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Licensing Principles and Expectations for Vendors

Grounded in the University of Washington Libraries 2018-2021 Strategic Plan goal to, “develop scalable, strategic and sustainable models of collection development, preservation and stewardship,” and guided by our Collection Development Guiding Principles, the following set of Licensing Principles are an articulation of our values in the service of the teaching, research, and scholarship at the University of Washington and our shared responsibility to support discovery and the creation of knowledge around the world. We strive towards openness and transparency in our communication with our stakeholders and vendors. We defend long established norms of collaboration and sharing among libraries and scholars. We seek to maintain our productive communication with our vendors and publisher partners through our open sharing of these values and principles.

Authorized Users

We are committed to licensing resources for the benefit of all students and researchers at the University of Washington, including individuals visiting the University to use our collections onsite.

“Authorized users” include all current students, faculty, and staff of the University of Washington. As a public institution with a broad mandate to serve the State of Washington, the UW Libraries' "authorized users" also include other library patrons accessing the UW Libraries’ collection onsite (a.k.a. “walk-in users”).

Fair Use/Scholarly Sharing

We recognize and respect the well-established principle of Fair Use.

Fair Use principles permit library users to make certain uses of copyrighted materials for non-commercial, educational, instructional, and research purposes. Licenses must not expressly prohibit fair use of information by authorized users.  Agreements should allow for the printing, downloading, and copying activities that are inherent in scholarly work. The license should specifically permit instructional use in the form of electronic reserves and course packs, as well as scholarly sharing of reasonable amounts of content with third party colleagues.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

We believe that provisions for interlibrary loan or other equivalent services should be included in all relevant license agreements.

As a general principle, libraries should be able to deliver reasonable length extracts from licensed information to other libraries that have not signed a contract for that information for use by a specific patron. The UW Libraries should be able to use electronic resources for the purpose of supplying interlibrary loan requests in accordance with the Interlibrary Loan Provision of section 108 of the US Copyright Law.

Usage Data

Standards compliant usage data is essential to support assessment and decision making.

Usage data should be made available on-demand. Usage data should be COUNTER compliant and adhere to the most recent COUNTER Code of Practice. Usage data should be made available on-demand via a web-based portal and accessible via SUSHI.


We are committed to providing equitable service and access to information for all our library users.

Licensors shall ensure their resources are accessible and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), by supporting assistive software or devices such as large print interfaces, text-to-speech output, voice-activated input, refreshable braille displays, and alternate keyboard or pointer interfaces, in a manner consistent with the Web Accessibility Initiative Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Licensors should provide a current, accurate, completed WCAG Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) to demonstrate compliance with accessibility standards.

No Non-disclosure/Confidentiality Agreement

We believe it is critical to be transparent about our license agreements with our user community and academic partners.

Nondisclosure agreements preclude the ability to achieve fairness and openness in the electronic resources acquisition process. Because confidentiality clauses prevent libraries from communicating with others pricing and the terms and conditions of use, vendors should not restrict us from sharing information with our stakeholders and colleagues.

Authors Rights

UW Authors should be able to use their own scholarly work and share it openly for the public good, without delay or publisher embargo.

Many author’s agreements require authors to transfer their copyright in order to be published. We believe that Licensors should work with authors to enable them to retain their copyright and use their own work when and how they see fit, including self-archiving or depositing their work in UW’s institutional repository or other subject-based, national, or open repositories or archives.

April 11, 2019