Springer joins SERU initiative

December 04, 2008

When a library client also registers for SERU, it is then possible to mutually agree that a purchase may proceed using a common purchase order and invoice, with other terms governed by the SERU document. No license is signed when SERU is used. Thanks to SERU, the client organization can register once and then purchase online materials from Springer without the need for a license or further legal review. At that point, a normal purchase order and invoice process provides all the additional legal framework necessary to conduct business. The agreement takes effect when both parties are registered and mutually agree that the terms are acceptable.

SERU is a high level standards project of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), which is affiliated with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The current process of customer-by-customer, bilaterally negotiated formal legal contracts increases the cost of sales for both libraries and publishers and delays access for users at subscribing institutions. Springer's SERU participation will give Springer sales staff the necessary flexibility to work with clients around the world for whom large legal documents are an impediment or delaying factor in making purchases.

Springer's Director of Network Sales, Robert Boissy, said "Springer has adopted SERU as a means to streamline the sales cycle wherever possible, removing obstacles for those clients who have difficulty processing detailed legal documents, and allowing for improved cash flow for our growing portfolio of online publications." SERU is not compulsory for Springer or for Springer clients, and traditional licenses may still be used wherever they are preferred.

Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of NISO, noted, "The SERU Recommended Practice will provide the opportunity for publishers and libraries to speed the delivery of content to library patrons by removing the need to negotiate license terms. We now have an alternative to licensing content other than simply operating without a license, which provides greater protection to publishers while providing clarity to libraries"

SERU will be used for all Springer online reference works, and can additionally be used for all other Springer online publications where both the client and Springer agree that a bilateral license is not necessary. This includes online journals, archives, books, book series, protocols and other online products that may be developed. Springer is joining a group of publishers that endorses this recommended set of practices.
NISO fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of an information standard. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). More information about NISO is available on its website: www.niso.org.

Springer Science+Business Media (www.springer.com) is one of the world's leading suppliers of scientific and specialist literature. It is the second-largest publisher of journals in the science, technology, and medicine (STM) sector, the largest publisher of STM books and the largest business-to-business publisher in the German-language area. The group publishes over 1,700 journals and more than 5,500 new books a year, as well as the largest STM eBook collection worldwide. Springer has operations in about 20 countries in Europe, the USA, and Asia, and some 5,000 employees. In 2007, it generated annual sales of around EUR 906 million.


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