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Frustration-Free Packaging: The optimal ebook for Amazon sellers (and vendors) Amazon is shooting for net-zero emissions, and you may internet some earnings in case you promote on Amazon. good day, Amazon doesn’t even know me. but due to the fact that you and i promote on there and also you may advantage from this data, i believed it makes experience to share it. No strings attached. through 2030 Amazon needs its cargo emissions down by using 50 %. They call it cargo Zero. however Frustration-Free Packaging is greater than a decade older than Amazon’s newly launched shipment Zero. We’ll focus on the technicalities in a little bit. First, how does this software advantage you, the vendor, or supplier? here’s it: reduce packaging costs shop time: You’ll need much less time to prepare and ship products. in the reduction of waste: You’ll store packing materials. increase person adventure: Your applications turn into less complicated to open. turn into more earth-pleasant: Use recycled materials for packaging. join an unique Amazon seller community Now, what’s Frustration-Free Packaging? What’s Amazon certified Frustration-Free Packaging? again in 2008, Amazon launched its Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) application with 19 items. The program began with commonly products packaged with plastic casing. Twelve years later, this application has averted greater than 1.four billion containers and grown to include over 1.3 million products. Frustration-Free Packaging is Amazon’s effort to obtain these goals: Use 100 percent recyclable materials for product packaging. be sure the packaging is handy to open Use only correct-sized programs. No Amazon packaging, so products ship of their usual packages. cut back the chances of product harm In 2019, Amazon extended its sustainability application to encompass its entire delivery technique, not simply packaging. It calls the software cargo Zero — part of its dedication to attaining the Paris agreement ten years past. Frustration-Free Packaging is a subset of the extra audacious shipment Zero application. In 2019, Amazon launched this application in North the us and Europe with plans to launch in Japan, India, and different areas in 2020. among different sustainability goals, Amazon aims to attain 100 percent internet zero carbon through 2040. As a vendor or seller, which you could see the writing on the wall. Amazon has always been about building infrastructure for eCommerce. basically, they dominate the IaaS market with forty seven.eight p.c of market share. Frustration-Free Packaging is not whatever thing for a couple of Amazon dealers or carriers. It’s going to develop into the simplest solution to kit products and promote on Amazon. So the previous you are making adjustments for it, the more desirable on your company. 12 necessities for joining Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging program items that be a part of the Frustration-Free Packaging software undergo assessments. Amazon additionally maintains a checking out lab, the Amazon Packaging Lab in Seattle. youngsters, a brand have to meet particular calls for and observe some steps to get licensed. Let’s appear at the necessities for joining the Frustration-Free Packaging application. 1. make sure Your products are fresh and Manufactured (or Toll-Manufactured) via You in case you are looking to be part of the Frustration-Free Packaging software, then promote simplest brand new objects you have got manufactured or toll-manufactured. Resold or refurbished products do not qualify for this software. 2. You have to Use Amazon FBA for Product Fulfillments apart from promoting fresh gadgets you manufactured by using your self, you ought to sell the product through the Fulfilled by using Amazon software to qualify. FBA offers Amazon the liberty to focus on the product’s packaging, shipping, and dealing with. 3. Have Amazon brand Registry For sellers, only manufacturer-registered products qualify to take part in Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging application. An advantage is that you just’re extra more likely to win the purchase box if your manufacturer is registered. companies already promote to consumers below Amazon’s handle. four. Use unique UPC Codes only items with recycled UPCs and those devoid of UPCs can’t participate during this application. make certain your UPCs are to your products simplest. 5. should Meet Amazon’s Dimension and Weight requirements items on the FFP software ought to have a equipment dimension better than 18 x 14 x eight inches or weigh above 20 pounds. So any product package with the longest aspect over 18 inches, shortest facet over eight inches, and medial facet over 14 inches or that weighs greater than 20 lbs qualifies. although, the minimal dimension of a kit to circulate as Frustration-Free Packaging is 6 x 4 x 0.375 inches. To ease their compliance manner, Amazon has organized for the Amazon Packaging guide and enterprise network (APASS) to help companies with their packaging needs. 6. Hazmat categorised items and sparkling agency aren’t Supported The FFP application doesn’t guide hazmat products like those that come with lithium-ion batteries. It additionally exempts Amazon fresh and top Pantry items from this program. 7. In-stock items simplest which you can simplest qualify and practice for FFP if your items are in stock. Out-of-inventory items do not qualify for the program. 8. flow the Amazon ISTA6 SIOC test Amazon is a member of the foreign safe Transit association (ISTA), a nonprofit corporation concentrated on surroundings specifications for transport packaging issues. products have to move the ISTA6 SIOC examine to qualify for Amazon’s FFT software. The test exposes a product and its packaging to true-life transportation dangers in a managed environment. 