Slightly more than one year after the Shared E-Resource Understanding
(SERU) Working Group was formed, the National Information Standards
Organization (NISO) has issued "SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource
Understanding" as part of its Recommended Practice series
(NISO-RP-7-2008). The SERU document's publication follows a six-month
trial use period, during which time librarians and publishers reported
on their experiences using the draft document.
SERU offers publishers and librarians the opportunity to save both the
time and the costs associated with a negotiated and signed license
agreement by agreeing to operate within a framework of shared
understanding and good faith.
"SERU is a wonderful example of librarians and publishers working
together to create a new option for electronic resource transactions
that is convenient and legal," said Working Group co-chair Karla Hahn,
Director, Office of Scholarly Communications, Association of Research
Libraries. "Small publishers, especially, will be able to use SERU to
reduce licensing costs making them more competitive and easier for
librarians to work with."
Co-chair Judy Luther, President of Informed Strategies, added, "Based on
a decade of licensing experience, SERU represents widely adopted
practices already in place in North America, and is both library and
"The SERU Working Group developed a document that addresses the key
issues in a manner that is nuanced and creative, and they did it in
record time," said Todd Carpenter, NISO's Managing Director. "The
feedback we received during the trial use period was uniformly
positive." The trial use period ran from June 20 through December 20, 2007.
The Recommended Practice and a SERU FAQ are available from the SERU
webpage (http://www.niso.org/committees/SERU/). In accordance with plans
laid out by the SERU Working Group, which concluded its work with
publication of the Recommended Practice, NISO will produce additional
materials to help publishers and libraries adopt a SERU approach,
maintain a registry of participants, and continue to promote, educate,
and plan for regular review and evaluation of SERU.
Note: This announcement was cross-posted to multiple lists.
NISO Technical Editor Consultant
National Information Standards Organization