May 24, 2022

CRL, ARL, CLIR, CDL, and Others Publish Revised LIBLICENSE Model License Agreement

Congrats to infoDOCKET friend Ann Okerson and her colleagues on the release of the revised license agreement.

From a CRL News Release:

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL)—in collaboration with several partners, including ARL—has released the major upgrade of an important tool for library investment in electronic resources: a revised LIBLICENSE Model License Agreement. The new model license incorporates the best practices of the library profession and the best advice of legal and publishing professionals. The LIBLICENSE Project, started in 1997 at Yale University by Ann Okerson, who now serves as senior advisor at CRL, provides a rich source of information and guidance for libraries and other institutions seeking to license digital resources for their faculty, students, and researchers.

The model license outlines the main provisions a good library e-resources content license should contain, highlighting as well key points for decisions and negotiations with publishers. The document is expected to support libraries’ efforts to serve their users and achieve the core mission of preserving intellectual heritage in the digital age by negotiating the best terms of use. The original LIBLICENSE model license, released in 2001, has supported long-term access and stewardship goals; the new revision will help librarians address a new generation of issues and challenges.

The effort was made possible with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. As with the initial 2001 version, the Council on Library and Information Resources again provided support and encouragement. New contributors to this significant, yearlong effort included the Association of Research Libraries, the California Digital Library (CDL), the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), and the NELLCO Law Library Consortium, as well as the Emory University Libraries.

The development team, without whom this new version would not have been possible, includes: Ivy Anderson (CDL), Julia Blixrud (ARL), Craig Olsvik (CRKN), Tracy Thompson (NELLCO), Christa Williford (CLIR), and Ann Okerson (CRL) as convener. Extra acknowledgement goes to Lisa Macklin, director of the Scholarly Communications Office at Emory University Libraries, for her expert role in developing numerous versions of the document. The team gives special mention of the efforts of ARL’s Julia Blixrud, who passed away at the close of this process after a difficult illness. The team thanks also the dozens of individuals who offered comments on the draft in progress. Every comment was studied by the team and served to improve the model license.

In early 2015, the project expects to release an updated “Create Your Own License” software. Based on this new model license, the software is a total rewrite of the previous version, which enjoyed a healthy lifespan of over a decade. More information will be available upon release.

Read the Complete Announcement, Includes Comments From:

  • Center For Research Libraries, President, Bernard Reilly (CRL)
  • Executive Director of the Association of Research Libraries, Elliott Shore (ARL)
  • President of the Council on Library and Information Resources, Charles Henry (CLIR)

Direct to LIBLICENSE Model License Agreement Web Page and Links

Direct to  Download the LIBLICENSE Model License Agreement (PDF) (Revised November 2014)

Direct to Download the LIBLICENSE Model License Agreement (Revised November 2014): editable Microsoft Word .docx format

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.