More and more of our collections, not to mention our budgets, consist of Online Resources. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when managing these valuable resources:
- Find out the terms of the license upfront: Is it a single user license or a five concurrent user license? Any restrictions by location? Copyright restrictions? Redistribution restrictions?
- Weigh the cost of multiple individual licenses versus a firmwide license.
- Try to negotiate with the vendors, to see if they will come down from their initial price quotes.
- If you are opting for a firmwide license, consider getting IP Authentication, so your users will not have to enter logon information when accessing within your network.
- Users may not be able to access IP Authenticated resources if they are using a device that is outside of the network – have the vendor provide you with firmwide logon information for those situations.
- Keep a list of all your online resources that use IP Authentication, along with contact information – If the IP Authentication addresses change, use the list to notify all the vendors of the changes.
- If you have multiple single-user licenses, have the vendor provide you with the logon information for each user.
- Make sure you know how to add and delete users for each resource.
- If the service doesn’t have a management tool for the logon information, keep the information in your own database or spreadsheet – users will come to you if they forget or lose their logon information.
- Try to get the vendors to provide you with meaningful usage statistics – there are not a lot of other ways to determine whether the resource is being used.
A Few Definitions
- Concurrent user – a license that allows multiple users to access the resource, but only one user at any given time.
- Redistribution restrictions – can you forward on an article from an online resource to someone within your organization or to someone outside your organization, such as a client?
- Logon information – usually consisting of a logon/username and a password.
- IP Authentication – way to provide secure access to online content by filtering, based on certain criteria, such as an IP address. There is no need for users to enter logon information.
SLA Legal Division Mentoring Committee Chair