CRL and like-minded consortia seek to expand the availability of content for their member institutions by negotiating favorable terms for purchase or subscription to major electronic resources. Consortia leverage the collective strength and purchasing power of participating institutions to exert influence on producers and aggregators of content. Tools such as LIBLICENSE and eDesiderata provide vehicles for sharing licensing information and best practices among institutions and groups.
While serials and monographs frequently dominate licensing discussions, licensing of primary source content and non-traditional resources continues to face unmet challenges. The increasing range and complexity of products, including large aggregations of data with proprietary analytical tools and services, make assessment and valuation of databases difficult. Producers not accustomed to academic licensing practices—such as in the areas of news resources, statistical, and geospatial information—include “non-negotiable” access provisions and licensing terms that challenge even the most experienced licensing staff. Vendors' practices have evolved also, and many try to “divide the market” through individual discounts and direct faculty approaches.
CRL's 2019 eDesiderata Forum will focus on member engagement within (and among) consortia, in order to explore strategies that may be employed to achieve greater scale and strength in collective dealings with producers. CRL and NERL hope to gain insights on successful approaches that will benefit their members. Discussion led by experts at national-level consortia will focus on best practices in areas including:
- Member communications and feedback
- Evaluation of resources
- Alignment of interests to negotiate with vendors from a position of strength
- Transparency and equitability of terms and pricing
The annual eDesiderata Forums bring expert knowledge and insight to bear on the challenges of acquisition, licensing, and enabling access to major databases, datasets, and data services for scholarly research. These programs explore community interest in commercial and open access data sources, illuminate market practices and economics, and identify priorities for CRL and NERL licensing on behalf of member libraries.
The eDesiderata Forum is open to librarians, staff, and faculty at CRL and NERL member institutions.