9. Use Recyclable Packaging As a supplier, your product packaging have to be from 100 percent curbside recyclable substances on the FFP (Tier 1) application. handiest paper-primarily based substances or plastic add-ons marked as secure by applicable legal guidelines are suited. additionally, which you could best use plastic baggage or films in the event you should give protection to products from dirt or abrasion. Albeit, you have to print SPI codes 2 (HDPE) and four (LDPE) on the plastic movie to qualify them for the software. 10. Meet kit Sealing usual You have to thoroughly seal all corners of your items with glue or tape. you can’t use staples, apart from on the manufacturer’s glue joint. As for oversized products, that you would be able to use tightly equipped, non-metal straps or bands to hold it collectively. You may not use bands or straps when bundling dissimilar applications. eleven. observe kit construction standards field and package products in an oblong shape, to be certain it stays put all through start and shipping. You may additionally use padded mailers or inflexible envelopes. although, six-sided, inflexible corrugate cartons are preferable. The application doesn’t enable windows, protrusions on the side, or cut-outs. nevertheless it allows entry holes that don’t exceed 3”x1.5” with a 1.5” radius. 12. make sure Clear equipment Markings and Labeling Your product equipment markings or labeling need to indicate contents and particular coping with guidance to meet the FFP necessities. They have to additionally observe the carton marking and labeling necessities found in the dealer shipment Prep and Transportation guide. For bendy packaging, the entire required labeling aspects will appear on one facet. probably the most non-compulsory labeling facets include what you discover in the photo under. The Three Tiers of the Amazon certified Frustration-Free programs Amazon has three certification tiers to its Frustration-Free application. These tiers cater to oversize products better than 18” x 14” x 8” and weigh above 20 lbs. For products to qualify, it should observe the design and certifications for each tier. listed below are the qualifications for each and every tier. Tier 1: Frustration-Free Packaging according to Amazon, all items beneath this tier have to be “easy to Open” and ISTA 6 Amazon compliant. To qualify, your items ought to have minimal packaging and be removable in one hundred twenty seconds or less. So, stay away from plastic inserts, blister packs, shredded paper, or welded clamshells. beneath Tier 1, applications ought to use 100% curbside recyclable materials and agree to all relevant packaging laws. Tier 2: Ships In own Container (SIOC) The SIOC Tier permits you to ship your products in its original packaging. packages in this tier comply with the SIOC instructions to reduce waste and live on typical shipping hazards throughout Amazon’s provide chain. To qualify, items need to have minimal packaging. Amazon determines this with the aid of a field-Utilization score. You’ll get this score by dividing the product’s extent with the aid of the overall extent of the packaging. This ranking must be better than 50 p.c for fragile and non-fragile items for Tier 2 (SIOC) certification. Fragile items consist of, but not restricted to, items that comprise: Liquid or semi-beverages (this includes solids that can turn into liquid at high temperatures). Porcelain, Ceramic, Clay, Glass. Electronics which are with no trouble damaged when dropped from 18 inches or 45.7cm and above, without packaging. Tier three: Prep-Free Packaging (PFP) The PFP Tier 3 certification application is for gadgets that Amazon can’t ship in their manufacturing unit outfitted container. items under this tier require an Amazon label Overbox to raise transport with minimal defects and damages. Your packaging ought to be handy to open and able for shipping with out the want for extra prep through Amazon. PFP certified objects are constantly smaller, but no greater than 9” L x 6” W x 0.375” H. publications to Getting FFP licensed An FFP certification suggests that your items are “frustration-free” or “bother-free” for Amazon’s consumers and shipping procedures. The certification system includes technical analysis run by a couple of packaging gurus certified with the aid of Amazon, followed intently by way of transit testing at an ISTA licensed facility or Amazon’s Packaging Certification Lab. This may additionally look like an awful lot to take up, but study on, and we’ll walk you through the technique. how to initiate Product package testing during this program, Amazon specializes in two issues – customer event and zero carbon emissions. checking out your product kit ensures that you’re in tune with Amazon and its average coverage. earlier than you begin the FFP eligibility examine, you must function and circulate an appropriate ISTA 6 Amazon examine from ISTA 6 licensed labs. as soon as the lab reviews and carries out the checks, you’ll get an Amazon usual Identification number (ASIN) for every package. The ASINs can both be for Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) or Ecommerce competent (ECR). Now, to enroll your package ASIN in dealer principal, click “guide.” Go over to “Contact Us” and select your company community. Then click on, “What do we aid you with?” and choose “Amazon Packaging Certification.” click “sign up and Certify ASINs” from the alternatives to begin. This procedure may still be the closing examine that indicates you in case your ASIN meets Amazon’s instructions and requirements. as soon as your kit ASIN certification and enrollment is comprehensive, it’s automatically set to ship below the applicable tier. So, make sure to now not initiate the ASIN enrollment manner unless your objects are able to be shipped to the Amazon success community. put together and check Your Packaging Amazon requires that you just look at various your packaging when it has right here basic packaging elements: type A: Parcel (individually packaged products) delivery of under 50lbs. category B: Parcel (personally packaged items) start of 50lb to 100lbs. type C: Parcel (packaged items) delivery of 100lbs or greater. category D: LTL (for my part packaged items) birth of under 100lbs. class E: LTL (in my view packaged items) delivery of 100lbs or extra. type F: LTL start (individual palletized packaged products). class G: LTL start – personally packaged TVs, or screens which are lower than 150lbs, with a circumference equal or less than a hundred sixty five”. classification H: LTL start – individual packaged TVs or screens that are more than 150lbs, with a circumference more suitable than 165”. how to source Amazon FFP Packaging Suppliers and Designers When the use of APASS certified labs to verify your items, bear in mind that some do greater than just trying out. definite APASS licensed labs or organizations are identified as a Packaging enterprise or Packaging designer. These labs have specialized adventure in designing and supplying packaging materials following Amazon’s FFP instructions. APASS licensed Packaging Suppliers give solutions that meet your packaging wants and support you achieve an Amazon Packaging Certification for it. Such functions may additionally include producing a pre-made corrugated paper for packaging individual items. Or giving finished packaging design suggestions for dealers or providers who personal an entire line or portfolio of products aiming for FFP certification. while these services may also assist you get the certification, they’ll also help you save charges, cut back waste, and increase the customer adventure as you promote on Amazon. how to discover ISTA licensed Packing Labs to examine Your programs which you could additionally run ISTA 6 Amazon checks and certify your products at ISTA licensed kit trying out labs. effectively do the following to get began. send pictures of your equipment for assessment. Then, ship samples to APASS licensed labs for transit testing. Your items might be evaluated to make sure it passes these requirements. Amazon’s packaging certification standards. ISTA 6 Amazon SIOC verify for Tier 1 or 2, or ISTA 6 Amazon Overbox look at various for PFP Tier three. After this, programs that circulate the ISTA 6 Amazon look at various could be able for transport. how to perform Certification checks to your personal As a seller, you may additionally enroll your items and perform equipment certification assessments on your own. All you need to do is, meet the minimal requirements on the seller Packaging Lab Certification application. These requirements include, however don’t seem to be limited to: You’ll have an ISTA member appointed to you as your primary element of contact and Amazon kit certification proprietor. You have to have the necessary and applicable test machine for each system. Plus, preserve a lab that meets the Amazon ISTA 6 SIOC look at various necessities. You’ll must complete an on-web site training on the Amazon Packaging Lab Seattle. supply Amazon with specified photos of the Product Amazon will assess the pictures you despatched them to make certain your products meet their certification instructions. Your images should show that your packaging follows the basic FFP necessities like: No home windows or cutouts. Minimal damage rate when shipped by way of third-celebration courier capabilities. The packaging is minimal, and contents will also be eliminated in under 120 seconds. box fabric is 100 percent recyclable. The kit container is free of plastic inserts, blister packs, wire ties, shredded paper, packaging peanuts, and sealed clamshells. as soon as Amazon is convinced that your product packaging meets these necessities, they’ll proceed the certification manner. Get certified (or Decertified) After Amazon has checked the images for compliance, that you could send them the examine effects for certification. After certification, your items will begin to ship in its own container. to grasp in case your ASIN is certified, take a glance on the product aspect page. licensed ASINs screen, “Packaging might also display content. select Conceal equipment at checkout.” This gives your client the option to put the merchandise into an Amazon Overbox at zero expenses. in spite of this, if your licensed ASIN perpetually exceeds the minimal damage expense, Amazon will decertify it automatically. And, you’ll receive a notification via seller significant to that impact. Your items can be shipped in an Amazon Overbox, and a non-compliance chargeback issued for every unit obtained within 60 days after decertification. for you to get recertified, you have to complete a further round of certification look at various with a third party APASS lab. Then, reenroll the decertified ASIN in seller relevant earlier than the 60 days grace is up. alterations: Frustration-Free Packaging vs. traditional Packaging What makes Frustration-Free Packaging more advantageous, and the way’s it different from natural packing? basic. Two important things. Frustration-Free Packaging is frustration-free (actually) and ecofriendly. Amazon has an extended-term goal to power its international infrastructure with 100 percent green energy. Already, Amazon owns forty seven.eight percent of public cloud capabilities. So, it most effective makes feel that they go eco-friendly to increase sustainability. The Frustration-Free packaging in 2008 changed into the 1st step within the correct path. In 2030, Amazon hopes to actualize its dream to make 50% of all shipments carbon-free. For Amazon, that is like killing two birds with one stone. fulfill the clients. preserve the Earth. With Frustration-Free Packaging, what makes it distinctive is what makes it more desirable. Packaging CharacteristicsFrustration-Free PackagingTraditional PackingVolumeMinimal packaging substances. much less bulk.distinct packaging substances. greater bulk. ComponentsUsually, one field, with some elements already assembled.each half can are available distinctive compartments, so the user spends extra time assembling them.CostsShips extra objects per unit cost as a result of programs make the most of small shipping house.Ships much less item per unit can charge because packages make