RLI 280 E-Book Licensing and Research Libraries—Negotiating Principles and Price in an Emerging Market 17 SEPTEMBER 2012 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC Sidebar: Research Library Statements on E-Books As demand for e-books has increased in the research library community, libraries are shifting content previously made available in print to electronic form. This shift is not unlike the one nearing completion in the journal environment. Although the intellectual content of the scholarly materials in print and electronic form might be similar or even the same, the technical capabilities and the marketplace issues are placing demands on how libraries provide access to the content. In order to address how research libraries might make the best use of these materials, some ARL members are developing statements about e-books and their applicability to research, teaching, and learning. The values articulated in these statements parallel many of the negotiating principles ARL included in its licensing initiative. Access and User Experience Many research library users read e-books on personal devices. Libraries value nonproprietary platforms that will allow portability of content among devices. Research library users need to be able to have access whenever and wherever they need it and libraries are committed providing unlimited, simultaneous access to content they acquire. The ability to display, download, cut, and paste is important for any user conducting research. Libraries also value compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar laws that ensure technical capabilities to allow all readers access to e-books. Protection of the privacy of readers is important to libraries in a print environment and the value is being upheld for e-books as well. Learning and Scholarly Research Sharing content is an important consideration for scholarship, and research libraries value licensing terms that do not limit fair use, first sale, or interlibrary loan. No digital rights management (DRM) allows content to flow freely between and among scholars, teachers, and learners. Libraries value licenses that support use of course management systems and reserves. And as larger corpuses of aggregated content become available, research libraries value the ability of researchers to use that content to conduct text mining. Acquisition and Preservation The values expressed by libraries for acquisition models include the ability to acquire e-books through multiple methods of purchase, including demand- or patron-driven acquisition. Libraries, on behalf of their users, value simultaneous publication of print and electronic content and reasonable pricing models when purchasing or leasing either or both. The ability to incorporate purchased or subscribed content within workflows is also highly valued. As research institutions that take responsibility for the preservation of recorded knowledge, research libraries value the ability to archive the content provided by e-book providers. They also value perpetual access to any purchased or subscribed content.
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