October 12, 2007
Librarians and Publishers Hope to Simplify eResources Negotiations
"For many college librarians, the annual process of placing orders and negotiating licenses for online journals and other electronic resources is far too cumbersome and time-consuming.
"Part of the problem is that libraries often negotiate different license agreements with each entity that provides them electronic content," says Deborah R. Gerhardt, copyright and scholarly-communications director of libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Each license can contain dozens of intricate provisions: Are faculty members permitted to place journal articles on electronic course reserve? Under what circumstances, if any, will off-campus users have access to the material?
Those licenses can take many hours to draft and negotiate, Ms. Gerhardt says -- which means that orders for new journals can sit on a librarian's desk for weeks. Small colleges and publishers, she adds, often lack the legal resources to maneuver through the licensing process.
But relief may be on the horizon. Several weeks ago, a coalition of librarians and publishers began to experiment with a radically simplified method of purchasing electronic materials. Libraries and publishers can now agree to use the "Shared E-Resource Understanding," or SERU, a five-page document that lists a few dozen stipulated points. (For example: "The subscribing institution will employ appropriate measures to ensure that access is limited to authorized users and will not knowingly allow unauthorized users to gain access." (for subscribers) [RJ]
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Librarians and Publishers Hope to Simplify eResources Negotiations: