The Impact of Licensing Agreements on Access to Information, in Academic Librarianship in the 21st Century

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter

Organizational Units

Sturm College of Law


Licensing agreements, Terms and Conditions, License agreement, License terms, Copyright, Interlibrary loan, Copyright law, Agreements


Today’s academic libraries are forced to enter into a significant number of licensing agreements every year for access to electronic resources. Vendors, or licensors, have the power to dictate the terms and conditions set forth in the license agreement. While libraries may attempt to negotiate and change certain terms, their attempts are often futile or met with strong resistance. Ultimately, the terms of these license agreements dictate the ability of libraries to provide access to electronic resources for their patrons. The license terms may limit or curtail access by certain patron groups, including alumni, walk-in users, the public, and other higher education institutions. The license agreement may also eliminate or restrict libraries’ abilities to rely on the fair use provisions or engage in interlibrary loan under copyright law. Additionally, libraries may choose to or be forced for economic reasons to discontinue their print collection of titles that are also available electronically. These libraries may be left scrambling to provide access to these same resources if the licensor eliminates or changes its titles, years of coverage, or ceases to exist as an entity. As a result of these scenarios, libraries may find themselves unable to provide the level of intended access to electronic resources in accordance with their goals or mission statement. This inability to provide access can be directly tied back to the license agreement and its terms and conditions.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by Nova Science Publishers. User is responsible for all copyright compliance. This book chapter was originally published as STACEY L. BOWERS, Chapter to ACADEMIC LIBRARIANSHIP IN THE 21ST CENTURY (Claudia M. Garcia & Teresa A. Flores eds., 2009).

Rights Holder

Nova Science Publishers


English (eng)


17 pgs

File Size

131 KB