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What do licenses do?


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What do licenses do?

  1. 1. Eduserv notesSlide 1:Why ‘thorny issues’?Well a thorn can be painful and hard to get out but it can also be part of a beautifulrelationship between a rose and its stem – I’ll leave you to speculate which one is the librarianand which the publisher! So it is a cause for hope and regeneration as well as an agent fordiscomfort.I’m looking at the issues here from a personal perspective rather than showcasing myinstitution’s arrangements, so the examples given will be generic rather than specific in themain.Slide 2:In the next half an hour or so I hope to cover all the topics listed on this slide at least in part.Really my role is to give you some food for thought from an information professional’sperspective; to talk about issues which have already occurred with licenses, and to look atsome user groups and issues around ‘authorised user’ and ‘site definition.I’ll also link with later presentations when I look briefly at issues around interactivity betweenthe licence and the electronic resource management system. I’ll finish with a look at wherewe might be heading in the future.Slide 3:Licences are the contract between customer and provider of electronic content, and can be foranything from a large database or journal collection to one single title.Their main purpose is to allow facilitate access to material purchased by a subscriber and toset out details of who can use the material, where from, when, by what method ofauthentication – and what cannot be done with the material. Licences protect both partiesinvolved from any misunderstandings.Model licences – which try to present the same basic group of clauses no matter whichprovider or product is involved, bringing some uniformity of wording and understanding tothe process – generally present the following types of clause:• Licensor responsibilities (to make information available, maintain service andservers, support authentication, provide usage statistics, support OpenURL)• Licensee responsibilities (ensure use for education purposes only, some copying anddownloading allowed; not allowed to share material with non-authorised users or touse it for commercial purposes, make necessary efforts to inform users of licenceconditions)• Security (who can access, where they can access from, how or by what means arethey permitted to access…)• Payment (usually quoted price and including list of what is paid for. This is veryimportant when determining which resources or titles you get as part of yoursubscription)• Terms and termination (what happens after cancellation; what happens if there is adispute over terms and conditions)
  2. 2. Slide 4:If you consider the types of user there may be in a university they usually fall into thefollowing categories:· Current teaching, research and support staff. The core people on the universitypayroll. In addition there are teaching staff on honorary contracts who have thesame account and borrowing privileges as other staff. All these people will havefull access to the range of institutional e-resources.· Teaching staff on franchised courses (who have honorary contracts, therefore fullcurrent members of staff) or on validated courses (these institutions will beexpected to support courses by purchasing their own resources so these people willhave walk-in status)· Support staff involved in teaching (for example a librarian at a partnershipcollege). Are these ‘teachers of authorised users’ or are they entitled to be treatedas staff in their own right for the purpose of assisting their students?· Students following franchised programmes (who are current students of theawarding institution but just happen to be based elsewhere) or validatedprogrammes (who have no status as students and are considered to be allowed thesame privileges as walk-in users)· UK or non-UK based. Contentious as universities are often contractually boundwhen setting up courses to give the same student experience regardless of wherethat student is based. And how do you differentiate the distance learner whoreturns home (outside the UK) during the time they are registered as a currentstudent and the student who is wholly non-UK based? For some providers, anindication of where students are based and numbers is enough to allow accessunder licences; but it is difficult to discriminate between ‘our’ students, especiallyin the UK.· Everyone else. Alumni, and others who are generally treated as walk-in users withno rights of access to e-resources which do not allow this type of use.Slide 5:Partnerships:Briefly, here is a rundown of the difference between a franchised course and a validatedcourse, both becoming ever more common in the university sector.An example of a franchised course is where University A designs a course and it is thentaught at College B. The students at College B enrolled on this course are students ofUniversity A, on the student record database, and declared as part of University A’s HESAreturns.An example of a validated course is where College B designs a course and gains University Aaccreditation to award a degree to its students. Students enrolled on this course are studentsof College B and treated as such, although they can gain access to some material at UniversityA as walk-in visitors.One general condition of a validated course is that the College which has designed the coursesupports it with resources they purchase themselves rather than relying on the resources of thevalidator.
