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The 3Rs of Licensing: Risk, Rights and Restrictions

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region (NN/LM PNR) offered our first RML Rendezvous Medical Library Association Continuing Education (MLA CE) course, the 3Rs of Licensing: Risk, Rights and Restrictions. This course is intended for librarians who are responsible for providing access to electronic journals and databases for their institutions but have limited training in licensing. This course provides an overview of the licensing process that allowed participants to evaluate their understanding of licensing and decide if additional training is needed. The class began with evaluation of current knowledge. The licensing process was reviewed in sections: Preparation for licensing (site description; checklists); negotiation terms; licensing rights and restrictions; and post licensing responsibilities.

The class recordings are available below.

Diane Carroll, Head of Collections and Acquisitions at Washington State University Libraries, taught the course. Please note that the instructor has no legal training and this class is not intended to replace introductory or advanced licensing classes.

Topics on this page:

Dates and Time, Recordings

The 3Rs of Licensing course consisted of three one-hour RML Rendezvous sessions and assignments to complete on your own time. Handouts (including assignments) from the class are not available at this website. The sessions were webcast at 10:00 AM Pacific Time (9:00 Alaska Time and 11:00 PM Mountain Time) and held every Friday on the following dates:

Course Agenda

Assignment prior to class

  • Self-test (email attachment) is not submitted to instructor, personal use only
  • Identify a license that you would like to review during the class. The instructor will have one available if you do not have one in mind.

October 31, 2008 - First Session

15 min: Introduction: Class participants, instructor, structure of the class and materials

45 min: PowerPoint Presentation:

  • Fair use vs. contract law
  • Difference between print and electronic journal rights;
  • Preparation to license: development of a site description; definitions.
  • Q and A.

Assignment: Write a site description for your institution. Bring questions to the next session.

November 7, 2008 - Second Session

60 min: PowerPoint Presentation: Preparing to license:

  • Negotiations and relationship sales
  • Development of a checklist and template for licensing language.
  • How to read a license: Reading the contract for risk assessment, rights and restriction. Use of a checklist, template, model licenses and liblicense Web site

Assignment: Read the license provided or the one you have selected. Bring questions to the next session.

November 14, 2008 - Third Session

30 min: PowerPoint Presentation/Discussion:

  • Post licensing responsibilities.
  • Demo of Innovative ERM,
  • Examples of rights and restriction Web pages,
  • Communication of rights to library staff and users.

30 min:

  • Q and A about licenses reviewed during the week
  • Review of pretest Q and A

Assignment: Complete MLA Evaluation Survey. Upon completion and verification of attendance, your MLA CE certificate will be mailed to your registration address.


The class was limited to twenty participants and was closed at the beginning of class.

How to Participate

During the session times connect to the following URL and login as a Guest, using your full name:
For more information on how to use Adobe Connect for the RML Rendezvous go to