Jump to Content

The CDL Licensing Process

As a collaborative library of the University of California, the California Digital Library’s primary collection responsibility is to facilitate the provision of scholarly electronic content to all faculty and students. The acquisitions process reflects the CDL’s commitment to collaboration with campuses to discover and acquire electronic materials in support of campus teaching and research.

The CDL licenses digital materials in consultation with UC campus subject area selectors (bibliographers) and the 10 campus Collection Development Officers. Because this is a consultative process, most proposals take a minimum of three to six months for review and decision-making. In situations where a vendor’s license terms vary from the CDL’s preferred terms and conditions, additional time may be needed. Proposal timelines should be set accordingly. See the CDL standard license agreement (for vendors] .

Licensing Step by Step

  1. The Joint Steering Committee on Shared Collections (JSC) survey

    The annual survey conducted by the UC systemwide JSC is the first step in this selection process. The JSC is charged with identifying appropriate mechanisms for shared content development to serve UC instructional and research programs.

    To further this objective, the JSC annually surveys the inter-campus bibliographer groups to identify the rich variety of resources in each subject discipline that benefit faculty, students, and scholars throughout the system. The results of the surveys reflect the expertise, energy, and interest of more than 200 UC subject specialists who participate. Priorities for CDL involvement are developed in consultation with the JSC and collection development officers on all campuses.

  2. CDL review of business terms and technical requirements

    The CDL encourages vendors to frame their business models with:

    • Perpetual access rights rather than annual leases.
    • Increasing consortial discounts based on campus participation. Full participation (a 10-campus license) should warrant a significant price advantage.
    • 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.

    The CDL Collection Development staff evaluate proposals in terms of possible consortial discounts and reasonable cost, history of inflationary increases, and license terms. CDL technical staff evaluate product offerings for technical quality. Specifically they evaluate a vendor's ability (or willingness) to create effective links to other content (via OpenURL/SFX), to comply with CDL technical requirements, to accommodate SearchLight, and to produce monthly usage statistics by campus and by title. The CDL will work with vendors to create a research-quality technical environment that meets the UC’s needs.

    The CDL requires that:

    • 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 own the rights to the content and warrant that it will not subsequently sell or lose rights to the content.

    If any of these are not offered, the pricing should reflect the reduced value of the product. Vendors are asked to cooperate with implementing additional or alternative authentication measures beyond IP address filtering, when they become available.

  3. Trial period

    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. Please contact CDL collection development staff for timing of trials.

  4. Final approval period

    When there is agreement on price and terms, the CDL will seek a final recommendation to purchase from the JSC. 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 last stage may take up to a month.

  5. License terms negotiation

    The CDL requests that vendors review the Checklist of points to be addressed in a CDL license agreement and the CDL model license [.rtf] , which describe the CDL’s preferred license terms.

    CDL licensing staff will open license terms negotiations to discover and address variances from the terms in the CDL model license. The CDL requests that vendors submit a copy of the proposed contract in electronic form via email so it may be easily marked up and commented. Using the CDL Model License is the preferred alternative.

    Once a final agreement has been reached on business terms, the CDL may provide 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 06, 2017
Document owner: