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?
...[R]elief 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.")...
Friday, September 21, 2007
From the Chronicle (subscription required) | Librarians and Publishers Try Out a Plan to Simplify Negotiations Over Electronic Resources. Worth a read if you can access it via your library.