INFO 281-12
Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Topic: Introduction to Licensing
Summer 2017 Syllabus

Jill E. Grogg
Phone: 404-556-5094 (text accepted)
Office location: Virtual office hours. Telephone and in-person advising by appointment
Office Hours: text or email

Syllabus Links
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Canvas Information: Courses will be available Monday, June 5th, 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the course site will open on the first day that the class meets. 

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This course introduces the concepts related to the licensing of electronic resources and other materials for libraries. Topics include:

  • Electronic resource discovery and acquisition, including the role of the license in the e-resource lifecycle
  • Copyright law and libraries
  • Local environment community needs analysis, including stakeholder evaluation and its impact on licensing
  • Components of a license, including contract law
  • Negotiation tools for licensing
  • Managing licenses after negotiation and through renewal/cancellation
  • Role of consortia in licensing and e-resource acquisition
  • Educating users
  • Professional continuing education regarding copyright law and the evolving licensing landscape

Course Readings

The course readings list is available on our Canvas course site.

Course Requirements


Additional information is available on our Canvas course site.

Participation and weekly blog entries 20%
Community needs analysis 20%
License analysis 20%
Final (research) paper 40%

No extra credit available.
There is no late policy for assignments.
Consult the assignment doc on Canvas for additional details.

Course Calendar

A detailed schedule with dates for submission of the required documents and discussion posts will be posted in Canvas. The schedule is subject to change with fair notice to students by a post in the Canvas Learning Management System.

Textbooks and Readings
There is no formal textbook for this course. Course readings will consist of articles and book chapters from the research and professional literature.


Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204, other prerequisites may be added depending on content. 

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the electronic resource life cycle in a library setting.
  2. Understand the stakeholders involved with licensing in a variety of library environments, including how the license serves a community's needs.
  3. Analyze and discuss the components of a standard license.
  4. Recognize and apply applicable copyright laws and negotiation techniques for library licensing.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 281 supports the following core competencies:

  1. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.


No Textbooks For This Course.

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA or Informatics) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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