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License and Agreement start and end dates

18 Jul '18

See also discussion on Agreement dates Agreements and associated dates

In ERM we have the concept of the “Agreement” which we’ve defined (so far) as “A way of expressing the connection between a set of content and business, access and usage terms related to that content.”

We also have the concepts of a “License” which we have a working definition as “A Folio ERM license is a record which brings together the relevant documents and allows the recording of (some of) the terms expressed by those documents.”

As we’ve discussed these we’ve talked about having start and end dates for an agreement and start and end dates for a license - but have run up against some questions - so we are looking for feedback on the following:

  • Can the agreement and license start and end dates be different?
    • If so, can you share examples of situations where this has happened?
    • What happens in the case when the agreement is still current (end date in the future) but the license has expired (end date in the past)
  • What functionality would be linked to the license and agreement start and end dates, and how do these differ (if at all)

Any general comments on the license and agreement start/end dates is very welcome. Where you can share real world examples that is particularly valuable to us.



22 Jul '18

First of all, I do not mind recording a start date and an end date with the licence object. After all, it HAS a beginning, and there are use cases where a licence will at some point expire (i.e. licences without perpetual rights, e.g. databases or ebook subscriptions). End dates in licences may be useful to sort, filter or search in a list of licences. Still, in many cases you will have to continue to refer to the licence after all agreements linked to it have expired.

In my experience, licences (i.e. the collection of documents and information collected in the ERM licence object) are fairly heterogeneous stuff. E.g. our longest running licence has been with Nature in a nationwide consortium, starting with a single document called “Nature Online ACADEMIC LICENCE AGREEMENT SCHEDULE” which combined

  • journals selected by library -> action: select items from package for agreement
  • licence fee -> action: create purchase order and invoice in acquisition for budget control
  • commencement/term -> action: set start date and end date in agreement in order to update patron view in discovery, evaluate usage, manage renewal
  • contract parties contact information -> agreement: use
  • usage term/restrictions -> show usage terms to patrons and staff (e.g. in discovery)
  • legal stuff like waivers, governing law -> pure licence stuff, check before signing , afterwards emergency only.

Managing startdates or enddates of an electronic resource is in my view definitely the job of the agreement. I expect that the end date of an agreement at some point in the future will be able to trigger alerts. If an agreement is about to end the person who manages ER may initiate all sorts of possible actions, like to evaluate usage, to decide whether to renew or to terminate, get into contact with the provider and/or faculty etc.
Given that the FOLIO licence object over the years may be extended by FOLIO amendments (which may be only an annual invoice agreement letter) you will either have new agreements or use another mechanism to extend an existing agreement (FOLIO subscriptions?) accordingly for another year.

Therefore, I would strongly argue against using start dates or end dates in the licence object to drive functionality.

Synchronizing the start date and end date between FOLIO agreement and FOLIO licence may not work anyway. E.g. our ScienceDirect licence agreement started in 2006, access to non subscribed content (“Freedom collection”) started with 2003 (so you cannot uses the start date for the entitlements). As we have perpetual access to subscribed years (“core”), even though the succession of ScienceDirect amendments over the years had end dates, the end date of the licence itself (i.e. the access rights to core titles granted by Elsevier) is not defined, whereas the corresponding FOLIO agreements definitely would have end dates. I estimate that half of our e-journal licence agreements are still based on subscribed content (“core”). I cannot see how to synchronize this without a really complicated set of rules, and I do not see the need, either.

(This reply has gotten very long - sorry for that - Benjamin)

31 Jul '18

Everything given above by @Benjamin_Ahlborn makes sense to me.
Agreement and license start and ends dates can differ, i.e. if you still have PCA after your license expired. It also differs for take over titles: you would need to renew your agreement now, but for take over titles a new license would start January 1st 2019.

Alerts triggered by Agreement dates will be most useful. Rather than having any action driven by license start and end dates alerts would be needed for dates on title level (i.e. take over titles that have to be separately activated when the new license starts and not when the agreement is renewed).

1 Aug '18

The list of dates in the discussion “Agreements and associated dates” (Agreements and associated dates) does not include license start and end dates. I am unsure which version is being worked on at this moment? (I might have missed some part of the discussion because of my vacation - sorry if I am not up-to-date.)

In our opinion, all dates mentioned so far are useful:

  • Agreement start date
  • Agreement end date
  • Cancellation deadline
  • Internal content review date
  • Trial start date
  • Trial end date
  • Access start date
  • Access end date
  • Date last updated (auto-generated when an aspect of an agreement is saved)
  • License start date
  • License end date

Two questions:

  • Will the “Internal content review date” be calculated or entered manually?
  • Could the “Date last updated” include a hint to which element has been updated? (e. g. license, content, coverage,…)
28 Aug '18

We agree that agreement start/end date should be enough. Maybe it can be inherited by the license. Generally, we wish to avoid managing dates in several places.

11 Sep '18

Maybe this is where the change tracker app could come in handy: 🕥 Change tracker app, UX iteration 1.