Guide to the JISC Model Licence
According to the Oxford English Dictionary Online a licence is “a formal, usually a printed or written permission from a constituted authority to do something, e.g. to marry, to print or publish a book, to preach, to carry on some trade, etc.; a permit.” (Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition 1989). In the context of online resources it is the document that contains all the terms and conditions of use associated with that resource, detailing what can and can’t be done, by who, for how long and what happens if there are any problems.
The JISC Model Licences are a collection of licences specially drafted by JISC and JISC Collections to include all of the terms and conditions that an educational institution and its users need in order to make sure that they can get the most out of the online resources they subscribe to. Generally this means that it will be more favourable than any standard commercial licence. We use the JISC Model Licences with every agreement we negotiate on behalf of our members – universities, colleges, research councils and affiliates.
- easier to manage consistent terms and conditions
- easier to understand and remember, because they’re nearly always the same
- easier to promote, because you can do more with a resource that comes with a JISC Collections negotiated licence
- saves you time because we have done all of the negotiations on your behalf
- saves you money because we act as a consortia and gets you better deals
Yes, currently JISC Collections has a number of different versions dependent on:
- NESLi2 for e–journals
- databases – most commonly used for A&I/Bibliographic databases, full text databases, reference works, image collections etc
- archives - these are used for digital archives
- SHEDL - this is used for the SHEDL consortia
- Licence and Sub–licence – in this model we license the content from the provider and then sub–licenses on to the subscribing institution. We are responsible for managing the whole agreement and for collecting all subscription fees
- Contract and Licence – in this model we have a contract with the provider that details the terms and conditions of the licence between the provider and the institution. The provider and institution have a direct relationship with each other and not us. The institution pays the provider and not us (JISC Collections)
- Subscription – this model is mainly used with resources that are updated on a regular basis–such as reference materials, A&I databases and map data
- In perpetuity – this model is mainly used with content that is static – such as archives and some e–book collections
If JISC Collections buys a resource in perpetuity, such as those included in the UK National Academic Archive, why isn’t the sub–licence we sign up to a perpetual one?
While we have a perpetual licence to the content, we can’t guarantee that access to that content will be free in perpetuity. We normally purchase at least 5 years free access to the content as part of the national agreement, and we would always make sure that any access fees payable after that free period were as low as possible. But because we don’t want to commit you to paying for things in the future, we only make the sub–licence a limited term.
Each Model Licence provides a starting point for negotiations with publishers. Whilst every effort is made to retain all the clauses, occasionally amendments are made. However, this only occurs after consultation with skilled legal counsel contracted by us to ensure the interests of the Further Education and Higher Education community are protected.
Although the terms and conditions from the Model Licences are invariably achieved, it is the responsibility of each institution to check the precise wording of the terms and conditions of each licence and if necessary to seek legal advice, before you sign a JISC Collections negotiated licence.
Each Model Licence has two parts:
- The Main Agreement between JISC Collections and the Publisher – the Licence part of the Licence and Sub–Licence or the Contract part of the Contract and Licence
- The Institution Licence – the Sub–Licence part of the Licence and Sub–Licence or the Licence part of the Contract and Licence
The Main Agreement represents the agreement between JISC Collections and the Publisher. This agreement covers the pricing and the terms and conditions used in the Institution Licence.
The Institution Licence represents the agreement between the Institution and either JISC Collections or the Publisher. It details the terms and conditions of use for subscribing institutions and their staff and students.
- access to the content through UK Access Management Federation compliant technologies such as Shibboleth
- commitment to making the resource available 365 days a year, with only scheduled down time
- free no obligation 30–day trial
- customer support for you and your users
- free electronic user guides
- the standards, such as OpenURL, accessibility and COUNTER, that JISC Collections expects a publisher to comply with*
- a warranty by the Publisher that all intellectual property rights (IPR) in the resources are either owned by or licensed to the Publisher.*
- an indemnity by the Publisher to protect Institutions if they are sued by a third party for IPR infringement for using the resource in accordance with the agreed terms and conditions in the Institution Licence*
* These last three are in the licence part of the contract and licence – which is good because they really are very important!
