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NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Releases Draft Recommended Practices

NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Releases Draft 
Recommended Practices March 15, 2007

NISO;s Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Working Group has 
posted its first public draft best practices document on its 

This document, "The SERU Approach to E-Resource Subscriptions: 
Framework for Development and Use of SERU," presents a shared set 
of understandings to which publishers and libraries can point 
when negotiating the sale of electronic content. The framework 
offers publishers and libraries a solution to the often 
burdensome process of bilateral negotiation of a formal license 
agreement by allowing the sale of e-resources without licenses if 
both parties feel their perception of risk has been adequately 
addressed by current law and developing norms of behavior.

The SERU Working Group welcomes comments on its draft document. 
Please direct comments and suggestions to Judy Luther 
(judy.luther@informedstrategies.com) or Karla Hahn 
(karla@arl.org), the working group co-chairs, or any other member 
of the working group. The SERU project also maintains an 
informational listserv where comments can be shared along with 
announcements of future developments with the project. 
Information on joining the list is available on the project's 

Following the initial comment period, a revised draft version 
will be made available in late May for trial use during 2007. 
During this pilot phase, publishers wishing to sell their 
products using a SERU approach will be able to join a NISO 
registry to indicate their willingness to forego a license 
agreement and rely on the shared expectations expressed in the 
Common Understanding statement. Publishers can also indicate to 
serials vendors and to customers their desire to do business in 
this way. The registry is under development; however, publishers 
and libraries that are interested in using this approach during 
the review period are encouraged to contact one of the working 
group chairs now.

SERU was launched in late 2006 in partnership with the 
Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of 
Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), the 
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), 
and the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP). More information 
about the SERU Working Group, including FAQs and an electronic 
mailing list, can be found at http://www.niso.org/ 

Submitted on behalf of the SERU Working Group


Karla Hahn, Director
Office of Scholarly Communications
Association of Research Libraries
21 Dupont Circle
Washington, D.C. 20036
voice: 202-296-2296
      fax: 202-872-0884
email: karla@arl.org