Sunday, June 01, 2008

Canadian Study on E-Books in Research Libraries

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) recently published a study entitled E-Books in Research Libraries: Issues of Access and Use.

The report includes:
  • A literature review;
  • A review of e-book licenses and comparisons with print;
  • An examination of differences between access and use of print books and e-books and impact on scholarship;
  • An outline of the issues of access and use of e- books in Research Libraries
It deals with the current instability and confusion in the e-book market, the different access mechanisms, negotiation strategies for libraries, issues relating to ILL and interjurisdictional conflicts, digital rights management, and the impact of e-books on scholarship.

The report concludes:
"There is a danger that research libraries are adding e-books to their collections using agreements that significantly reduce users’ rights. There is some urgency to improve this situation before it becomes a de facto standard. The Task Group on E-Books makes two recommendations to the CARL Copyright Committee: to create or endorse a statement of principles for licensing e-books, and to create a model license for Canadian research libraries."
Among the principles recommended are the following:
  • a guarantee of user rights as permitted under Canadian copyright law;
  • no digital rights management, or limited DRM with circumvention permitted to exercise non-infringing user rights under the Act;
  • the governing law must be Canadian;
  • the ability to audit for price comparison (limited confidentiality/nondisclosure clause);
  • detailed user information and analysis to gauge impact on scholarship;
  • removal of content clause; and
  • permanent copy provisions
CARL is made up of academic research libraries, the Library of Parliament, Library and Archives Canada, and CISTI (Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:46 pm


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