Re: User agreements for electronic journals (Dan Lester) Marcia Tuttle 11 Feb 2002 22:16 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 10:00:17 -0700
From: Dan Lester <>
Subject: Re: User agreements for electronic journals (Karen Bolton)

Friday, February 08, 2002, 9:34:04 AM, you wrote:
> We are an engineering school and although we provide access to a few
> electronic journals aside from our databases, we are just getting
> with working out license agreements with publishers for electronic journals.
> The few I've seen are so unlike each other I wonder if anyone else has
> advice about how best to put these agreements to work.  How negotiable are
> they?

That all depends.  Many will negotiate many things, but some are
intransigent. Just remember that no one is making you spend money on
this particular ejournal.  If the terms or conditions are outrageous,
be prepared to NOT buy or license the item.  Most of your faculty will
understand this as well.

>  I just looked at one from a publisher with a long paragraph about
> various prohibitions, all of which seem reasonable and fair, but how do we
> make sure students comply with these rules? We can't be at the elbow of
> every person as they work at a computer, just as we can't post a copyright
> cop at every photocopier.

Don't worry about violations any more than you do about potential
copyright violations.  You are presumably making reasonable efforts to
ensure compliance on both copy machines and electronic resources, and
that should be an adequate defense in the VERY unlikely case you
should ever be sued by a publisher.

> Does anyone have any recommendations about books or articles on this
> subject?  I am not a lawyer, and I don't want to compromise our student's
> access or tread on anyone's intellectual property rights.

I'll just offer a few thoughts that I consider vital.  Note that these
are my personal thoughts, not necessarily those of the library
director, head of collection development, head of serials, or anyone
else with whom I work.

1. IP authentication MUST be provided for the entire campus.
2. Access to my authenticated users MUST be available from off of the
3. There MUST be no messing with passwords, individual user
registration, or other similar nonsense.
4. Should I cancel the subscription in the future, I MUST still have
perpetual electronic access to the issues I've already paid for, just
as I do for paper.
5. I MUST be able to subscribe to the journal in electronic format
only.  I don't need or want duplicate formats.
6. I MUST have forgotten a couple of other key points that will be
recalled as soon as I press the send button.

Dan Lester, Data Wrangler 208-283-7711
3577 East Pecan, Boise, Idaho  83716-7115 USA  Stop Global Whining!