Content Procurement Services

Program director Robert (Bob) Gerrity
Related topics Information Resources, Publishing, Scholarly Communications

CAUL provides Content Procurement Services undertaken primarily through the vehicle of the CAUL Consortium. The CAUL Consortium is governed by a Content Procurement Committee that plays a strategic advisory role in guiding the Content Procurement Services and the work of the Consortium. The strategy implementation and the operational activities of the Consortium are managed by a CAUL staff member, the Director, Content Procurement. The Director, Content Procurement works closely with and relies on the active participation of the Content Coordinators who represent Consortium member institutions. The Content Coordinators participate in a wider Content Community comprising staff in CAUL Consortium participating institutions who have a role related to the procurement and/or management of scholarly content.

The CAUL Consortium comprises a number of participating institutions who pay an annual CAUL Consortium Levy. There are three categories of CAUL Consortium Participants: Full CAUL Council Members (39 Australian universities), Associate CAUL Council Members (8 New Zealand Universities [CONZUL]) and Other Consortium Participants (15 non-university or outside ANZ institutions). The latter category currently do not have representation on the Content Procurement Committee. A process for admission of new participants in this category is currently under development.

The efforts of the CAUL Consortium are focused on improved value for money, through economies of scale and greater leverage in the digital content marketplace, enabling influence on the development of products and platforms and the transformation of access to digital scholarly content. The Consortium negotiates agreements aligned with strategic initiatives on behalf of member institutions to secure optimal acquisition of digital content, using the best possible pricing models, with the most favourable terms for members, and to deliver significant benefits of cost avoidance, thus ultimately saving Consortium participants both time and money.

Although the CAUL Consortium is primarily the vehicle through which the CAUL Content Procurement Services operate, the Consortium may also be used as appropriate, from time to time, for the procurement of non-content services/products. This includes: products providing access to content or analysis of content; any products/services that meet particular needs of Consortium participants and for which consortial procurement will produce a better outcome for members. The Consortium also facilitates financial support for services that provide infrastructure to Consortium participants for open access to scholarly content.

The business of the CAUL Consortium in terms of workflow management is conducted primarily through the ConsortiaManager application. The MYOB accounting application is used for invoicing. The business of the Consortium aligns with industry standards and best practice wherever practically possible. The CAUL Consortium is a member of the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC).

Strategic Engagement

CAUL regularly engages with key stakeholders on topics related to Advancing Open Scholarship. Selected publications and presentations are added here.

The Road to Open through Strategic Procurement

This poster and accompanying web page were presented at the 15th Berlin Open Access Conference in September 2021. The poster summaries the considerable progress CAUL has made in advancing open access through its strategic procurement activities over the period 2019 to 2021.

Other (non-university and outside ANZ) Participants in the CAUL Consortium

AgResearch Ltd (NZ)
Australian Institute of Marine Science 
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Avondale University (currently not a member of Universities Australia (UA) therefore not a CAUL Council Member)
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Defence Science and Technology Group
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development [WA]
Landcare Research (NZ)
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment [NSW]
Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Limited
Plant & Food Research (NZ)
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Scion (NZ)
University of the South Pacific (inactive participant)

Current projects and groups

Author Harry Rolf
Last modified 17 January 2022