The University of Iowa Libraries continues to make significant investments in formats that best support research, teaching and learning activities. These investments support the academic enterprise and further the creation, development and dissemination of knowledge. We believe it is our responsibility to help shape the scholarly publishing landscape in ways that are responsive to the needs of our primary users and that enable us to be effective stewards of our libraries’ collections funds. As scholarly monographs shift from primarily print to electronic, University of Iowa Libraries seeks to articulate a set of core values which will serve to influence the acquisition of e-books and the e-book marketplace.

The University of Iowa Libraries adopted the following statements and preferred functionalities for e-books to reflect our priorities. We believe these values can form the core of a mutually beneficial market for publishers and libraries that best serves the researchers and students at the University of Iowa. Statements from Texas A&M University Libraries, University of California Libraries, and UCLA Library were used as models for this e-book value statement.

Supporting the Needs of Research and Instruction

  1. Licensing terms that do not limit fair use, Section 108, and first sale doctrines under U.S. copyright law, including use of e-book content for course reserves, course management systems, and course packs.
  2. Consistency of content, illustrations and supplementary materials between print and electronic book.
  3. Libraries must be able to incorporate persistent URLs on public and internal web sites, electronic reserves, course management systems, and course packs.
  4. The ability to borrow and lend e-books in a manner analogous to the loan of physical books.
  5. Simultaneous access by an unlimited number of users, at a reasonable cost.

Discovery & Positive User Experience

  1. The ability to discover and access e-books in a variety of ways, including through library catalogs, discovery portals (by providing full-level bibliographic records), format- and discipline-specific public portals, and other search interfaces preferred by library users.
  2. Must provide access to e-content through IP authentication and/or EZProxy to authorized users such as current faculty, staff, and students, visiting scholars, and walk-in users.
  3. Must provide ADA compliance in accordance with state and federal law.
  4. The ability to print, copy, save, highlight, download chapters (at the very least) and annotate e-book content efficiently and effectively; the ability to export bibliographic information to citation management software.

Sustainable and Fair Business Models

  1. Publishers must provide perpetual access rights to purchased content, regardless of the life of the platform, including the ability to archive content locally or through a third-party provider selected by the library (such as LOCKSS, Portico).
  2. Protection of patrons’ right to privacy, including their right to understand how their personal information is used by the vendor or publisher.
  3. Reasonable and flexible pricing models that allow for the option to purchase discrete subject-based collections and/or individual titles, as opposed to bundled packages.
  4. Publishers and aggregators must provide simultaneous format availability of front-list titles for print and electronic books.
  5. Publishers and aggregators must provide timely COUNTER-compliant usage statistics.
  6. Minimal, or no, maintenance or access fees.
  7. When prior substantial investments in alternative formats have been made by the University Libraries, monetary credit should apply toward the purchase of electronic versions.
  8. Content must be accessible across a variety of platforms and devices and must evolve with the emergence of new technologies. As national standards and best practices concerning the e-book market evolve, the University Libraries expects provider partners to embrace and comply with these standards.