Modes of Acquisition and Models of Licensing: The Electronic Sources of Information

Modes of Acquisition and Models of Licensing: The Electronic Sources of Information

Nazir Ahmad Bhat (Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9825-1.ch010


The advent of electronic sources of information (ESIs), e-resources, or electronic information resources (EIRs) has brought a revolution in the information landscape during 21st century. This has led to a paradigm shift not only in the modes and mechanism of storage, access, and delivery, but the acquisition of information has also witnessed a prominent change. This chapter is a theoretical overview of some newly emerging and popular modes of acquisition currently available for libraries to acquire and subscribe electronic information resources. Due to a visible change in the nature of information storage, access, and delivery, publishers have brought about certain changes in the policies governing the sale of their products in electronic form. As such, new license models have emerged, of which some popular ones have been enlisted for the benefit of libraries. The basic criteria needed to be set in force for prompt assessment of e-resources have also been highlighted at the end of this chapter.
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The main objectives of the study are as under:

  • 1.

    To identify and explain newly emerging means of acquiring the electronic information resources (EIRs);

  • 2.

    To enlist and different licensing models used for acquisition of EIRs; and

  • 3.

    To consolidate a minimal assessment framework with regard to acquisition of EIRs.



The electronic information resources or e-resources originated rather gained momentum by 1970’s, when the optical storage devices i.e. CDROMs were devised and used for storage of audio, visual, textual and multimedia content or information. Experts in the field and concerned agencies started to carve out definition for this new format of information resources and a few definitions among the same are given as under:

Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR (2005) stated that an electronic resource is the “material (data and/or program(s)) encoded for manipulation by a computerized device. This material may require the use of a peripheral directly connected to a computerized device (e.g., CD-ROM drive) or a connection to a computer network (e.g., the Internet).”

According to Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library (n.d.), e-Resources is a “term used to describe all of the information products that a library provides through a computer network. This includes electronic books and journals, bibliographic databases, and library website pages.”

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