It tells you:
- who in your institution is allowed to use the resource
- what you can and can’t do
- what your users can and can’t do
- what your responsibilities are as an institution
- what the responsibilities are of the Publisher, or JISC Collections
It also includes other terms and conditions that protect both you, your institution, your users and the publisher, such as the duration of the agreement, grounds for termination, acknowledgement of IPR, warranties and indemnities, force majeure and governing law.
The resource can only be used for Educational Purposes. This means teaching and learning, either face to face or distance learning, private study and research.
If a user has a query about what they can do, ask yourself whether it’s educational or not. If it is then it is allowed. We don’t over define educational purposes because for everything that you count in, you are implicitly counting some other use out, and that is what we are trying to avoid.
The flip side is that the resource must not be used for any Commercial Use. This means that you can’t sell it and neither can any of your users, nor should it be used for commercial research, such as may be occurring within incubator units, start ups etc.
However, we are aware that some courses and research are funded by commercial organisations, or that institutions now charge for courses and other services such as printing etc. This is not counted as Commercial Use.
The Institution Licence refers to Authorised Users. These fall into two categories based on their relationship with an institution.
- current students– including registered students of your institution who may take their course in another institution, such as a partner Further Education Institution
- all members of staff (including retired members of staff and those people who are teaching your authorised users at another institution)
- contractors of the institution who are permitted authenticated access on and off site.
A Walk In User is NOT a current student, member of staff or contractor of the institution, but a member of the public permitted by your institution to use the library.
They can have access to the resources you subscribe to via secure network from computer terminals located physically within the institutional premises, but they are not allowed remote access.
It is up to you to decide if you wish to provide walk in access, but please remember that they must comply with the terms and conditions in exactly the same way as all your other users.
Many institutions have relationships with other institutions such as universities and colleges both within the UK and overseas. Knowing whether staff and students at these institutions can or can’t access the resources you subscribe to can be confusing especially when access to library resources wasn’t the main consideration of those people putting these arrangements in place.
We have been working to address these issues, so here is a guide to where we are now:
Authorised Users of an Higher Education institution (i.e. staff and students) can access all of that Higher Education institution’s resources regardless of where they are studying, so for example following an HEI's course at an Further Education institution or overseas.
We updated the definition of the Authorised User so that teaching staff employed by the partner institution (including Further Education institutions) delivering courses of the Higher Education institution are eligible to access the Higher Education institution's resources when they are teaching Authorised Users of the Higher Education Institution. The same applies to other support staff employed by the partner institution, so long as the use of the resource is only for Authorised Users of the Authorised Institution.
Partner Organisations in the UK and Abroad
If your users aren’t covered by the provisions described above, we have created two model licences that your institution is able to use itself to help:
- one for educational purposes that covers defined user groups studying and teaching within partner institutions in the UK and overseas
- one for small and medium enterprises funded or affiliated to an institution for the purpose of commercial research or development
The licences provide a legal framework that institutions and publishers can use to upgrade their existing subscription to allow access for defined user groups at partner organisations.
Does my institution have to pay extra for access for partner organisations?
We do not negotiate the pricing for partner organisations, it is up to the institution and the publisher to agree is a fee is required or not and what that fee would be.
Should you wish to discuss any of this with us, do please get in touch.
Whilst all of your Authorised Users are covered whether they are in the UK or overseas, staff and students registered with affiliate, franchise or partner organisations outside the UK are not covered, because they aren't your Authorised Users and aren't registered with your institution.
If you want to extend access to affiliate or partner organisations (and students and staff of such affiliated or partner organisations) abroad, they need to contact the relevant publisher to obtain written permission to do so. This extended access might incur an increase in the fee.
Remote access is allowed with all JISC Collections agreements. The Institution Licence requires the publisher to provide for 24/7 access for unlimited simultaneous users by secure authenticated access such as federated access management, secure proxy access, IP authentication.