  3. 3. Slide 6:Joint courses (or in some cases, joint faculties):This is where an institution co-designs and co-runs a course with one or more otherinstitutions. Students enrolled on these courses generally have one ‘home’ institution and arethen taught at all the institutions participating in the course award, by teaching staff from eachof the institutions. Status of students on these types of courses can be complex and open tointerpretation by the e-resource provider and the institutions involved.In the case of a joint faculty which is owned by more than one institution, students in theoryare ‘home’ at both institutions but modules would be institution-specific; such schemes wereoften in operation before the move to a largely digital-based world.Of course such collaborations could be between different sectors as well – HE with FE, HEwith schools (for example for SCITT teacher training schemes – School Centre InitialTeacher Training). HE with industry (for example management training schemes forengineers).Slide 7:Commercial partnerships can be a controversial issue when considering license provision.Generally the sponsorship of teaching or research by a company is not considered to be acommercial activity (there is a definition in the JISC Model Licence confirming this); butthere are grey areas about how students on industry placements may use resources (or indeedpart-time students who work in commercial companies), and about courses which are partlyor wholly delivered within industrial settings (although again these students are usuallycurrent with all the associated rights of a current student including full online access rights tosupport their study and research).Defining commercial itself is also open to interpretation, although most licences now includeclauses which attempt to provide some guidance.Slide 8:Alumni are often a large contributor to university fundraising. These former students aregenerally allowed membership to the university library at a cost, allowing them to borrowhard copy material but not to gain access to electronic content.Some providers have started to introduce schemes which allow access to online material if theinstitution pays an additional fee, although this has not yet appeared in the more genericmodel licences which form part of core negotiations on behalf of the HE sector and insteadare very much ad hoc arrangements.Alumni are becoming a much courted set of users in universities and the requirement to offerthem more for their money is likely to be an increasing factor in licence negotiation andacceptance.
  4. 4. Slide 9:We have already mentioned walk-in users.As a recap, they are quite often a large group – especially so when an institution allows accessto members of the public as day visitors for free. They can members of the NHS, teachers,solicitors – in theory anybody.When they use resources in a participating institution they generally agree to a set of termsand conditions which a/ protects the provider from misuse of a resource and b/ prevents theinstitution from inadvertently breaching their licence conditions. Walk-in users mustauthenticate in some way and be identifiable, and their access to resources must be restrictedto those resources where a licence allows access.Moving from print to e has caused some problems in areas where the material was onceavailable to all without restriction providing they had a right to be in within the universitylibrary buildings; some groups, particularly in the NHS, may now feel disenfranchised andwalk-in user provision works for them. But it is ironic that a visitor may be allowed moreaccess to an institution’s resources than a legitimate current student based outside of the UK.Slide 10:Moving on to another user group which can be potentially large: distance learners. Here wecould also place the lifelong learner or the student who is involved in widening participation.These students may rarely or never visit their home institution in person but instead followtheir course somewhere else. The term could also apply to the part-time evening student whospends the rest of the time working in a school, a hospital, a company, etc.Since most e-resources were opened up to off-campus access the distance learner has not beena poor relation to the student taught on campus on a full-time basis, but licences should beclear on authentication methods allowed and on any regions where the material may not beaccessed so as to ensure resources are accessed correctly.Slide 11:I’d like to highlight some site definitions at this point, as this can be a confusing area withinlicences, and in some cases, even impacts on the price an institution will pay for a resource.Here, both OUP and the American Academy of Pediatrics are clear on the definition of a site– one where all buildings are in the same city. The AAP goes on to clarify that the site shouldalso be under one central administration, something which is also a condition for single-sitedefinition at the BMJ. IEEE goes further in defining a site as one where buildings existwithin 5 miles of each other.However many institutions have grown in such a way that their campuses may not be in thesame city, although they may be centrally administered with one HR department, forexample. Some licences also stipulate that campuses must be joined together in some way inorder to be classed as ‘single-site’. Universities generally have one IP range across all theircampuses so it can be difficult to keep to a condition of site definition which is distance-defined. The cost implications are as yet not significant but with more providers moving to asite-based form of charging, this may change.
