services) but because it is not based upon one user's use, it cannot be used to identify you personally.
Other ProQuest Sites, including but not limited to the ProQuest search platform located at http://search.proquest.com/ (including related domains and platforms) (collectively "Platform") and our interactive community and/or professional networking Sites (collectively, "Interactive Community Sites") such as GradShare http://www.gradshare.com and AtmosPeer http://www.atmospeer.net provide you access to a portion of the Site (such as viewing limited content) without requiring you to enter Personal Information but also provide you the option of entering your Personal Information to access and/or use additional features or services on the Site such as signing up for a trial offer or product training; purchasing our products/service; posting or sharing content; collaborating with other users; tagging, sharing, annotating or saving documents and content; establishing alerts; creating a personal account or other account (collectively, "Account") and/or or profile, including a public profile (collectively "Profile"); emailing documents; voting on questions, and/or requesting information regarding our products or services.
Some Sites may require or allow you to provide or create a unique ID, username, email address, and/or password ("Unique Authentication Information") in order to log in to the Site or authenticate your access to the Site. Unique Authentication Information is uniquely tied to you and may be used to identify you. For those Sites that require Unique Authentication, we may collect any Personal Information you provide in connection with your creation of your Unique Authentication Information.
Some of our Interactive Community Sites, such as GradShare http://www.gradshare.com may allow you to connect to the ProQuest Site using a Third Party Site such as Facebook. If you connect to a ProQuest Site via a Third Party Site, we may collect information from the Third Party Site with which you connect. For instance, if you connect to a ProQuest Site via Facebook, we may collect certain information from your Facebook account, which may include, without limitation, your Facebook User ID, any Facebook posts, Facebook friends, the amount of activity (i.e., comments, likes) that may occur in response to posts, certain demographic information and other information to the extent that you elect to make it publicly available on Facebook. We may use such information to allow you to continue to connect to such Third Party Sites while on the ProQuest Sites, and to complete your requests but we do not store the information we collect from your Facebook account except for as specifically and minimally allowed by Facebook. Please review Facebook's website and policies for more information regarding your privacy when you connect to a Site using Facebook.
A note about children
Most of the ProQuest Sites are not directed toward children. Those ProQuest Sites that are designed for children's use may only be accessed through an authorized Institutional account, which has warranted to ProQuest that it has express permission to provide ProQuest with whatever Personal Information ProQuest retains.
Information we collect generally, how we use it, and your choices.
In all cases where Personal Information is collected, we may use this information, including your email address, to forward to you information or offers about our products and services that we believe you will find helpful as well as for some of the purposes set forth herein. ProQuest makes commercially reasonable efforts to comply with CAN-SPAM, and at any time, you may opt out of receiving these promotional communications by following the directions at the bottom of the email message you receive from us. For some Sites, such as the Platform, you may use the form or directions located at http://www.proquest.com/go/unsubscribe to opt out of promotional communications from us. Other Sites may provide different methods of opting out, such as through your individual account settings or "unsubscribe" features on the Site, and in that case, the opt-out methods will be clearly identified on the Site. Also, you may be able to opt out of receiving promotional communications from us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In this way, you can opt out of receiving promotional communications without terminating an Account you may have set up at one of our ProQuest Sites. You will not be able to opt out of receiving administrative emails about the ProQuest Sites. Please note that if you opt of our receiving promotional communications from us, including a single promotional communication, you may no longer receive any of our promotional communications, including newsletters, special invitations and other such material.
Using certain tools, it may be possible for you or third parties to copy, cut, and/or post information contained on a ProQuest Site to a Third Party Site, including a social media site, such as MySpace, Facebook or Twitter. The decision to do this may expose you to disclosure of your private information on Third Party Sites—for which ProQuest is not responsible—and, in some cases, may subject you to liability to third parties or to ProQuest for information you have posted.