the most of greater shipping space.EnvironmentEco pleasant with one hundred percent curbside recyclable materials. bother-free and straightforward to open in a hundred and twenty seconds or much less. no longer eco friendly. makes use of plastics, rubber, and non-recyclable substances. Wrap rage, and elaborate to unwrap in a hundred and twenty seconds. effortless to Open: Amazon is customer-centric. That’s why the FFP is designed to make unwrapping convenient. In 120 seconds or less, consumers can without difficulty eliminate the kit components at once, with out the wrap rage concerned with usual packaging. extent: Amazon encourages minimal packaging with FFP. in contrast to typical packaging, there aren’t any needless packing bins, plastic, and filler materials. This ensures that applications are less bulky and ships seamlessly with out defect throughout the give chain. charges: FFP cuts charge by way of enabling groups to opt for the correct measurement container for his or her packages. This interprets to less bulk and a drop in transport costs with the aid of making use of shipping area to the barest minimum. atmosphere: With FFP, Amazon advocates for environment-friendly packaging substances. The a considerable number of FFP certification tests have ensured that 1.9 billion non-ecofriendly shipping bins had been avoided considering 2015. 9 advantages of Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging for your business with the aid of now, be sure to be aware of there are tons of methods you benefit from Amazon’s Frustration-Free packaging. You may additionally decide to proceed with the typical packaging components in case you’re no longer drawn to the FFP plan. however, chances are, you may additionally take care of terrible studies that the application has solved. but when you desire a win-win circumstance on all fronts, then read on to know the way Frustration-Free Packaging merits your enterprise. 1. get rid of or lessen Prep Chargebacks When your ASIN is certified as any Tier, Amazon ensures it doesn’t incur expenses for you with additional Amazon prep. This helps your enterprise shop cash by using heading off prep chargebacks. 2. lower the cost of Product Packaging With FFP, your enterprise saves money through heading off pointless, costly packaging elements. with the aid of optimizing your product kit for Amazon success, you in the reduction of waste and save funds. 3. cut back Stocking Transportation prices When your kit is licensed, your kit is appropriate-sized for the overall supply chain. This skill the smaller your packages are, the less funds it takes to transport it. This, in flip, saves funds for you, Amazon, and the customer. four. stay away from record Hijack and Win the buy box because Amazon competitors is excessive, you face the opportunity of having your record hijacked by using unauthorized retailers. Getting the FFP certification in your product packaging ensures you have added insurance plan against these kinds of things. Amazon no longer best protects your product listings from being stolen, however your record will also qualify for the purchase field and sell extra. 5. offer patrons extra Packaging alternate options Amazon offers customers the chance to select their style of packaging when it involves delivery. extra patrons are likely to select FFP because of the ease it gives. the entire extra explanation why make sure to get your product programs certified as you promote on Amazon. 6. lower unpleasant delivery Incidents products with Frustration-Free packaging are light and simple to tackle. This means fewer possibilities of transport or shipping accidents. also, because of the meticulous method involved when certifying these programs, items are held in location. This dramatically reduces or prevents damages in transit. 7. retailer Time You don’t must be troubled in case you’re packing your products the correct method as a result of Amazon does it for you. while you’re FFP licensed, Amazon does the coping with, packaging, and shipping of your products, so that you get to store both time and money. eight. aid the ambiance Frustration-Free packaging makes use of 100 percent curbside recyclable material it is eco-pleasant. The use of these substances makes it so that fewer carbon emissions will damage the earth’s ambiance. also, because of minimal packaging, you cut back environmental waste by using warding off additional delivery packing containers altogether. 9. effortless-to-Open Packaging Improves consumer experience Your enterprise will garner nice experiences for those who’re on Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging application. besides having a low hurt rate, customers will opt for your items as a result of the convenience of unwrapping and getting rid of items from their package. Pitfalls of the Frustration-Free Packaging application indeed, everything has its united statesand downs, and the FFP software isn’t exempted. despite all the benefits the program presents your company on Amazon, definite drawbacks could now not be negligible. 1. company Differentiation might be Stifled One inevitable pitfall is the inability of some manufacturers to “shine.” manufacturers spend just as a whole lot time designing and making their packages eye-catching like they do its content. but with Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging, they could be forced to make use of a distinct packaging that’ll dim the gentle on the company’s marketing efforts. additionally, when items are coated with an Amazon Overbox, purchasers may find it difficult to differentiate between them. 2. Some manufacturers worry that Packaging may be Too Fragile due to its minimal packaging, some brands fear that FFP does more hurt than first rate. however, this fear doesn’t cling as rigorous trying out can support dealers or companies discover packaging faults and fix them before joining the program. 