E-resource license agreements

Oh the joy. Not.

Many of our folks were at ACRL this week. That meant fewer meetings and more time for clean-up and backtracking. I ran a report of pending e- titles and packages then started reviewing the information to determine why something wasn’t completed. As any e-resources librarian will tell you, this may involve tracking down information in a number of places and may take hours to unravel the mystery. For me, it means 1) checking the folders that sit behind my desk; 2) checking notes in our contract database; 3) checking the Voyager acq & cataloging clients; 4) checking sent and received email (thank goodness for filters!); and 5) checking the licenses folder we maintain on our LAN. I sure hope getting an ERM will cut back on some of this!

So there I was cleaning up those “pending” items – thank goodness most of them had actually been completed! I just hadn’t pulled the file and updated the information when the cataloging was complete. I discovered a few were waiting on responses from the publisher…. tick tock tick tock…. a couple were 2 months old. So, I went back to their websites to look for alternate email addresses and sent off another request. I found one where I had sent 3 emails dating as far back as November and finally gave up and just snail-mailed the license, our requested change (that only dealt with the damn governing clause), and a lovely form required by the state. That was mailed on March 8. I emailed them yesterday to ask if they’d received the license. tick tock tick tock…

I have to shake my head in amazement at some of the language in license agreements. One publisher, who shall remain namesless, has very useful data on the web at no charge (woo-hoo!), but the terms and conditions prohibits the downloading of some associated software on their site to certain countries! How the heck is the library supposed to monitor that?

Perpetual access to subscribed content is extremely important to us, especially when we are paying extra for online with a print subscription or we are going online only.  I cannot believe that some publishers have policies that prohibit access to any of their content if we cancel a subscription.  Waittaminute…. we PAID for it.  Why shouldn’t we have ongoing access to the portion we paid for?  I certainly hope this becomes more standard in the next couple of years.

Oh… then there was the announcement that Elsevier will stop its WebEditions service next year. Well that really sucks.  I know an awful lot of large academic libraries are still WE customers. Should we all throw open the windows and shout “We aren’t going to take this anymore?”


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