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Join the movement to advocate for transformative modes of scholarship by digging into the literature and learning more about these issues. We've compiled some suggested readings in the topic areas of licensing and publisher agreements, model licenses and licensing statements, Big Deal cancellations, transformative agreements, and other resources.

Suggested Readings

Carpan, C., & Linoski, A., alexis. linoski@library. gatech. edu. (2019). Wrangle and Corral that License Agreement. Serials Librarian, 76(1–4), 130–133.

Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) - Electronic Resource Licensing Principles -

Dygert, C., & Langendorfer, J. M. (2014). Fundamentals of E-Resource Licensing. The Serials Librarian, 66(1–4), 289–297.

Egan, N. (n.d.). LibGuides: Library Licensing Guide: Accessibility [Updated 2020]. Retrieved March 2, 2020, from

Library E-Resource Accessibility—Standardized License Language. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2020, from

Licensing Electronic Resources in Academic Libraries—1st Edition. (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2020, from

“Licensing Policy Sample: Should Your Library Have a Written Licensing Policy?” (2020, January 18). Copyrightlaws.Com: Copyright Courses and Education in Plain English.

Licensing Toolkit – California Digital Library. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

Rodriguez, M. (2019). Licensing by Design: A Systematic Approach. Serials Librarian, 76(1–4), 178–184.

Seibert, H., Miles, R. & Geuther, C. (2019). Navigating 21st-Century Digital Scholarship: Open Educational Resources (OERs), Creative Commons, Copyright, and Library Vendor Licenses. Serials Librarian, 76(1–4), 103–109.

Smith, J., & Hartnett, E. (2015). The Licensing Lifecycle: From Negotiation to Compliance. Serials Librarian, 68(1–4), 205–214.

Understanding Licenses | UC Berkeley Library. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

Consortial Licensing—The Standardized Agreement Language. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

Licensing Models. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

MIT Framework for Publishing Contracts (n.d.). Retrieved February 29, 2020, from

Model Licenses | LIBLICENSE. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

NorthEast Research Libraries Consortium (NERL) Generic License Agreement for Electronic Resources -

Elsevier Exit: Q&A with Florida State University about their Big Deal Cancellation(s). (2020, February 25). SPARC.

Licensing Principles and Expectations for Vendors—UW Libraries. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

UC Elsevier Questions Answered. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

OhioLINK Breaks New Ground in Open Access with Wiley | OhioLINK. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

Read-and-publish? Publish-and-read? A primer on transformative agreements by @lisalibrarian. (2019, April 23). The Scholarly Kitchen.

Wiley and FinELib Sign Transitional Agreement Continuing Expansion in Open Access | Wiley News Room – Press Releases, News, Events & Media. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

Wiley and Projekt DEAL partner to enhance the future of scholarly research and publishing in Germany | Wiley News Room – Press Releases, News, Events & Media. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

Aagaard, P., & Arguello, N. Z. 1. (2015). Practical approaches to compliance for entrepreneurial uses of licensed databases in libraries. Reference Services Review, 43(3), 419–438.

Choi, N. (2014). The application profiles and development characteristics of library Open Source Software projects. Library Hi Tech, 32(2), 260–275.

ContentMine—Open Source text and data mining based in Cambridge, UK. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

Corrado, E. M. (2020). Libraries and protecting patron privacy. Technical Services Quarterly, 37(1), 44–54.

Home | Open Knowledge Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

Huang, C., Montgomery, L., Hosking, R., Diprose, J., Handcock, R. & Wilson, K. (2024). Open access research outputs receive more diverse citations. Scientometrics 129:825-845, 

Jenny Jing, Qinqin Lin, Sharifi, A. & Swartz, M. (2015). Making User Rights Clear: Adding e-resource License Information in Library Systems. Code4Lib Journal, 29, 1–1.

Kraaikamp, E., Grootveld, M., Hollander, H., & Roorda, D. (2019). On Open Access to Research Data: Experiences and reflections from DANS. Grey Journal (TGJ), 15(2), 91–100.

Licensing Policy Sample: Should Your Library Have a Written Licensing Policy? (2020, January 18). Copyrightlaws.Com: Copyright Courses and Education in Plain English.

Lipinski, T. A., & Copeland, A. J. (2015). Is the Licensing of Grey Literature Using the Full Palette of “Contractual” Colors?: A Comparative Analysis of Grey Literature Terms of Use. Grey Journal (TGJ), 11(2), 69–87.

Machovec, G. (2015). Consortial E-Resource Licensing: Current Trends and Issues. Journal of Library Administration, 55(1), 69–78.

MIT announces framework to guide negotiations with publishers. (n.d.). MIT News. Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

Open Access Publishing: What is Open Access? Cornell University Library - Open Access Working Group. (n.d.). Open Access Working Group. Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

Pagotto, S., & Wei Zhao2. (2019). Access, preservation and analysis in a consortial journal archive: The evolution of Scholars Portal Journals. Insights: The UKSG Journal, 32, 1–10.

