NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Releases Draft Recommended Practices for Comment Cynthia Hodgson 22 Mar 2007 15:37 UTC

NISO's Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Working Group has posted its
first public draft best practices document on its website. This document,
"The SERU Approach to E-Resource Subscriptions: Framework for Development
and Use of SERU," presents a shared set of understandings to which
publishers and libraries can point when negotiating the sale of electronic
content. The framework offers publishers and libraries a solution to the
often-burdensome process of bilateral negotiation of a formal license
agreement by allowing the sale of e-resources without licenses if both
parties feel their perception of risk has been adequately addressed by
current law and developing norms of behavior.

The SERU Working Group welcomes comments on its draft document. Please
direct comments and suggestions to Judy Luther
( or Karla Hahn (, the
working group co-chairs, or any other member of the working group. The SERU
project also maintains an informational listserv where comments can be
shared along with announcements of future developments with the project.
Information on joining the list is available on the project's website.

Following the initial comment period, a revised draft version will be made
available in late May for trial use during 2007. During this pilot phase,
publishers wishing to sell their products using a SERU approach will be able
to join a NISO registry to indicate their willingness to forego a license
agreement and rely on the shared expectations expressed in the Common
Understanding statement. Publishers can also indicate to serials vendors and
to customers their desire to do business in this way. The registry is under
development; however, publishers and libraries that are interested in using
this approach during the review period are encouraged to contact one of the
working group chairs now.

SERU was launched in late 2006 in partnership with the Association of
Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of Learned and Professional
Society Publishers (ALPSP), the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources
Coalition (SPARC), and the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP). More
information about the SERU Working Group, including FAQs and an electronic
mailing list, can be found at  <>

Cynthia Hodgson
National Information Standards Organization
Phone: 301-654-2512