Friday, February 8, 2008

NISO Issues Best Practices for Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU)

NISO Issues Best Practices for Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU)

Slightly more than one year after the Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Working Group was formed, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has issued "SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding" as part of its Recommended Practice series
(NISO-RP-7-2008). The SERU document's publication follows a six-month trial use period, during which time librarians and publishers reported on their experiences using the draft document.

SERU offers publishers and librarians the opportunity to save both the time and the costs associated with a negotiated and signed license agreement by agreeing to operate within a framework of shared understanding and good faith.

"SERU is a wonderful example of librarians and publishers working together to create a new option for electronic resource transactions that is convenient and legal," said Working Group co-chair Karla Hahn, Director, Office of Scholarly Communications, Association of Research
Libraries. "Small publishers, especially, will be able to use SERU to reduce licensing costs making them more competitive and easier for librarians to work with."

Co-chair Judy Luther, President of Informed Strategies, added, "Based on a decade of licensing experience, SERU represents widely adopted practices already in place in North America, and is both library and publisher friendly."

"The SERU Working Group developed a document that addresses the key issues in a manner that is nuanced and creative, and they did it in record time," said Todd Carpenter, NISO's Managing Director. "The feedback we received during the trial use period was uniformly
positive." The trial use period ran from June 20 through December 20, 2007.

The Recommended Practice and a SERU FAQ are available from the SERU webpage ( In accordance with plans laid out by the SERU Working Group, which concluded its work with publication of the Recommended Practice, NISO will produce additional materials to help publishers and libraries adopt a SERU approach,
maintain a registry of participants, and continue to promote, educate, and plan for regular review and evaluation of SERU.

Cynthia Hodgson
NISO Technical Editor Consultant
National Information Standards Organization
Phone: 301-654-2512

(reposted from Serialst list)

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