UT Libraries eBook Values Statement

The UT Libraries assume responsibility in shaping 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 collections funds.

The following statements of principle apply these values to the ebook marketplace and reflect our priorities.  The UT Libraries are prepared to work with publishers, aggregators, and others within the academic community to develop appropriate standards and best practices that implement these principles.

 eBook Content Supporting Research and Instruction

  • Simultaneous access by an unlimited number of users at a reasonable cost.
  • Simultaneous availability of front list titles in both print and electronic format.
  • Consistency of content between print and electronic books, including supplementary materials and quality of illustrations.

 Discovery and User Experience

  • The ability to discover and access e‐books in ways preferred by users and that evolve with technology.
  • eBooks should be accessible across a variety of platforms and devices and through library catalogs and knowledgebases (such as scout), format‐ and discipline‐specific public portals.
  • The ability to print, copy, save, and annotate ebook content efficiently and easily, and to export bibliographic information to citation management software
  • Ease of navigation: the ability to preview content before downloading; navigate ebook content through hyperlinked tables of contents, indexes, and footnotes; and return to content via persistent URLs.
  • ADA compliance in accordance with state and federal law.

Product Platforms

  • Ability to migrate purchased and/or subscribed content between platforms, as platforms may evolve and change.
  • If content purchased and/or licensed on one platform becomes available on other platforms, access to this content on all platforms will be provided at no additional charge.
  • Confidentiality of user information.   
  • Data to support resource management and assessment, including COUNTER‐compliant usage statistics.
  • Institutional branding features for proper attribution and user awareness.
  • Routine notifications as content is added and changed.

Fair Use and Scholarly Communication

  • Licensing terms that do not limit fair use, Section 108, and first sale doctrines under US copyright law, including use of ebook content in course reserves, course management systems, and course packs.
  • The right to borrow and lend e‐books via interlibrary loan in a manner analogous to the loan of physical books, in addition to other fee‐based methods that may be available for limited lending between institutions
  • Licenses that support ad hoc scholarly sharing with colleagues beyond the confines of the institution

 Sustainable and Fair Business Models

  • Perpetual access to purchased content regardless of the life of the platform.
  • Archival Rights retained, including the ability to archive content locally or through a third party provider selected by the library, such as Portico.
  • Reasonable and flexible pricing models that allow for the option to purchase discrete subject-based collections and/or individual titles, as opposed to bundles.
  • Minimal or no maintenance and/or access fees.
  • When prior substantial investiments in alternative formats have been made by the UTL, monetary credit should apply toward the purchase of electronic versions.


This draft statement was drawn from eBook Value Statements and written by the UT Libraries P2E Action Team:

Texas A&M University Libraries E-book Value Statement

NCSU Libraries Value Statement for the Scholarly Ebook Marketplace

University of Iowa Libraries E-book Value Statement

UCLA Library E-Book Value Statement

UC Libraries E-Books Values Statement