3. The Certification procedure is Cumbersome The rigorous and meticulous technique involved with getting an ASIN, FFP certified can from time to time be overwhelming. This makes some carriers lose hobby in selling on Amazon or forgo the total certification procedure altogether. FAQs concerning the Frustration-Free Packaging software With all I’ve shared, I bet you’ll have questions. So I’ve answered the frequently requested questions. Will Amazon require certification for all my gadgets? What categories are excluded? What if my ASINs don’t seem to be licensed? Amazon expects that each one objects with package dimensions better than 18″ x 14” x 8 or greater than 20lbs be certified as Tier 1 or Tier 2 within the FFP software. gadgets with ASINs below these categories are excluded: ASINs with Hazmat classifications. (e.g., objects with lithium-ion batteries) ASINs in Amazon fresh or best Pantry All ASINs that require certification however don’t fall beneath these exclusions may be issued a $1.ninety nine/unit chargeback. this applies to both distributors and vendors. what is Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging Certification, and why is it crucial? The Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging software helps vendors ship their products devoid of extra containers to improve sustainability throughout the Amazon provide chain. The certification program presents three tiers. the first one is Frustration-Free Packaging or FFP. The second tier is SIOC, which is short for Ships in own Container. And the third is Prep-free Packaging or PFP. How essential is the Amazon ISTA 6 SIOC verify? The Amazon ISTA 6 SIOC test mirrors the risks that applications might face all over shipping and birth. The test design makes delivery sustainable, survivable, and a success. Amazon makes use of this look at various formula to evaluate and certify ASINs earlier than transport it in its own container. How do i know if my gadgets are certified or no longer? What a part of my catalog could be impacted by means of the chargeback program? that you would be able to investigate the “Operational efficiency Dashboard” in vendor valuable to know your certification reputation. you can download the information of your ASIN popularity by means of a hyperlink at the backside of the SIOC chargeback dashboard. handiest when you’ve got programs with dimensions superior than 18″ x 14” x 8″ or 20lbs can be impacted by using the chargeback program. the place do i go when i want help with trying out or designing my gadgets? Amazon has a complete web site that may assist you. It includes elements that you can make the most of for designing, trying out, and certifying your items. that you could also utilize the APASS network option that offers you over 20 third-birthday party Amazon informed labs for designing and trying out. which you could see particular counsel about this on Amazon’s web site and dealer valuable. How and when should still I get my objects certified? To certify your items, you must comprehensive the ISTA 6 SIOC Amazon examine with an ISTA accredited lab. To do that, click on on the “Contact Us” button under “support” in supplier principal. You ought to indicate the vendor codes you need to certify for the ASIN you’re enrolling for. And ought to attach an ASIN enrollment kind and a achieved Amazon examine record template when submitting your request. The certification testing procedure is Amazon’s ultimate affirmation that your ASIN meets their requirements and instructions. as a result, after certification, your merchandise could be set to ship in its own container (SIOC). We strongly advise that you handiest enroll your ASIN when your items are able to ship to the Amazon success community, or Amazon will decertify you. Can a drop shipper participate in the chargeback program and rate reductions share again? No. here is as a result of dropship ASINs don’t ship through Amazon’s achievement network. They’re ineligible for the rate reductions share-again software and will no longer be issued a chargeback. Will I be issued a chargeback if my items are shipped to Amazon whereas packed in an unconducive way? No. Amazon will now not challenge a chargeback if items packed for shipment interlocks particular person selling instruments to maximize freight space. if you agree with your item is packed this fashion, you’ll need to supply an image showing your freight equipment orientation. To file a complaint, open a case under “other Packaging Certification Questions” in vendor central. more assistance on how to go about it’s in the Amazon supplier Enrollment and phone SOP. Are there exceptions if my ASIN is certified, but I even have a low annual salary? Amazon immediately excludes ASINs that don’t seem to be shipped within eight months due to the fact its certification. It additionally excludes these items in the event that they have shipped under a complete of 250 units in twelve months. however this exclusion is brief and discipline to change at any time. where do I discover my ASINs that can be issued this chargeback? that you could find and down load the impacted ASINs in a portfolio beneath “Ship in own Container” chargeback within the supplier efficiency Dashboard in dealer crucial. closing ideas Many merits include promoting on Amazon, however Frustration-Free Packaging certification sweetens the deal. You’ll shave the additional cost of packaging down to its essence while delivering incredible consumer experiences along with your product packaging. however getting licensed might be just a little cumbersome, Frustration-Free Packaging is a win-win on all fronts. For you, Amazon, your consumer, and the Earth. creator: Nicholas Godwin i know bios should still be in the third-adult, but who cares? I tell ecocnomic brand reports that tech consumers and organizations love. in case you want extraordinary content that’ll make your competitors appear incompetent, reach out now: LinkedIn, Twitter, or my website.i am a digital advertising advisor and know-how researcher.… View full profile › Making wise Licensing decisions building Digital Libraries: Making wise Licensing selections

