Library Statements and Principles

The following links contain information and documents created by library groups to aid consortia in negotiation, licensing and other activities. Although some of the following documents are dated, they represent useful guidelines from which to understand the nature and operation of library consortia.

IFLA Key Issues for E-Resource Collection Development

IFLA (The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services, with 1500 members in 150 countries. In August 2012, it published a guide for the acquisition of electronic resources: Key Issues for E-Resource Collection Development. Chapter 3 (Licensing considerations for e-resources) provides information on the issues of:

  • access
  • use of electronic information resources
  • vendor support and technical consideration
  • flexibility and enhancement
  • legal problems
International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) Documents

The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) first met informally as the Consortium of Consortia (COC) in 1997. The Coalition continues to be an informal, self-organized group comprising (as of April 2014) approximately 200 library consortia from around the world. The group serves primarily higher education institutions by facilitating discussion among consortia on issues of common interest. Over the last ten years ICOLC has issued several statements on licensing issues. They are available at, and include:

  • Revised Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and its Impact on Consortial Licenses (June 2010)
  • Revised Guidelines for Statistical Measures of Usage of Web-based Information Resources (October 2006)
  • Statement of Current Perspective and Preferred Practices for Selection and Purchase of Electronic Information (October 2004)
  • Privacy Guidelines for Electronic Resources Vendors (July 2002)
NISO Shared Electronic Resource Understanding

NISO (National Information Standards Organization) is a non-profit group organization, which develops mutually accepted standards for libraries, publishers, and software developers. In 2012, it created the SERU (Shared Electronic Resource Understanding) best practice as an alternative to licence negotiations.


Model Licences

Ringgold model standard licences for use by publishers, librarians and subscription agents for electronic resources

Ringgold provides a suite of model licenses for use in the public domain, developed for many different types of licensees: The Academic Consortia License is available at:

JISC Model Licences

JISC is a UK public body providing expertise on information and technology for education and research institutions. It posts its NESLi2, databases and archives Model Licences on its website, which other consortia may use as a basis for their own licenses:


The Center for Research Libraries, a consortium of more than 250 libraries in the United States, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and India, hosts the LIBLICENSE project . It is a discussion forum about issues that arise in the acquisition of electronic content. CRL provides a model licence agreement for e-resources, with a particular focus on the university library community. It was revised and updated in December 2014 to include best practices of library professionals and guidance by legal and publishing professionals:

LIBLICENSE National Site License Initiatives

CRL has gathered on its LIBLICENSE site a small collection of licences used by academic consortia across the world: e.g. ANKOS (Turkey), CAUL (Australia), CRKN (Canada) and SURF (Netherlands): Model licences used by American consortia like CDL, CIC and NELLCO are available at:

LIBLICENSE Developing Nations Initiatives

As part of the LIBLICENSE site, CRL provides a list of the Developing Nations Initiatives around the world: These programmes have been developed to bring peer-reviewed scholarly journals and other online information to developing nations for free or at a very low cost. They range from the efforts of individual publishers to subject portals, assistance for particular nations to entire continents and global initiatives.

NERL Model License

NERL (NorthEast Research Libraries) is a consortium of over 100 academic research libraries in the United States. It has developed a model licence, which is recommend by ARL.

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