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RE: Discovering Others' Contracts?

Robert Berkman asked:

Wondering--is there a source, site, mechanism etc. where 
librarians can discover what other libraries of similar size have 
negotiated with an information vendor, so that there is some 
guideline to know a range of what one's license "should" cost? 
Kind of like a Consumer Reports for the automobile manufacturer 
price (though I know with this it would be harder as each license 
is customized)

So--is there any official or informal place where this is 
published or available? Or do librarians informally try to share 
this? Are there ethical considerations when undertaking this kind 
of activity?

***At one point some members of this list did try to start of a 
database with this sort of information. This is what I wrote 
about it around that time:

"Another useful resource currently under development by 
LibLicense is the Interlibrary Loan Terms database 
(http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense/ILLproject.html [not there 
anymore]).  In 2001, a working group of LibLicense list 
participants developed a publisher questionnaire and database 
format for collecting and organizing information on ILL terms 
offered by different suppliers and aggregators.  At the time, 
this was conceived of as a centralized location where libraries 
could check their interlibrary loan requests to see if the 
provider of the database they planned to use allowed interlibrary 

However, as more and more libraries find that negotiating terms 
is possible, its purpose has evolved.  The database can now be 
used to find out a publisher's terms before negotiations begin, 
and to gather data about other providers' interlibrary loan terms 
to show reluctant providers that interlibrary loan from 
electronic documents is a viable option.  The Interlibrary Loan 
Terms database committee hopes that, as more vendors enter their 
terms into the database and see what other publishers are doing 
about interlibrary loan, terms will become more standardized 
across the industry. "

Alas, it never got too far off the ground.  One reason was that 
publishers did not seem that interested in participating. 
Another is that many contracts include clauses forbidding 
libraries from revealing the terms of their contracts -- to 
prevent just this sort of information sharing.

Janet Brennan Croft
Associate Professor
Head of Access Services
University of Oklahoma Libraries
Norman OK 73019
Editor of Mythlore http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html
Book Review Editor of Oklahoma Librarian