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Getting Started with SERU – for Libraries

First things first: Read the SERU Document (it’s short!)

The NISO SERU RP is available here.

How to participate:

  • Sign up for inclusion on the SERU Registry. It’s that simple.
  • Contact the publisher and ask if they would like to use SERU in place of a license.
  • If you both agree to use SERU, send an email or purchase order document (examples) to the publisher that includes a statement that you are using SERU in place of a license and that documents any terms or concerns not documented in SERU. (see below).
  • SERU can be used whenever the library and publisher agree to use it. When you register at the SERU site, there is NO commitment to use SERU every time, and you may revert back to a license whenever you choose.

Why participate?

  • Licensing continues to be a labor intensive process for libraries. Libraries that need to do more with less can eliminate the time and effort of a negotiated license by reverting to copyright law + the SERU Best Practice.
  • SERU has been time tested, and has the support of both the library and scholarly publishing communities.
  • Just as with print resources, Copyright law continues to define the rights and restrictions of use, while SERU helps identify and define those things that were not part of the print environment (things like who is an authorized user, what is a site, what is the expected behavior for resolving misuse of the resource, etc.).

Things to consider at your institution:

If your institution requires the legal or purchasing departments to sign off on licenses, you will want to be sure you make the case for using SERU and have their support.
Using SERU is a simple process, but there are many different business models for e-resources. Many libraries develop lists of questions to ask the publisher so there is clarity in expectations.