Steady Growth in CRL Licensing Efforts

Monday, October 3, 2016
Mary Wilke -

Since initiating efforts in 2010 to broker terms of purchase and licensing agreements between member libraries and the publishers of databases and electronic resources, CRL has successfully negotiated favorable terms for more than 170 unique electronic databases, resulting in over 1,300 individual purchases by member institutions. CRL has seen steady growth in member takeup of offers for each of the past five years. In Fiscal Year 2016, CRL arranged offers for 57 e-resources, with 132 member institutions participating in one or more offer.

The mean savings for a library taking up CRL e-resource offers last year was nearly $35,000, based on publishers’ list prices. But CRL measures its success in terms other than monetary savings. CRL's e-resource efforts are driven first and foremost by its essential mission, i.e., ensuring the integrity and accessibility of critical evidence for research.

Focusing on products in its traditional collection strengths—news, government information, archives, statistical data, and international resources—CRL works with providers as early as possible in the publication cycle to ensure that the content offered is authentic and useful, and is maintained by the provider in a manner consistent with fesearcher needs. These values inform CRL's independent objective reviews of databases and its n-depth provider profiles in eDesiderata.

CRL also measures success in its licensing initiatives by the engagement of members. CRL libraries weigh in on what content CRL should pursue and in evaluating product quality, functionality, and licensing terms. eDesiderata is the forum though which CRL collects this feedback, using member comments, ratings, and offer take-up as benchmarks. CRL also seeks to leverage and strengthen the collective expertise of its community. On November 16 CRL will host the inaugural "eDesiderata Forum," a virtual gathering designed to bring new expertise and insights to bear on the challenges of providing access to major "Big Data": databases, datasets and data services for scholarly research.

CRL supports informed investment in electronic resources, welcoming opportunities to help member institutions provide credible and sustainable electronic resources for their constituents.