Participate in the UC open access policies - University of California, Office of Scholarly Communication -

Rubel, A. & Mei Zhang (2015). Four Facets of Privacy and Intellectual Freedom in Licensing Contracts for Electronic Journals. College & Research Libraries, 76(4), 427–449.

Scholarly publishing at the tipping point – UNC Chapel Hill Libraries. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

Sekely-Rowland, S. (2017). Scope Shift: Cultivating Opportunity and Building Constituencies: Forays in Copyright, Fellowships, and Internships. Visual Resources Association Bulletin, 44(2), 1–8.

Sherpa Romeo is an online resource that aggregates and analyses publisher open access policies from around the world and provides summaries of publisher copyright and open access archiving policies on a journal-by-journal basis.

Smith, C. & Wideberg, B.-M. (2017). Moving from Big Deal Negotiations to Making Agreements for Open Access to Research Publications in Sweden: The Bibsam Consortium Approach. ITlib: Informacne Technologie a Kniznice, 4, 33–41.

Snijder, R. (2015). Better Sharing Through Licenses? Measuring the Influence of Creative Commons Licenses on the Usage of Open Access Monographs. Journal of Librarianship & Scholarly Communication, 3(1), 1–21.

State of Maryland's Open Data Portal– Use this portal to explore datasets related to agriculture, business and economy, education, health, public safety, and more.

Suber, Peter. 2015. Open Access Overview.

Sustainable Journal Pricing TF - VIVA - VIVA, Virginia’s Academic Library Consortium at VIVA. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

The Impact of Inflation on the GW Libraries’ Budget | GW Libraries. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

The Open Definition—Open Definition—Defining Open in Open Data, Open Content and Open Knowledge. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

The Right to Read Is the Right to Mine – Open Knowledge Foundation Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from

TOP factor– Use this database to explore how journals align with the TOP Factor, a metric that reports the steps a journal is taking to implement open science practices.  

Unsettling Knowledge Inequities: a new podcast series exploring issues related to the politics of knowledge production, exchange, and circulation and the structural, global power dynamics that shape it. Presented by the Knowledge Equity Lab and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).

Welcome to ROARMAP - ROARMAP. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2020, from


Fair use - Conditions under which copying a work, or a portion of it, does not constitute infringement of copyright, including copying for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.1

1Reitz, J.M. (2014) ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Licensing Agreement - A formal written contract between a library and a vendor for the lease of one or more proprietary (copyrighted) bibliographic databases or online resources, usually for a fixed period of time in exchange for payment of an annual subscription fee or per-search charge. Vendors typically charge libraries on a sliding scale based on number of registered borrowers or FTE enrollment, number of institutions or facilities served, and number of simultaneous users. Most licensing agreements limit remote access to authorized users.1

1Reitz, J.M. (2014) ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Perpetual access - Some publishers and vendors of electronic resources are willing to provide access to materials in digital format paid for by a library during a subscription even after the subscription has been canceled by the library. Archival access is secured by a clause in the licensing agreement requested during contract negotiations. The basic Licensing Principles for electronic information resources established by IFLA in 2001 state that "a license should include provision for affordable, perpetual access to the licensed information by some appropriate and workable means."1

1Reitz, J.M. (2014) ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Subscription - The right to receive a newspaper or periodical for a designated period of time (or prescribed number of successive issues), upon payment of a subscription fee payable in advance to the publisher or a subscription agent. For journals, the period is usually one calendar year (January 1 through December 31); for newspapers and magazines, one year from the date of the first issue received. First-time subscribers may be offered a heavily discounted subscription price as an inducement to subscribe. Most subscriptions are delivered by post and renewed annually.1

1Reitz, J.M. (2014) ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

TEACH Act (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act) - Signed by President George W. Bush in 2002, the Act improves upon sections 110(2) and 112(f) of the U.S. Copyright Law, and addresses copyright requirements of online distance learning. Under the TEACH Act:

  • Instructors may use a wider range of works in distance learning environments.
  • Students may participate in distance learning sessions from virtually any location.
  • Participants enjoy greater latitude when it comes to storing, copying and digitizing materials.1

1Copyright Clearance Center. (2011). The Teach Act: New roles, rules and responsibilities for academic institutions. Danvers, MA: Copyright Clearance Center.

Transformative agreements - A contract that seeks to shift the contracted payment from a library or group of libraries to a publisher away from subscription-based reading and towards open access publishing. Costs, copyright, transparency and a transitional nature to such contracts are principles seen in such agreements.1 See also: Guidelines for Transformative Agreements from Efficiency and Standards for Article Charges (ESAC).

1Hinchliffe, L. J. (2019) "Transformative Agreements: A Primer" The Scholarly Kitchen. April 23.