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CDL Licensing Process

CDL licenses digital materials in consultation with UC campus librarians and collection development officers. Most proposals take a minimum of three to six months for review. Please see the following for the process.

Licensing Step by Step

  1. Joint Steering Committee on Shared Collections (JSC) survey and/or Shared Content Leadership Group (SCLG) wish lists
  2. Priorities for UC systemwide licensing are discussed at the Joint Steering Committee on Shared Collections (JSC) and the Shared Content Leadership Group (SCLG). Previously, JSC annually surveyed UC librarians to identify the resources that are useful across the UC system. Recent budgetary challenges made us consider different approaches. For example, SCLG plans on identifying resources that are needed at many UC campuses and prioritizing systemwide purchases based on the wish lists, submitted by collection development officers who serve on SCLG.


  3. CDL review of business terms and technical requirements
  4. CDL encourages vendors to frame their business models with:

    • Perpetual access rights rather than annual leases.
    • Increasing discounts based on campus participation. Full participation, involving ten UC campuses, should warrant a significant price advantage.
    • No or low ongoing maintenance fees.
    • A cap on inflationary annual increases.
    • Unlimited access.
    • No restriction on canceling subscriptions for print or other formats for the titles represented in the proposal.
    • Discounts on open access Article Processing Charges (APC)

    Additionally, CDL evaluates product offerings for technical quality. Please see CDL Technical Guidelines for Vendors.

    For the licensing terms, the CDL requires the following among other things:

    • Campuses have the right to use reasonable portions of the product in classrooms and electronic reserves, to the extent permitted by the Classroom Use provisions of copyright law and in accordance with Fair Use provisions of copyright law.
    • Vendors allow interlibrary loan between libraries for non-commercial purposes in compliance with Section 108 Interlibrary Loan provisions of copyright law.
    • The vendor owns the rights to the content and warrant that it will not subsequently sell or lose rights to the content.
  5. Trial
  6. All proposals should provide an adequate test and evaluation period for general access to the production version of the product, which may occur during the negotiations period.


  7. Approval period
  8. When there is general agreement on price and terms, the CDL will seek a recommendation to purchase from JSC. Once JSC endorses the proposal, CDL seeks SCLG’s approval. If the license fees are co-funded by the UC campuses, the CDL will also seek agreement on participation and co-investment from campus collection development officers. This stage may take up to a month.


  9. License terms negotiation
  10. Once SCLG approves the purchase, CDL discusses license terms with the vendor. CDL prefers to draft the agreement using the CDL Standard License Agreement.

    CDL occasionally provides a letter of intent to enter into an agreement, pending negotiation of the final license terms, so that access may begin immediately.

Last updated: January 26, 2017
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