• constructing

Making sensible Licensing

by Kim Guenther

here are some
guidance to make assortment development a bit of less advanced.

collection building used
to be convenient. You purchased a e-book or a subscription, you owned the resource,
and access, for the most half, become limitless. The collection turned into a tangible
entity confined best by means of area and budget. life became elementary. lifestyles become respectable.

today’s dazzling selection
of networked digital substances extends our collections some distance beyond the
actual boundaries of the library. however in contrast to paying for a ebook the place
ownership and entry are tangible, entry to digital elements commonly takes
area in the confines of a license that defines appropriate use over
a special duration of time. possession and entry are extra nebulous and
are often sure with the aid of agreed-upon terms negotiated between the licensee (buyer)
and the licensor (supplier). less-tangible materials and extra advanced
rules really have implications for negotiating entry and managing
content material.

buying entry to a digital
useful resource has always modified the endeavor of collection building, and
has required us to develop into refined negotiators who are adept at analyzing
complex licensing agreements and evaluating digital products. Managing
these digital materials is advanced, but it surely is possible if you apply
formal assessment standards to every product you agree with. as a result of my
constrained space, I’ll just focal point on the decision-making technique for content material.

e•val•u•ate —to
determine or set the cost or quantity of; appraise

criteria for evaluating
nowadays’s digital resources don’t seem to be too distinct from the criteria first
established through Katz in his book Introduction to Reference Work.

we expand on Katz’s usual evaluative criteria of “goal, authority,
scope, viewers, can charge, and structure,” this will support us to evaluate digital
components with readability and depth.

How well it suits:
The products you believe should healthy the assortment’s latest field scope
and depth as described by the collection construction coverage of your library.
youngsters digital elements may additionally vastly extend the pool of components you
can choose from, the acquisition selections you make shouldn’t stray from
this formal set of suggestions.

Product and content pleasant:
agree with the first-rate and the scope of the product in its entirety, however
don’t overlook to evaluate the specific content as smartly. content should still be
well-written, and it will be supplied in manageable, digestible chunks.
Is discipline coverage deep in some areas, however easy in others? if you’re
evaluating an internet textbook or journal, is the content material offered in full
text, abstracts, or naked-bones tables of contents? Is the digital replica
the equal because the print equal, and is there a price damage to acquire
each? Does the product bundle other materials that you don’t need or that
are redundant to your print collection, but that you just pay for anyway? Some
content aggregators offer a extra a la carte approach to licensing supplies
within a particular area enviornment. Does the product present on-line tutorials,
assist screens, or documentation for each programs/product administration, as
neatly as conclusion-user training? Does the product offer value-delivered facets
similar to customization or personalization via the conclusion-person, like e-mail signals
for brand new content material additions? These features may also increase your start options.

Utilization: making certain
that conclusion-clients get price from the content is vital. Is content material actionable?
Do pass-hyperlinks between different swimming pools of content inside the product make
feel, and are these hyperlinks or associations intuitive? Can content be printed,
downloaded, or despatched by the use of e-mail to a colleague? providers are always fairly
certain about what constitutes reasonable use. In some cases clients are allowed
to down load or print content material for private use, but may also no longer redistribute
content material in electronic structure, e.g., on a listserv or bulletin board. Pay
close consideration to your license settlement, on account that reasonable use is defined in another way
in the electronic world than in the print world. This could have bearing
on interlibrary mortgage, reserves, and different educational makes use of.

