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Initiative Group

Timothy D. Jewell, University of Washington

Ivy Anderson, Harvard University

Adam Chandler, Cornell University

Sharon E. Farb, UCLA

Kimberly Parker, Yale University

Angela Riggio, UCLA

Nathan D. M. Robertson, The Johns Hopkins University


Electronic Resource Management

Report of the DLF ERM Initiative

Timothy D. Jewell, Ivy Anderson, Adam Chandler, Sharon E. Farb, Kimberly Parker, Angela Riggio, and Nathan D. M. Robertson


Digital Library Federation
Washington, D.C.

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The Digital Library Federation (DLF) is a consortium of thirty-three members and five allied organizations that are pioneering the use of electronic information technologies to extend library collections and services. We pride ourselves on our ability to concentrate the talent of our librarians and technologists on issues of shared importance. The Electronic Resources Management Initiative (ERMI) is one such collaboration and has proved to be a timely and wide-reaching endeavor, finding a ready audience in libraries, systems vendors, and standards organizations.

The problem this initiative addresses is a pervasive one: when libraries acquire licensed electronic resources, they must comprehend, transmit, and inform others about the many financial, legal, and access aspects of these arrangements. The acquisitions and licensing processes are complex-publishers transmit this information to libraries in a variety of paper and electronic formats, and the number of licensed electronic products that libraries are collecting is increasing rapidly. Such situations tend to spawn local, ad hoc fixes. By contrast, the DLF ERMI has created a coordinated solution, developing the common specifications found in this important publication for the management of license agreements, related administrative information, and the internal processes associated with licensed electronic resources.

Even when it was in draft form, response to this work has been swift and gratifying. Major vendors of library systems have been informed by the recommendations of the ERMI report as they design license management capacities into their software suites. The developers of ONIX, the metadata scheme used widely by academic and trade publishers, are looking closely at adopting ERMI as they consider their license expression needs, and the United Kingdom's national serials union catalogue (SUNCAT) is testing ERMI as it seeks to express and store licenses within this developing national service.

David Seaman
Executive Director
Digital Library Federation

Table of Contents

Executive Summary


Appendix A: Functional Requirements

Appendix B: Workflow Diagram

Appendix C: Entity Relationship Diagram for Electronic Resource Management

Appendix D: Data Element Dictionary

Appendix E: Electronic Resources Management System Data Structure

Appendix F: XML Investigation

Background documents and discussion list

Copyright © 2004 by the Digital Library Federation
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