Additionally, when you visit the ProQuest Sites, our servers may automatically record, and we may collect, information that your computer’s browser sends whenever you visit any website. These server logs may include information such as the home server (including the Institution) of the user, database or Profiles accessed, searches performed, portions of Site visited, web request(s), Internet Protocol address, research history, keyword searched, materials accessed, downloaded or printed, usage information, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request(s) and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your computer’s browser. Our servers do not record or recognize names or email addresses of the user. This aggregate information ("Aggregate Information") (which may include things like numbers and frequency of visitors to ProQuest Sites; databases or research tools accessed; products or services used; usage statistics; total number of users; total size of database; monthly logins, Profiles searched or accessed, or specific pages visited) will not contain Personal Information, and may be collected and used for a number of purposes including providing information to content providers and members of our scholar communities; ensuring compliance with license and royalty agreements; providing the ProQuest Sites and services to you; and internal Site management and administration purposes. In some cases our marketing staff, Institutional customers, other ProQuest companies/divisions and/or Contractors may be provided Aggregate Information to evaluate the effectiveness of certain services and product offerings, ensure compliance with our product service licenses, improve the user experience, process and fulfill transactions, and provide you with information about our services. We may also use such Aggregate Information to administer the Site, track visitors' movement, and analyze broad demographic trends.
Specific ways you may provide and we may collect your personal information.
You may choose to provide us with your Personal Information in a variety of ways depending upon the manner in which you use the ProQuest Sites and the available features or services, such as when: (a) signing up for trial or full access to a product or service; (b) requesting additional information about a product or service; (c) creating or signing up for an Account; (d) registering for use of a Site, database, product or services; (e) creating a personal/public Profile on any of the ProQuest Sites; (f) filling out a survey or registration form; (g) participating in a sweepstakes or contest; (h) ordering a product or service; (i) posting, sharing or transmitting content; and/or (j) participating in a discussion or other interactive community feature on our Interactive Community Sites.
- Trial Offers/Request For Information/Purchases
- Public Posting/Sharing of Content
- Inviting Others To Join
- Training Webinars
Trial Offers/Request For Information/Purchases: Some of the ProQuest Sites may allow individuals and/or Institutions to sign up for trial (or full) offers for our products and/or service; request additional information about and/or purchase our products and/or services; sign up for our newsletters or other marketing communications; and/or sign up for training services and webinars. If you choose to take advantage of these options, we will collect the Personal Information you provide in connection with your request, such as your name, email address, Institution, title, telephone number, address, and financial or credit card information, and we may use the Personal Information for the purpose you provide it to us and in the other manners described by this Policy.
Public Posting/Sharing of Content: Some ProQuest Sites, such as our Interactive Community Sites and/or the ProQuest Platform, may allow you to interact with other users and/or post, share, or otherwise transmit content or other data publicly, such as on a bulletin board, blog post, discussion forum, question and/or answer section, comment section, shared tags or lists, public Profile or through scholarly or other interactive community portions of the Site (collectively, "Public Posting" or "Shared Content"). Some Sites may require you to register for an Account and/or create a Profile in order to create a Public Posting, and in that case, we will collect the Personal Information you provide in creating your Account or Profile (collectively, "ProQuest Account") such as your name, email address, academic Institution, title, role, research interest, photo, and other information. We may use this Personal Information in the manners described by this Policy.
Keep in mind that anyone who accesses a ProQuest Site may be able to see your Public Posting or Shared Content, and on some ProQuest Sites, such as the Platform, your Public Posting or Shared Content may be searchable and/or viewable on and through the Site as well as on the open World Wide Web by anyone who has online access (the "World Wide Web"). Also, some of our Sites, such as but not limited to, GradShare http://www.gradshare.com may allow users to use tools to copy, cut, and/or post Public Postings and other Shared Content to Third Party Sites, thereby making your Public Posting available on Third Party Sites and viewable on the World Wide Web.
You should exercise caution when disclosing information, including information about yourself, in a Public Posting as such information can be read, collected, or used by others to send you unsolicited messages or for other purposes. If you choose to create a Public Posting or place Personal Information in a Public Posting, you do so at your own risk, and ProQuest is not responsible for any information you choose to submit in a Public Posting and/or for the manner in which it may be used by third parties.