  5. 5. Slide 12:From the same group of four licences, let’s look at the definition of authorised user.BMJ mentions students or staff based within the same IP range, or authenticated throughremote access. OUP mentions everyone as long as they are securely authenticated. IEEE has‘persons affiliated’, ‘persons physically present’ and ‘other persons’ with permission; whilethe AAP asks for ‘current, authenticated affiliation’.These are very similar terms, but can mean slightly different things. For example, I wouldtake IEEE’s ‘other persons’ to potentially mean someone who can be securely authenticatedby the institution but not necessarily be ‘affiliated’.Those licences which mention affiliated staff and students do not go on to define the term.Again, this could be open to interpretation.Slide 13:I wanted to link with another presentation being given today in briefly looking at howlicences interact with ERMs and how machine-readable clauses may help. Currentlyelectronic resource management systems tend to require manual input of licence details andconditions, which can be time-consuming and prone to error. Initiatives such as ONIX-PLcan only speed up and clarify this process, and allow clear guidance to be issued to end-users,with clauses easily and quickly searchable.I’d also like to highlight the fact that most licences are wordy (anything up to 15 pages) andfull of legalese and jargon. A more user-friendly approach is badly needed to ensure themaintenance of contract between end user and provider, and the goodwill between the two.Model licensing has been with us from around 15 years now – we’re probably all familiarwith the JISC and NESLi2 model licences, Eduserv’s Schedule 4, and the work done by JohnCox Associates for - and provides a clear benchmark by which to assessindividual licences. I would like to see more providers adopting a model template, whichwould reduce the number of times an institution has to seek clarification of a clause only to betold that the provider doesn’t quite understand it either!I’ve put inconsistency on here because there are still a lot of grey areas in licensing; I thinkwe would all like to see a consistent approach at least in key clauses.
  6. 6. Slide 14:Now we move on to another thorny issue with licenses – how to keep the historical recordfrom one contract to another. It is relatively easy to find out what we have access to now, butwhat about 2, 3, 5 years ago? What about perpetual access to content or post-cancellationaccess? In a print-based world, there were no such concerns but in terms of e-resources,considerations such as these are extremely important.Definitions of an authorised user may change – which can impact on user groups as earliermentioned. One example of this is where a provider decides to no longer allow access tostudents who are not based in the UK, which could leave a course cohort without any resourcesupport part way through their studies. If a current licence supersedes a past one, how canthis change be addressed?Where and when is a wider issue – if where refers to both geographical and authentication,are the two exclusive, or are the two impossible to reconcile? When can refer to both a timeissue (for example is maintenance and associated downtime of a US-based resource generallydone to favour its own geographical audience, or is it fairly distributed between different timezones?) or to content itself – does the licence cover both current content and backfilematerial?Authentication can also change between licences and sometimes has to as different forms ofaccess evolve.And finally, does a new licence really override a previous licence in all points? Or can it beinterpreted that the previous licence, referring to the previous content, is governed by one setof conditions, and a new licence is governed by another?I’ve put ‘why’ here as an open question – why does all this matter, does it matter, and if itdoes, are we any nearer to having an effective solution for managing old licences?Slide 15:Here are a few theoretical instances where the institution and the provider may differ in theirview of the conditions of a licence.All this equals the view that licences are (by necessity and definition?) grey – should they be?And what is a licence’s main focus? I think it should be to allow access to those who havepaid for it, but there should of course be a balance between the do’s and the don’ts.
  7. 7. Slide 16:Here is a quick slide with some closing thoughts about how universities currently operate.Overseas campuses are a relatively new innovation, where a UK based institution opens acampus in China, for example.Overseas partnerships have been around for some time and continue to grow as this is alucrative market; but in some cases students are disadvantaged and/or have unclear statusbecause of the country in which they happen to be based.Partnerships we have already mentioned, as well as joint initiatives. Will more jointinitiatives lead to a pooling of resources? In the print world there is already some movementtowards resources being shared between institutions – how easy would this be to achieve fore-content? (For example agreements which allow access between a university and its NHSmembers under one subscription).Courses validated in the armed forces are growing and is an interesting area – commercial ornot?CPD and lifelong learning we have mentioned – important functions of HE and FE, but howare they served by e-resource provision? And how does widening participation, an importantinitiative of the last government’s administration, fit in?And finally there can be a wider range of partnerships between universities and their localbusiness community, or their local public library.Slide 17:I can only see partnership arrangements flourishing and evolving over the next few years;licences need to be ready to evolve with them.Alumni we have already talked about – students who leave a university will have highexpectations when they join as alumni members, especially in institutions where there hasbeen a huge shift from print to e content.Further innovation, especially in terms of links with commercial partners, is inevitable – arelicenses ready for this? Universities are generally not keen to infringe, but to make somethinghappen under negotiated conditions.Finally, it seems that the ‘virtual campus’ has been discussed for many years. Is it just a shortstep from courses running in Second Life to a student-free physical university campus witheveryone accessing material through an internet connection?Can we really pre-empt what will happen in a world where everything technological isadvancing quicker than we could ever imagine?End.