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ONIX-PL Working Group


The ONIX-PL Working Group, created in 2008 upon the disbandment of the original License Expression Working Group (LEWG), is a joint project of NISO and EDItEUR. The group is charged to:

  1. Actively support and contribute to the continued development of the ONIX–PL standard for license expression to ensure it is fit for use by all types of stakeholders.
  2. Communicate with all stakeholders about the current state of ONIX–PL development and what it means to them, and champion its use.
  3. Report regularly to the sponsoring bodies - DLF, EDItEUR, NISO, and PLS - about progress and plans.

Alicia Wise will be assuming the role of Chair for the ONIX-PL Working Group, while Ivy Anderson and Tim Jewell are spearheading the creation and direction of the subcommittee that will be surveying re ERMI and the broader ERM landscape. 


ONIX for Publications Licenses (ONIX-PL) is a family of standard XML messaging protocols for exchanging licensing information that builds on the work of the Digital Libraries Federation Electronic Resource Management Initiative (ERMI) and NISO's License Expression Working Group (LEWG).

NISO's License Expression Working Group (LEWG) began in 2005, with a two-part charge:

  1. Monitor and make recommendations regarding the further development of standards relating to electronic resources and license expression, including but not limited to the ERMI and EDItEUR work.
  2. Actively engage in the development of the ONIX license messaging specification.

Since that time these two areas have become more clearly and distinctly defined. In addition, much progress has been made and the ONIX-PL standard, developed to meet the needs of librarians and publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, is now nearing its pilot phase and we are poised to begin awareness raising campaigns. As a result, in mid-2008 LEWG was restructured to ensure focused attention in these areas. The original LEWG has therefore been replaced with a new Working Group to focus specifically on development of the ONIX license messaging specification, and a second, short-term sub-committee of the Business Information Topic Committee that is tasked with conducting a survey of the current and emerging place of "ERMI", thus defined within the broader ERM landscape, to better determine how vendors are implementing the ERMI data dictionary and related documents and how libraries are making use of these systems and services.


ONIX-PL Home (EDItEUR website)

Webinar: ONIX for Publications Licenses (ONIX-PL): Simplifying License Expression
Held September 2008. Includes additional resource links and presentation slides.

Webinar: ONIX for Publication Licenses: Adding Structure to Legalese
Help December 2009. Event page includes presentation slides and additional resources.

ONIX-ERMI Mapping (November 19, 2007)

ONIX-ERMI Encoding Format (November 19, 2007)


Committee Roster



Rick Burke

Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC)

Oliver Pesch

Chief Product Strategist
EBSCO Information Services