Baltimore, MD – February 5, 2008 – Slightly more than one year after the Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Working Group was formed, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has issued the SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding as part of its Recommended Practice series (NISO-RP-7-2008). The SERU document codifies best practices and is freely available from: www.niso.org/committees/seru/. 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.
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.
About the National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
NISO fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of an information standard. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). More information about NISO is available on its website: www.niso.org.