Thursday, May 17, 2007

IUG 2007 – Building license records in ERM

Diane Grover of the University of Washington made this presentation.

Until about five years ago, very few libraries did more than sign and file their license agreements with electronic resource vendors. At that point a number of libraries began to create systems, collections of license information and to develop standardized language to describe the elements of the license. Some of them were homegrown and some were developed by companies like III. Diane’s presentation described a retrospective project at the University of Washington Libraries to convert their paper license agreements to electronic and to include descriptive information from them in their III ERM.

They worked with a number of stakeholders in order to accomplish the project including stakeholders within the library like the ILL team, access services for reserves, the library web committee, and the library digitization committee. Stakeholders outside the library included the printing department (who prints course packs) and the attorney general.

They planned to include much of what had originally been preserved in paper files in addition to the licenses themselves, for example correspondence with vendors. Diane reviewed an active license record from their system and discussed some of the fixed and variable fields that they were using and why. They decided to store their digitized licenses on D-Space and then included links to them in their ERM license records. She also shared screen shots of their license records as they appear in the OPAC.

Other libraries are using other methods to accomplish similar ends. Some are hosting on their own web servers, others are simply using spreadsheets and database applications (like MS Access). Others are using Docutek ERes or the Millennium Media module. Some are also using OCR scanning to make the digitized licenses searchable. Most other libraries, like UW, are using some sort of security thus keeping them secure.

Some issues were common to most libraries: decisions about what data to record and what data to display for example. Most also struggle with the selection of language and terms that both users and library staff understand. They (librarians and staff working on the projects) also struggle with interpreting complex licensing language and terms. Diane shared a surprising outcome that she had not anticipated and that was that her librarians and staff became upset when they learned about some of the activities that licenses do not permit. And finally, all agreed that this kind of project is slow going.

Finally, she offered some advice about what to do and what to avoid as well as the outcomes within the library and the university that accrued from the project.

This was a really useful session that I REALLY hope that I remember to come back to when (if) we implement ERM. I do wonder though whether all this work is strictly necessary in light of the murmurs I’ve heard lately about the need for and possibly beginnings of development of a standard electronic resource license agreement.

Diane concluded the session with a discussion of some of the standards and de facto standards that are currently in development for ERM. She covered ERMI which is a de facto standard that is being widely used in the U.S. including in III’s ERM. She also mentioned the NISO License Expression Working Group (LEWG) which is working on an XLM based license terms transmission standard called ONIX-PL which is not completely compatible with the ERMI data elements. NISO is also working on a “non-license” approach called SERU (Shared E-Resource Understanding).

No comments:

Live chat

About Me

My photo
I am... a wife a daughter a sister/sister-in-law an aunt a reader a librarian a doctor a quilter a niece a grandmother ;-) a cat owner 6 feet 1 inches tall a yoga enthusiast a cook