On certain Sites, such as our Interactive Community Sites, you may be asked to select a username that will be publicly displayed to others who access the Site. If your username contains Personal Information or any other identifying information, it may be used to identify you personally, and therefore, you should choose your username carefully, and you should not provide any information in your username that may be used to identify you.
Accounts/Registration: Some ProQuest Sites allow users to create Accounts such as a "My Research" Account for storing and/or sharing data and/or a Account to register to use the Site. When you create an Account of any type, we will collect the Personal Information you provide in creating the Account, such as name, gender, email address, Institution, title, address, phone number, photo, research interest, role, title, and whatever additional information you provide. On some Sites, and depending on your use of the certain features or services of the Site (such as creating Public Postings), the information you supply when you create an Account may be viewable and searchable to others who access the Site and/or in some instances on the World Wide Web. You may be able to limit the information that others see about you through modifying or deactivating your Account or Profile or through other means available on the Site. For some Sites, you may also have the option of making certain Accounts public or private. If you make your Account public, it becomes a Public Posting as described above.
Information you provide in creating your Profile may be publicly displayed to and searchable by others who access or use the ProQuest Sites, and in some instances, your Profile may be searchable and viewable on the World Wide Web or by other third parties. Third parties may be able to identify and/or contact you based on information contained in your Profile. Therefore, you should exercise caution when disclosing certain information about yourself in connection with your Profile.
Please be sure to review our COS Expertise and Scholar Universe Privacy Information section of this Policy and our My Research Privacy & User Information for more specific information regarding Profiles and your privacy in connection with those Sites and products.
We are not responsible for the manner in which others may use your email address or attempt to contact you, including any unsolicited communications you may receive.
Inviting Others To Join: Some of our Interactive Community Sites or other Sites may allow you to invite others to join the Site. If you choose to use this service, we will ask you for the recipient’s email address and/or name and we will automatically send an email through the ProQuest Sites inviting the recipient to join that ProQuest Site. Your Personal Information, such as your name or other information, may be available to the recipient of the email as well as any additional message you create.
Specific ways we may use and/or disclose your information
We may also use your Personal Information to track, generally, and understand your research habits, databases use or accessed, keywords and search terms, and/or geographic location for marketing or other purposes and then send you information about other databases, products, and services. For instance, if we note that you are conducting research using certain keywords, we may suggest an alternate database, based upon an aggregate collection of Personal Information data.
For some select Sites and/or products/services, such as COS and Scholar Universe, we may also use your Personal Information (such as name, contact information, publications, positions held, and other information) to create or allow you to create your Profile which may be searchable by members of subscribing Institutions or other parties. Please see our COS and Scholar Universe Privacy Information for more specific details about your privacy in connection with these Sites, services and features.
In addition to the ways already provided in this Policy, ProQuest may use your Personal Information, which may include disclosing your information to our Contractors, marketing staff, and/or other divisions/business units, for the following purposes:
- Providing the ProQuest Site and services to you, including the display of customized content and/or advertising;
- Processing or fulfilling your request(s) and/or order(s) for products, services, information or features;
- Facilitating the use of the ProQuest Sites or services, including but not limited to providing information across the various ProQuest companies or business units;
- Managing your account preferences;
- Auditing and/or research and analysis in order to maintain, protect and improve our Sites;
- Ensuring the technical functioning of our network;
- Developing new products or services;
- Contacting you about our products and/or services, including sending you offers and promotions to purchase our products/services and/or information and updates about our products and services;
- Identifying and protecting against misuse or unauthorized use of the Site or services; and
- Third party hosting of the ProQuest Sites;
- Marketing, processing or fulfillment of contest and sweepstakes promoted, administered, or sponsored by ProQuest.
If you have provided us with your Personal Information through the ProQuest Sites, you may be able to view and update your Personal Information on some of the ProQuest Sites by logging on to the Site and reviewing and/or modifying the information contained in your Account or Profile. If you have further questions regarding your Personal Information we have collected through the ProQuest Sites, please contact us at email@example.com.
