Email list hosting service & mailing list manager

Results from Survey of Database Licensing Practices James Moses 04 Dec 2007 16:54 UTC

Primary Research Group has published The Survey of Library Database
Licensing Practices (ISBN #: 1-57440-093-2). The study presents data from
90 libraries – corporate, legal, college, public, state, and non-profit libraries –
about their database licensing practices.

Some of the study’s findings are:

•	Mean spending by corporate and legal libraries in the sample on
Ebook licenses was $48,000.
•	The mean number of independent licenses for electronic content held
by the libraries in the sample tripled from 2000 to 2007.
•	19.42% of the licenses held by the libraries in the sample restricted
the number of simultaneous users.
•	Consortium purchases accounted for a mean of 30% of the database
licenses by the libraries in the sample.
•	The mean perceived price increase in 2007 for electronic and
electronic/print combination journals was 10.64%.
•	Database purchases through consortiums over the past two years
appear to be increasing. Half of all respondents indicated that consortium
contracts as a percentage of all contracts have remained the same, while
23% reported growth of less than 5%. Another 19% reported growth of more
than 5%, while only 7% reported that the percentage of contracts through
consortiums had decreased.
•	The majority of our sample, 82%, had never attempted to negotiate
any special language on the provision of interlibrary loan materials through
email or other internet technology
•	College/university libraries’ single largest consortium partner
accounted for a mean of just over 41% of contracts, twice as much as for
public or government and non-profit libraries.
•	Participants reported spending an average of $7,300 on dues and
fees to consortiums.
•	Libraries reported mean price increases for full text and newspaper
and magazine databases of 9.43% in the past year.
•	The mean reported annual increase in the price of medical and
biochemical information was 8.13%.
•	Participants estimated spending an average of 290.49 hours of
library staff time reviewing contract terms from vendors of all kinds of licenses
for content in the past year.
•	A shade more than 7% of the libraries in the sample had ever been
threatened by a publisher or information vendor with any form of legal action
for contract abrogation.
•	Nineteen percent of libraries with expenditures below $35,000
believed they had “a good idea of what others were paying” for their licenses,
nearly four times the rate of libraries with database expenditures exceeding
•	Twenty-three percent of the libraries in the sample currently had
institutional digital repositories.
•	Just over 14% of all libraries surveyed indicated that they
extensively used free access to back issues of some journals that have
an “embargo” period before articles become available without charge.
•	A mean of just over 24% of the electronic or electronic/print journal
subscriptions maintained by survey participants guaranteed perpetual access
to archives.
•	Just 15% of libraries used an internal charge back system for end
users to help pay for the library’s database licenses. Libraries in the U.S. were
slightly more likely than non-U.S libraries to do this.
•	Over a third of all respondents indicated that their course materials
on reserve were roughly equal degree paper and electronic.
•	A mean of 4.35 librarians in the libraries sampled spent at least 10%
of their work time reviewing and choosing new electronic resources.
•	Librarians in the sample estimated that just over a third of the sets
of access and usage statistics they received from vendors of electronic
information could be considered “highly reliable.”
•	Just under 10% of all libraries surveyed reported that they had ever
canceled a content license because of the provider’s inability to effectively
deal with service interruption issues.

More than half of the participating libraries are from the USA, and the rest are
from Canada, Australia, the UK, and other countries. Four hundred tables of
data are broken out by type and size of library, as well as for overall level of
database expenditure. For more information, go to

James Moses, Research Director
Primary Research Group Inc.