RLI 282 The State of Large-Publisher Bundles in 2012 18 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC 2013 The ability to text mine is a very new license consideration, and libraries were asked if they were beginning to negotiate that clause. No conclusions could be drawn from the low response to this question, but comments indicated that many research libraries are beginning to work with the journal publishers to address this need. In addition to nondisclosure and author-rights clauses, interlibrary loan terms in licenses—which vary among the large-publisher bundles—are also of particular interest to ARL. The 2012 survey asked libraries to identify any clauses that address fulfillment of ILL requests. The responses included information on publishers that allow sending printed articles (58% to 79%), allow the transmission of electronic articles (39% to 73%), and allow international interlibrary loan (11% to 36%). A small number of libraries indicated that the contract was silent on ILL. The variation in response, and a review of the comments, indicate a lack of consistency among publishers and even among libraries that may have signed agreements with the same publisher. The challenge for future contracts is to make sure that any licenses being signed do not abridge a library’s ability to share materials. Two other questions about general license terms dealt with preservation, and the responses indicated that for each publisher slightly more than half of the 2012 contracts addressed preservation of licensed content either locally or through third parties, though the specifics of how that will be done were not requested in the survey. More specific surveys will need to be done to determine how the large packages are being preserved and the license clause language used to ensure that long-term preservation needs are being met. The final question about specific terms asked whether access could be retained for content that was subscribed to in the past. High percentages were reported for each publisher (76% to 90%), but comments indicated that some publishers require a fee. License terms that provide research libraries with the ability to provide access to content they have previously licensed is a potential area in which to advance new and more detailed terms. What Is Next? The information about ARL member libraries collected for this study demonstrates ongoing strains in libraries’ relationships with publishers and in their ability to maintain electronic journal bundles in difficult financial times. A great divide is evident between the anticipated promise of electronic publishing foreseen at the birth of journal bundles and the reality of large-publisher journal licensing in 2012. Fully digital collections of big publishers’ journals are the norm in research libraries, and license negotiations are beginning to address issues such as text-mining rights, harbingers of the potential benefit of a fully digital scholarly communication system. Yet, the expected opportunity to make more content available to libraries than could be afforded through print subscriptions seems to have largely evaporated. Research libraries are more frequently subscribing to subsets of publishers’ lists than they were six years ago, while still paying for their access largely based on print subscription costs grounded in an increasingly distant past. Content and pricing seem to be
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