The Survey of Library Database Licensing Practices, 2012 Edition

  • July 2012
  • -
  • Primary Research Group
  • -
  • 120 pages


The 120+ page international study is based on data from 60 academic, corporate, legal and public libraries each with mean annual database spending of more than $1.13 million.
The report analyzes spending history and intentions for databases, ebooks, eDirectories, electronic journal collections and other forms of online intellectual property, and gives detailed data on number of licenses maintained, plans for renewals, staff time spent in servicing licenses, incidence of legal problems with database vendors, and the use of digital repositories, ebook lending services, free backfiles from journal publishers and other non-traditional sources of intellectual property.
The study relates library renewal and purchase plans by type of medium (ie directories, ebooks, journals etc) and by subject matter (business/finance, medical, humanities, etc) and also looks at many special purpose issues such as the perceived usefulness of applications to permit database access on smartphones, tablet computers and other emerging devices, as well as the perceived need for database coverage of blogs, wikis, podcasts and other emerging mediums. In addition, the study gives extensive information on how librarians feel about the accuracy of the invoices that they receive from database vendors, and how scrupulous the vendors are in adhering to contract terms.
The report also gives extensive data on the role played by consortia in licensing, as well as information on perceived database price increases for a broad range of product types and subject areas.
Data in the report is broken out for US, developing country, and Non-US developed country participants, as well as by type of library and library size, among other variables.

Some the report's many findings are that:

Libraries in the sample spend a mean of $70,030 per year on electronic licenses for e-books
eBook spending by the libraries in the sample has increased by an aggregate 60% over the past two years.
44.64% of libraries in the sample expect to cut 25% or more of their current contracts for directories in the next two years.
7.02% of survey participants say that the ability to access databases through smartphones and other handheld devices is essential for their library and 33.33% categorize it as important.
48.28% of survey participants in college libraries and 45.45% of those in public libraries would like blogs indexed in the databases they now use.
Libraries in the sample participated in a mean of 3 consortia from which they licensed at least one database and consortia accounted for 44.56% of the database licenses for the libraries in the sample.
For libraries in the sample, electronic content on business and finance has increased in price by a mean of 6.91% in the last year.
Survey participants estimate that a mean of 22.53% of their database vendors sometimes deliver problematic invoices which library personnel are compelled to check carefully.
About 47% of survey participants report a modest increase in database usage at their library in the past year, much of this accounted for by libraries in the United States, 53.13% of which increased used modestly and 15.63% of which increased use substantially.

Table Of Contents



Table of Contents3
List of Tables ..4
Survey Participants18
The Questionnaire .20
Summary of Main Findings...28
Characteristics of the Sample.41
Chapter 1: Database Licensing Volume ...42
Chapter 2: Renewals and Cancellations ...49
Chapter 3: Mobile Computing .62
Chapter 4: Coverage of Blogs, Wikis, Listservs and Ezines.66
Chapter 5: Use of Consortiums78
Chapter 6: Content License Pricing......84
Chapter 7: Disputes and Legal Expenditure .88
Chapter 8: Staff Time ..90
Chapter 9: Contract Terms...94
Chapter 10: Usage Statistics ..97
Chapter 11: Electronic Resources and Interlibrary Loan ..100
Chapter 12: Use of Open Access Resources.103
Chapter 13: Use of Free Resources..112
Chapter 14: License Renewal Decision Making Process..115

Survey Participants
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Survey Participants
Abbott Laboratories
Agnes Scott College
AgResearch LTD
Alberta AIM
Alberta Innovates-Tech Futures
Appalachian State University
Aurora University
Austin Public Library
Australian National University Library
Baker College
Botswana Technology Centre
Bradley Public Library District
Broward College
California State University, Long Beach
Carvajal Foundation
Catholic University of America
East Baton Rouge Parish Library
Ecolab Inc.
Elon University
Foley Hoag LLP
Fundación Universitaria Colombo Internacional
Hancock County Library System
Harrison College
HSE (Ireland)
Institute of Physical Rehabilitation of Quebec
Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lisbon
IRT-Perundurai Medical College
Istanbul Technical University
Johns Hopkins University/Entrepreneurial Library Program/Excelsior College Library
Johnson County Library
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
LAC Group at BP
Library of Chinese Academic Science
Library of Congress
Marywood University
Meadville Public Library
National Agricultural Library
National Technical University of Ecuador
Otis College of Art and Design
Pasadena Independent School District
Pasadena Public Library
Quincy UniversityThe Survey of Library Database Licensing Practices, 2012 Edition
Red Deer College
Sacramento Public Library
Santa Cruz Public Libraries
Sarita Kenedy East Law Library
Schwabe Williamson and Wyatt
Sharif University of Technology
South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare
State Library of Victoria
State University of New York at Buffalo
Stockton San Joaquin County Public Library
Sultan Qaboos University
Tampere University
Technical University of Crete
The New School
University of Aberdeen
University of Wyoming Libraries
William Mitchell College of Law

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