Formatting: If downloading
is permissible, can it’s formatted to be used in yet another utility (like
a bibliographic citation administration product?) This feature is principally
vital for people that need to retain a list or database of citations
culled from a bibliographic database like MEDLINE. In what layout is the
content supplied (HTML, Adobe PDF, and many others.)? Is a plug-in or special utility
utility required to view the content material or associated images, graphs,
or animation?

Searchability: This
criterion makes a speciality of how useful the quest functionality is in accessing
the content. Does the product offer readily understood search capabilities
appropriate for all ranges of shopping, equivalent to Boolean, proximity, truncation,
and wildcard? Does the product guide distinctive looking styles (shopping
vs. searching above all identified statistics fields)? Can searches be modified,
saved, and rerun?

Product design: The
design of the product is one of the most critical assessment standards.
poor design without delay impacts usability and might directly become a bone of
rivalry among your clients. Nothing is extra irritating than a product
it’s quirky to use and a endure to keep, primarily in case you start
to listen to every day complaints about it from equally pissed off purchasers only
a month into a 12 months-lengthy license.

From a user’s standpoint,
a well-designed product is intuitive to use and easy to navigate. it would
help plenty of advice-searching for behaviors including keyword looking,
site index scrolling, and easy looking. The interface should be constant
throughout screens and services in regards to placement of each navigation
and content material. content on the reveal should still be well geared up and legible.
The design of the product may still be reliable with out fundamental redesigns occuring
for no apparent intent. is fairly, the product should still work regardless
of browser classification or edition (Netscape, internet Explorer, the usa online,
etc. edition three.0 or greater), platform (computer and Mac), and monitor resolution.

access: one of the
most difficult aspects of licensing digital supplies are issues concerning
access. Most licensed elements require some class of manner to make sure
“applicable use.” applicable use is determined by the agreed-upon terms
of the license and is carried out through an identification/authentication
protocol. Identification tells the device that controls access who you
are; authentication proves it. These two steps relaxed content material with the aid of proscribing
entry. The aggregate of identification/authentication will also be carried
out with login/password, IP latitude restrictions, or more recent technology such
as digital certificates, dynamic password, and PIN. safety for content
may still be acceptable, and the administration workload (password resets,
and many others.) needs to be regarded. If safety mechanisms are used to implement
content restrictions, what are the implications each for end-users and
for administration?

Evaluating the seller:
before you buy entry to a digital aid, recognize something about
the supplier. How long has the company been in company? What’s the latest
edition of the product you’re due to the fact? (If it’s edition 1.0, be cautious.)
Ask the seller to refer you to different identical institutions that have purchased
the product, and try to locate formal experiences. Given today’s very competitive
online content market, what’s the supplier’s current fiscal situation?
Is the enterprise stable? Is the supplier in the market mainstream—that’s,
does it have ample market share to survive, and does it make the most of technology
which will live to tell the tale? Is the supplier gobbling up rivals and growing beyond
its present mission? Is the enterprise about to be bought or maybe merged
with an additional business? whether it is obtained what does this mean for present
items and ranges of assist? Have products it has developed in the past
had an extended shelf existence, and were they neatly supported and better? What
does the company’s present research and development seem like? As a product
conclusion-consumer and recommend for those you serve, if R&D efforts don’t make
feel, reconsider your seller alternate options.

ne•go•ti•ate —mutual
discussion and arrangement of the phrases of a transaction or agreement

Licensing electronic components
offers unique challenges that can’t be resolved by way of applying the equal rules
that govern our acquisition of ordinary print substances. Chief amongst
these are concerns of possession and access. a certified electronic useful resource
requires that the seller give permission to the library (licensee) to distribute
and make attainable specific content for an agreed-upon period and value.
The phrases additionally above all handle how the content may also/may additionally no longer be used
(reasonable use), how the content material may be accessed (within the library or remotely),
and who is described as a “person” (approved and unauthorized).

Licensing agreements can
be complex to examine except you understand the prison and technical jargon
used to outline the phrases. that you can find a thorough medicine of this vocabulary
at the Lib License internet site ( ,
from Yale college Library, along with other effective licensing guidance.
The affiliation of analysis Libraries also has prepared a comprehensive
book entitled “concepts for Licensing digital components” ( .
i recommend each materials for any one who’s making ready to negotiate a license
or consider a product.

once you’re versed in the
language of licensing, accept as true with making a licensing template that lists
phrases which you can agree with. Most license agreements share a consistent framework
of clauses. Use a standard license settlement to craft your own, and boost
a checklist of manageable terms and stipulations that thoroughly serves your
clients, however that your body of workers can control.

under I’ve blanketed the
main points from a helpful guidelines developed with the aid of the eu Copyright
consumer Platform.


