Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL)

CAUL Electronic Information Resources Committee (CEIRC)
Terms of Reference and Mode of Operation

Revised 3 December, 2008


CEIRC was established in 1998 to take the place of the AVCC SCIR Database Access Working Group.  Participation is open to members of CAUL and CONZUL, the CSIRO, and (on approval) to external participants.

1. Terms of Reference

CEIRC is an advisory committee providing recommendations and advice to CAUL on matters relating to electronic information resources, such as cooperative purchasing, IT infrastructure, mirroring, archiving, publishers’ pricing models, licence agreements, and intra-consortium cost-sharing models, etc.  Strategic direction is provided by CAUL, on the recommendation of CEIRC after consideration of input from Datasets Coordinators.  Within this context the terms of reference are:

(1) Advise CAUL on issues which may affect the delivery of electronic information services.

(2) Promote the role of CAUL as an initiator and coordinator of collaboration between university libraries to facilitate access to electronic information resources.

(3) Oversee the cost-effective acquisition of e-resources and services through Consortium negotiations on behalf of CAUL.

(4) Provide information to CEIRC participants on consortium purchasing proposals.

(5) Advise CAUL on appropriate mechanisms, policies and procedures for sharing consortial costs among participants.

(6) Support the development of standards in areas such as licensing, authentication and statistical reporting as these affect e-resources and services, and bring them to the attention of publishers, policy-makers, CAUL and Datasets Coordinators.

(7) Advise publishers and vendors on acceptable terms and conditions for the supply of products and services.

(8) Initiate, maintain and develop productive relationships with other consortia, both nationally and internationally.

2.  Committee Membership.

Three CAUL members – two elected by CAUL members, one nominated by the CAUL Executive. The CAUL Executive to nominate a Chair and a Deputy Chair from this group.

Two representatives of the Datasets Coordinators – a shortlist of four to be elected by institutional Datasets Coordinators. Two to be selected from the shortlist by the three CAUL members on the committee. (This method of selection will provide an opportunity for Datasets Coordinators to be consulted and allow the CAUL members to take into account issues such as the need for a mix of geographic and institution size representation.)

One CSIRO representative – nominated by CSIRO
One CONZUL representative – nominated by CONZUL
CAUL Executive Officer ex officio

3.  Continuity of Committee Membership

Members hold office for two years with no more than two terms.

4. Structure

CEIRC establishes working groups or nominates individuals on an ad hoc basis to address specific issues or problems. The convenors of the working groups will generally be members of CEIRC.  Members of CEIRC will be allocated specific responsibilities, such as leading discussion on a specific topic on a discussion list.  A number of working groups are likely to involve Datasets Coordinators who are not members of CEIRC.

Working groups or individuals allocated tasks will be given deadlines to complete their task. There will be no standing working groups.

The financial support of working groups requires further investigation but it is initially recommended that the convenor's institution may be reimbursed for some of the time involved if it is a large project, otherwise it will be supported by the members' institutions.

CEIRC may enter into a contract with an individual to negotiate with relevant publishers and vendors under the guidance of CEIRC, as and if required.

5. Trials and Evaluations

The CAUL Office continues to be responsible for dealing with ad hoc proposals from vendors, for coordinating trials and evaluations and for liaising with CAUL members.

CEIRC holds discussions annually at the VALA and Online Conferences with a small and targeted number of vendors whose products are of interest but whose terms and conditions remain unsatisfactory for CAUL members.

6. Communication with CAUL

The Chair of CEIRC reports formally to the CAUL Executive on CEIRC activities in writing, and as necessary by attendance at an Executive meeting.

Following each CEIRC meeting the Chair of CEIRC circulates a briefing to CAUL members highlighting the issues discussed.

The Chair of CEIRC prepares a brief report on CEIRC activities for each CAUL meeting.

The minutes of CEIRC meetings should be made available on the CAUL web site as soon as committee members have had an opportunity to make any necessary corrections.

7. Involvement of Datasets Coordinators

Datasets Coordinators are encouraged to participate in CEIRC activities by :

(a) participating in the election of representatives on CEIRC
(b) participating in CEIRC working groups
(c) contributing to relevant discussion lists
(d) participating in an annual meeting with CEIRC members, organised in conjunction with VALA and Online, to exchange views and discuss issues of common concern. It is recommended that the meeting be convened and organised by one of the two Datasets Coordinators' representatives on CEIRC, with the assistance of the CAUL Executive Officer.

8. CEIRC Finances

Since 1998, a fee has been levied for all participants, including CAUL institutions, and is increased annually.

The 2008 levy is $1,350 per calendar year for CAUL institutions.  For new/external participants in the program, the levy is $2,025.


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