Jisc Model Licences

The Jisc Model Licence is the foundation for all our agreements. It was developed to support the realities of contemporary teaching, study and research, and to reflect developments in electronic publishing, scholarly communication and recent changes in copyright law.

Our Model Licence includes all the terms and conditions that your institution and your users need to ensure that you get the most out of the online resources you subscribe to. The Jisc Model Licence tells you:

  • What you can and can’t do
  • What your users can and can’t do
  • What your responsibilities are as an institution
  • What the responsibilities are of the licensor (either the publisher, or Jisc Licensing)

It also includes other terms and conditions that protect you, your institution, your users and the publisher, such as the duration of the agreement, grounds for termination, acknowledgement of intellectual property rights, warranties and indemnities, force majeure and the law under which the agreement is governed.

We currently draft the following model licences on behalf of our members:

Our Model Licences are templates designed to accommodate a range of offers and pricing models. The final versions used for our publisher agreements may differ slightly from these models if they have been adapted to fit a specific product or offer. You can find more information and further explanation of the licenses in our Guide to the Jisc Model Licence. If you have any questions, please contact our helpdesk or seek legal advice.

Key benefits

  1. Flexible terms and conditions: We offer more flexible and practical terms and conditions than any standard commercial licenses for access and use of online resources. Our Model Licences are carefully drafted to ensure our members get the most out of their online resources and subscriptions. Extracts from these resources can be used in course packs, student assignments and teaching and research materials. We also offer remote access for our users both on and off campus
  2. Consistent licence terms: All our agreements are based on the Model Licences. This consistency makes subscribing to multiple resources a more straightforward process. We strive to make any considerable differences between the final publisher agreement and Jisc Model Licence as clear as possible to our members before they subscribe to a resource
  3. Quality assurance: Our mission is to provide our members with quality assured resources. We only license content that meets our strict criteria to ensure that institutions subscribe to adequate resources that are accessible to as many authorised users as possible. Our agreements also follow information standards such as the UK Access Management Federation, Open URL linking, use of the Z39.50 protocol, Dublin Core metadata, provision of COUNTER compliant usage statistics, and compliance with the WAI accessibility standards
  4. Saving our members money and time: We save our members money and time by acting as a consortium to get better deals and by negotiating all agreements on their behalf
  5. Setting the licensing standard: Our Model Licences are widely adopted by other organisations that use them as a template for drafting their own licenses. We update our licences periodically to take advantage of changes in technology and new business models, and to ensure we continue to meet our members' needs. We aim to make our licences as straightforward and transparent as possible, while at the same time being legally robust

We introduced a new model licence in 2023; it is designed to offer our members greater assurance in areas such as data protection and due diligence requirements of suppliers, but key permissions and restrictions and the responsibilities on subscribers are unchanged. Agreements already in progress will continue with their existing licence and move to the new model on a rolling basis as they renew. Please see this example of our new licence.