Don’t sign a license that

isn’t governed by the legislation and
courts of the country the place your institution is determined.

doesn’t recognize the statutory
rights for utilization beneath copyright.

doesn’t supply perpetual entry
to the licensed cloth.

doesn’t consist of a warranty
for IP rights and an indemnity clause in opposition t claims.

holds the library accountable for
every and every infringement by a certified consumer.

has a non-cancellation clause.

has a non-disclosure clause.

has comparatively cheap and most beneficial-effort

has clauses with ambiguous
intervals of time.

doesn’t permit for subcontracting
to an agent.

hasn’t got a license payment that
is all inclusive.

man•age —to deal with,
direct, govern, or control in action or use

The capability to manage the
licensed digital resource is a vital consideration in the event you evaluate
a product. How will the useful resource be managed each as a stand-alone useful resource
and as a piece of your higher digital collection? more and more, a library’s
net website is the main point of entry into its collections, both digital
and print. Our challenge as librarians and builders of entrance-end gateways
to those resources is to seamlessly integrate the distinctive items and
materials that make up the collection so users can browse plenty as they
would books on a shelf.

This isn’t an easy task.
identical to books have distinct covers, digital materials have distinctive
interfaces. the place traditional print substances like books and journals have
constant structures (desk of contents, chapters, appendixes, and index),
digital materials regularly lack these perceptible cues that help users navigate
the content material. in addition, no longer all content material we buy is available from
a browser session. now and again it requires an icon on the computing device and a custom
executable software operating on a consumer, server, or both. So how can we offer
our users all these surprising components with out confusing them at the
equal time?

consider these standards
when assessing the manageability of a product:

the place will the licensed product
or content bodily stay—the library’s server or the seller’s?

Does the supplier present trial
access to its product?

who is liable for updating
the content material, indexing the content, and handling authentication processes?

How will clients are looking to entry
this aid, e.g., the usage of PCs inside the library, using PCs with far flung
dial-up, using other instruments like own digital assistants (PDAs)?

Can this product be built-in
easily into existing items or environments such as the library’s on-line
catalog, web web page, or portal?

Is the authentication procedure
itself a barrier to entry?

What utilization data may also be expected
from the supplier and in what structure?

Does the product allow direct
title linking thereby circumventing the product’s main interface display
and maybe authentication protocol as smartly?

What staffing is required to
manipulate this useful resource, both in the method of coaching for team of workers and purchasers,
and for advertising and marketing the product in condo? (Some providers offer promotional
literature and might come to you for practising.)

What level of support is given
by using the seller (24/7 or 9-to-5, 5 days a week)?

As you apply your personal formal
set of evaluative criteria for licensing digital components, you’ll find
that the manner receives more straightforward. You’ll respect decent items should you see
them and also you’ll stay clear of those that don’t meet your high specifications.
You’ll be in a position to recognize license terms that don’t make sense or that
are value negotiating. in the conclusion, the precise technique of assessment will
finally aid you manipulate your digital collections more correctly.

As digital librarians, we
are in an ambiance with a wealthy choice of digital supplies. We
can readily flood library patrons with guidance or confuse them with
obstacles of authentication protocols, interface designs, and search engines like google,
so we should choose smartly. Digital substances are much less tangible, are more advanced
in terms of content material and implementation, require extra knowledge to acquire
and control, and most definitely demonstrate us what our future is all about. determining
how we guide customers into this digital future might be the problem.

Kim Guenther is the web/medical
suggestions capabilities coordinator for the school of Virginia health
Sciences Library and UVa fitness system Webmaster. Her e mail address is .


1. Katz, William
A. Introduction to Reference Work. long island: McGraw-Hill, 1992.

2. “Licensing Digital
resources: the way to stay away from the legal pitfalls?” European Copyright person Platform,
Netherlands, November 9, 1998 ( doctors) .

further reading

Brennan, Patricia; Hersey,
Karen; and Harper, Georgia. “Licensing digital substances: Strategic
and purposeful considerations for Signing electronic suggestions start
Agreements” ( .

“ideas for Licensing
electronic elements,” (ultimate draft) July 15, 1997 ( .

international Coalition
of Library Consortia ( .

Soete, George J. “Managing
the Licensing of digital products,” Washington, DC: affiliation of research
Libraries, workplace of leadership and administration features, 1999 ( .

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