NISO Issues Fast-Tracked SERU Draft - Document on Shared E-Resource Understanding in Trial Use Through December 20

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Only nine months after the Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Working Group was first formed, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has issued a Draft for Trial Use of "SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding" (SERU version 0.9). The SERU trial period runs from June 20, 2007 through December 20, 2007; the draft is available from:

The SERU recommended practice document aims to solve the problem of customer-by-customer, bilaterally negotiated formal legal contracts, which increase the cost of sales for both libraries and publishers and delay access for users at subscribing institutions. The document consists of a framework and set of statements that express frequently adopted expectations among academic and other nonprofit libraries and publishers.

Libraries and publishers will be able to forgo a license by referencing these common understandings. To facilitate trial uses of the statement, SERU 0.9 includes guidelines for implementation and the Working Group's website includes new accompanying FAQs to assist users of the statements. A registry of libraries, publishers, and other content providers who wish to announce their interest in using SERU for transactions during the six-month pilot is also available. The working group encourages pilot use of the 0.9 draft by interested libraries and publishers. To join the registry or see the list of current trial participants visit:

"We are very pleased with the active participation of the community in the comment period," said Todd Carpenter. "By publicly and openly accepting comments from a diverse group of publishers and librarians, the group has been able to develop a draft that addresses the key issues with subtlety and creativity."

The Working Group continues to welcome comments on the draft document and encourages their submission to co-chairs Karla Hahn ( or Judy Luther ( or to any other member of the Working Group:

SPARC is a member of the SERU working group.