Web Magazine for Information Professionals


Leah Halliday believes there is SCOPE for a major shift in the publication of study texts.

The Scottish Collaborative On-demand Publishing Enterprise (SCOPE) [1] is investigating some of the copyright and logistical issues raised by on-demand publishing in academic libraries. We are producing course packs from digital files and developing an electronic resource bank of teaching and learning materials to be transmitted over the Internet and delivered online to staff and students at a consortium of 13 Scottish Higher Education Institutions. The Project team seeks to establish whether an electronic resource bank of journal articles and book chapters is more effective than traditional means of delivering teaching and learning materials. The consortium allows us to test our systems at a range of institutions whose culture and levels of infrastructure vary. It is essential that SCOPE systems are flexible enough to accommodate requirements at all of these institutions.

SCOPE Logo Most of the materials included in the SCOPE electronic resource bank are reading-list based and include extracts from texts and journal papers. We have aimed to develop a model for negotiating and clearing copyright that will be useful to academic libraries beyond the lifetime of the Project, and are exploring a variety of issues related to copyright including an appropriate fee structure. Progress in this area was slow at first as few publishers had considered in any detail the issues raised by On-Demand Publishing (ODP), let alone devised and implemented policies on licensing the rights that we sought. However, we have made significant progress over the last year. We approach rights negotiation by offering publishers a model contract outlining our proposed terms. These include indemnities and warranties that we require, our commitment to security, details of copyright fees and how these will be calculated. Our contract is based on one supplied to all eLib ODP projects. It addresses issues that concern publishers now and may be increasingly important as alternative means of delivering teaching and learning materials are developed in the future. Before going online, SCOPE aimed to include in the electronic resource bank a critical mass of materials in at least one subject area. We have now agreed terms with a sufficient number of publishers to allow us to deliver a useful collection of reading materials in three different subject areas.

During 1997 the SCOPE online delivery system, Cactus, will be piloted at one institution, and before the end of the Project online access will be extended to other institutions in the SCOPE consortium. SCOPE differs from many similar projects in that we plan to transmit copyright materials over the Internet rather than deliver them from stand- alone machines or over campus wide networks. Cactus is an Acrobat module that will restrict access to authorised users using IP addresses and password protection. Encryption technology will be used to secure documents transmitted across the network, and documents will be ‘watermarked’ with the identity of the authorised user and the institution at which they are matriculated, thus making infringing copies readily identifiable.

Over the next year the SCOPE team aims to extend its activities to institutions within the consortium which have not yet received SCOPE resources. Also, in the final year of the Project and of the eLib Programme as a whole, we intend to focus more on dissemination of our findings to all groups with a stake in the delivery of Higher Education teaching and learning materials.


  1. SCOPE Web Site

Author Details

Leah Halliday,
Copyright Officer
email: l.l.halliday@stir.ac.uk
Address: SCOPE Copyright Unit, The Library, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA