CEIRC Terms of Reference

CEIRC (CAUL Electronic Information Resources Consortium) was established in 1998 to take the place of the AVCC SCIR Database Access Working Group. CEIRC’s membership is open to members of CAUL, and also includes the 8 members of the Council of New Zealand University Librarians (CONZUL) and 17 external organisations in Australia and New Zealand. These organisations are a combination of state and federal government departments, Australian research institutes, including CSIRO, NZ Crown Research Institutes and polytechnics, and Avondale College. Following a review of the CEIRC program in 2007, CAUL determined that it would accept no new external participants into the program.

1. Terms of Reference

CEIRAC (CAUL Electronic Information Resources Advisory Committee) 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 CEIRAC 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 nominated from the CAUL membership, one appointed as chair by the CAUL Executive.  Terms are two years, renewable once only.

Two representatives of the Datasets Coordinators (practitioner members), nominated by their library director, to serve for a single term of two years, with nominations called in alternate years for the two positions.

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

  • 2a.  External Participants [following a review of the CEIRC program in 2007, CAUL determined that it would accept no new participants into the program] 
    1) Criteria [which were]  applied in deciding external participation 
    The following criteria or principles are applied in deciding whether external organisations should be admitted to the CEIRC program:

    a) The entry of external organisations as participants in the CEIRC program must advance or, at the very least, not damage the interests of CAUL members. 
    It follows that any candidates for admission should have teaching and/or research as their primary function and have roles or objectives similar or complementary to those of CAUL members or Australian higher education institutions in general.  (Any participants who are likely to be perceived by vendors as disparate in character and hence possibly belonging to a different ‘market’ would prejudice CEIRC’s overall prospects for success in its various negotiations.)  It is the application of this principle rather than the simple categorisation of organisation by type that should decide admission to the program.  This principle should also span the ‘not for profit/for profit’ divide.

    b) The admission of external organisations must not harm CAUL’s relationship with the AVCC or with kindred groups within such partnerships or coalitions as ICOLC or in possible one-to-one links with such networks as SOLINET or NELINET.

    c) In some cases, the level of experience or expertise an external organisation might bring to CEIRC by participation in the program could be considered a strong argument for entry.

    d) A condition of participation in the program would be payment of the participation levy.  This levy would be payable for the life of any CEIRC negotiated agreements to which the external participants were party.

    In the case of new external participants, an annual fee is payable. Since new participants derive immediate benefit from the infrastructure and expertise developed by CAUL over a number of years, it is reasonable that they should pay a modest premium over and above the standard levy.  See #8 for details.

    2) Procedure 
    All requests for participation in the program are first considered by CEIRC and a recommendation made to the CAUL Executive.  The final decision rests with the Executive.

    Note: Participation in the program does not bring with it membership of the CEIRC committee.  Participants’ personnel may join the datasets email list, and may request participation in any of the agreements negotiated on behalf of CAUL.  CAUL will then seek to include the participant in the agreement, but this is ultimately the decision of each individual vendor.  Participation of external organisations will not be a necessary condition of CAUL’s agreements with such vendors. 
    See Guidelines for participation, for external organisations. 
    See also Database entry form, for external organisations.

3.  Continuity of Committee Membership

Members hold office for two years with no more than two terms for CAUL members and one term for practitioners.

4. Structure

CEIRAC 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 CEIRAC.  Members of CEIRAC 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 CEIRAC.

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.

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

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

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

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

The minutes of CEIRAC 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) ..
(b) participating in CEIRAC working groups 
(c) contributing to relevant discussion lists 
(d) participating in an annual meeting with CEIRC members, organised in conjunction with VALA and ALIA 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 CEIRAC, 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 2014 levy is $2,900 per calendar year for CAUL institutions.  For external participants in the program, the levy is $4,350.

Author Harry Rolf
Last modified 15 November 2017