- there is no difference between what Authorised User can do on campus and off campus
- staff and students of Authorised Institutions can access resources whilst studying or on sabbatical abroad
The JISC Model Licence provides staff, students and Walk–in Users with the ability to cut, paste, copy, print and save parts of the resource into electronic and print materials produced as part of their teaching, learning and research.
This means that if staff are putting together teaching and learning materials, reading lists, hand outs or course packs and interactive tutorials they are allowed to include extracts from the resource as required.
This means that students can also include extracts in their course work, projects, dissertations and assignments, for example, using a mix of text, images or sound to illustrate an argument in a new way.
Even better staff and students can take a variety of materials from a variety of resources to create work that is much greater than the sum of its parts. They can then show them off at presentations, workshops, conferences and seminars!
The JISC Model Licence allows staff and students to incorporate parts of resources in learning materials and objects included in virtual learning environments so long as the parts are acknowledged correctly.
The JISC Model Licence also allows learning objects created by staff and students to be deposited in perpetuity in repositories such as Jorum.
NOTE: There is a great deal of variation in the licence clauses regarding permissions for inclusion in VLEs, Jorum and institutional repositories. It is important to check the terms of the respective agreement in these cases.
Staff may reproduce extracts in a format that aids accessibility, eg Braille.
Any provision of course materials online must be through secure authenticated access. You will need to check the Licence Agreement because in some cases it is necessary to delete electronic copies of teaching materials at the end of the licence period.
- the institution is allowed to make a local cache. This is particularly helpful where staff wish to use a resource during a teaching session, and want to guarantee speedy and reliable access by using a local copy of the resource (rather than relying on access via the web)
- inter–library loan and electronic document delivery of a single copy using Ariel
- provide printed and electronic copies of parts of the resource at the request of staff and students
- download extracts from the resource for training and promotion
- make copies of training materials in print or electronic format
The JISC model licence makes frequent reference to "parts of the Licensed Work" throughout the permissions and restrictions. However, there is no absolute definition and interpretation can vary widely over the exact quantity.
Legally anything that isn’t the ‘whole’ of the Licensed Work qualifies as a "part", however, it is important to remember that for any licence to work there must be trust on and between both sides, so it is best to use common sense, and avoid the sort of downloading that might be regarded as "systematic".
- make the resource available off–site to anyone other than staff and students
- remove or hide or change copyright notices or remove acknowledgements
Note: When ‘cutting and pasting’ extracts from the resource, any form of acknowledgment associated with the item must be included (eg copyright caption with an image).
- allow the resource to be viewed in any way other than by authorised access or on the institution’s secure network
- use the resource for Commercial Use or for any purpose other than Educational Purposes
- display any part of the resource on a publicly accessible website or network
All of these restrictions continue after the end of the licence agreement
Almost as important as knowing what you, your institution and your users can do with a resource whilst your institution is subscribing to it, is what happens at the end of that agreement.
The key things to look out for are:
- Is there an annual opt out from the agreement and what is the notice period?
- Is the institution and its authorised users allowed to keep print and electronic parts of the licensed work post termination? Normally, you would be.
- What provisions are made for the provision of post cancellation access to e–journal agreements?
When an institution signs an Institution Licence it agrees to:
- issue passwords to staff and students
- make staff and students aware that they cannot share their passwords with anyone else
- only allow staff, students or Walk–In Users of the library access to the resource through the secure network
- make sure that staff, students and Walk-in Users are aware of what they are and are not allowed to do with the resource
- let the publisher or us know immediately if they are aware of unauthorised access or use of the resource. Also to take the appropriate steps to ensure unauthorised access or use is not repeated.
A breach of the Institution Licence is a serious matter and can be grounds for termination of the agreement. This places the rights of other users in jeopardy.
Always check the fine print
Sometimes licences will differ from the Model Licence. It is important to check each licence.
To find out more
Copies of the Model Licences can be found in the Publications section of our website.
This guide should be used for information purposes only. It does not provide legal advice. Always check the relevant section of the Institution Licence that your institution has signed before you provide access or allow use of a resource, and in doubt, please seek legal advice.