Account inactivity, expiration, and deactivating your ProQuest accounts
When you graduate or leave your Institution for any reason, we cannot guarantee your continued access to the ProQuest Sites provided through that Institution. That means you may no longer have full access to all of the features and options available on the ProQuest Sites. Moreover, for some of our Sites and products, unless you have purchased lifetime access to your research services, we may deactivate your Account after an extended period of inactivity. In some instances, we may, but are not obligated to, send you an email regarding your account inactivity and our intention to deactivate your Account.
For some ProQuest Sites, you may have the option of modifying or deactivating your Profile or Account (collectively "ProQuest Account") on some ProQuest Sites but you may no longer have access to your ProQuest Account and you may not be able to use certain features, benefits or options of the ProQuest Sites if you deactivate your Account or choose not to share certain information. For more information regarding deactivating your My Research Account created through the ProQuest Platform and/or your COS/Scholar Universe Profile, please consult the respective My Research Privacy Information and the COS Expertise and Scholar Universe Privacy Information.
For information concerning deactivating other ProQuest Accounts created on or through other ProQuest Sites where such deactivation is possible, please follow the instructions/information on the Site, or if no instructions/information are available, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those Sites where you may deactivate your ProQuest Account, we will attempt to process your request to deactivate your ProQuest Account promptly. Please be aware that even after your ProQuest Account is deactivated, edited or modified for any reason, some or all of your information or Shared Content (including original versions thereof) may still remain visible and/or searchable on or through the ProQuest Sites and/or the World Wide Web, including but not limited to any information that has been: a) incorporated into others user’s content, comments, postings, submissions, and/or research; b) copied, stored or disseminated by other users; or c) shared or disseminated by you such as in public tags, public lists or Public Posting. A request to remove Personal Information from our databases will not result in the removal of information collected and already put in aggregate form or information that cannot be removed using reasonably commercial efforts.
Moreover, please be aware that even after you deactivate or modify/edit your ProQuest Account, your information, including but not limited to your research, research history, Profile information, shared content and Personal Information, is not deleted in its entirety from our servers, as we may, but are not obligated to, retain backup copies of your information, including Personal Information on our servers or databases (and/or any authorized third party servers or databases we use). This may be the case even though your Profile or Account no longer remains viewable or searchable on the ProQuest Sites and/or to the World Wide Web.
Surveys, contests and sweepstakes
ProQuest takes commercially reasonable security measures to protect against unauthorized access to, or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of, data that you share and that we collect and store. These security measures may include practices such as keeping your data on a secured server behind a firewall, internal reviews of our data collection practices and platforms, industry-standard encryption technologies, as well as physical security measures to guard against unauthorized access to systems where we store your Personal Information. Unfortunately, however, no security system can be 100% secured, and we cannot guarantee that communications between you and the Site or any information provided to us in connection with the information we collect through the Site will be free from unauthorized access by third parties. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of member information at any time. Your password is an important component of our security system. As such, it is your responsibility to protect it. Do not share your password with any third parties. If your password has been compromised for any reason, you should change it immediately.
Where your information is stored or processed
Depending upon which ProQuest Site you use, your information may be transferred to, stored, and processed primarily in the United States where most of our servers (and/or our authorized third parties’ servers) are located and in some instances in Canada and/or the U.K. (if you are using a localized domain for that country). The data protection and other laws of the United States might not be as comprehensive as those in your country.
ProQuest may modify this Policy at any time and will notify you by posting an amendment to the Policy on this page, and in some instances, we may use additional measures to notify you of significant changes to this Policy. Such modifications will become effective on the day they are posted. ProQuest encourages you to frequently review this Policy for any modifications. Each version of this Policy will be identified by its effective date. Your continued use of the ProQuest Sites following any such changes shall indicate your acknowledgement of such changes and agreement to be bound by the terms and conditions of such changes.
[Revised April 27, 2011]