Related product E-Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about E-Resources

The CARLI E-Resources program provides a wide array of electronic resources and services that make it possible for member libraries to expand and enhance their collections in a more efficient and affordable manner.

CARLI contracts with commercial database providers to supply members with discounted pricing for a broad range of indexing, abstracting, and full text databases to support their individual curricular and research needs. Member libraries pay the cost of resources brokered through CARLI, but the consortium assumes the cost of negotiating and managing licenses, coordinating selections and centralized billing.

The program provides fully funded access to core electronic resources for the benefit of all members.  As funding arises, CARLI will look at future funded arrangements.

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Yes. You must be Governing member to participate in the E-Resources program. CARLI does not charge any additional fees for participation.   

The CARLI e-resources license agreements reflect one of two annual cycles.  The majority are on a fiscal year (July - June) cycle, with a smaller number on a calendar year (January - December) cycle.

CARLI utilizes a web portal called the selection system to manage all license agreement related information.  Libraries use this system as a way to see product pricing and make subscription commitments.

The selection system is open twice per year to allow libraries to select and commit to subscriptions.  These dates are usually mid-April to mid-May for fiscal year subscriptions and mid-October to late November for calendar year subscriptions.

There are ways in which products can be added at other times of the year so please direct questions about adding products to

See the CARLI-Managed Resources page for a complete list of licensed resources available through CARLI. More information about funded or brokered resources can be accessed through the CARLI selection system. Login credentials are required to access the system.

A list of current subscriptions for each library can be found on their CARLI member page.  Libraries can also view their current and historical subscription information on the "My Products" page within the selection system.

Vendors also sometimes offer a CARLI discount to member libraries for products not being brokered by CARLI.  You can read about these products on the CARLI Direct Offers page.

Funded resources are those that CARLI pays a part or all of the license fee for members. Brokered resources are those for which CARLI has negotiated a price for CARLI members. For both types of resources CARLI manages the license agreement and in the case of partially funded or brokered resources CARLI invoices participating libraries for their participation.

Generally yes. Depending on the timing and the e-resources selected by your library, CARLI may choose to provide prorated access, have you work directly with a vendor utilizing the CARLI pricing until the next renewal or ask that you wait until the next renewal cycle.  

For resources licensed through CARLI, your access will be facilitated as quickly as possible, hopefully within a matter of days.

Once a subscription commitment has been received, CARLI will provide the vendor with the IP ranges on file for your library.  This is why it is important to ensure CARLI is always provided with updates so that we have the most current IP ranges for your institution.

If you encounter access issues with a resource brokered by CARLI, please send a note to providing as much information as possible.  IP ranges are the first place we look when there are access issues.  Once IP ranges have been confirmed, CARLI staff will reach out to the vendor's technical support for assistance.

Vendors determine the pricing structure. Some use flat fees, while others use FTE or tiered pricing based on institutional size and type. For all official calculations, CARLI uses the annual fall 10-day FTE count available from the Illinois Board of Higher Education.  This count is available starting in December and will be reflected in the next fiscal year pricing.

CARLI negotiates the best discounts in Illinois on behalf of our members. In addition, CARLI negotiates and manages licenses, coordinate selections, and provides centralized billing to help members streamline the process, significantly easing the staff burden for the individual libraries.

CARLI will invoice you only 1-2 times per year regardless of how many databases you subscribe to. You’ll receive a single invoice for all databases you select during each subscription period (Calendar Year or Fiscal Year)

The legal/purchasing staff of the University of Illinois does a complete review of all licenses offered through the CARLI database brokering program. If you subscribe through CARLI, your legal review has already been done for you.  No additional signatures by participating libraries are needed as your CARLI Membership Agreement states "In consideration for membership in CARLI, the institution agrees… to act in accordance with all terms and conditions of contractual agreements made by CARLI and its business and contractual agent, the University of Illinois, on behalf of member libraries, and to accept responsibility for the acts or omissions of its own employees related to such agreements.”

Email messages are sent to the collections, and electronic resources contacts email lists, and an announcement is made on the CARLI web site when the selection system is available.

There are two sources of information related to license terms for CARLI agreements. See the CARLI-Managed Resources page for a quick overview of the terms of use and period of performance. This list is organized by product name.

Full versions of the redacted license agreements can be found in the CARLI selection system. Each product name is a hyperlink that will allow you to access the redacted license agreement.

Complete the online E-resource Vendor Proposal form. If you have confidential information (pricing, license agreement template) please . CARLI staff will send that information directly to the Commercial Products Committee that is responsible for reviewing all product proposals.

Libraries have a couple of options to share your ideas. You can  with your suggestions or questions about resources. You can also use the online E-Resources Product or Service Suggestion form. These suggestions are reviewed by the CARLI Commercial Products Committee.

In late 2007 the then-CARLI Electronic Resources Working Group drafted a set of E-Resources Licensing Principles which provide the philosophical assumptions which are the foundations of the CARLI Electronic Resources program and guide our licensing efforts. These principles were endorsed by the CARLI Board of Directors in early 2008.

Products are included in the program either at the request of member libraries or at the suggestion of vendors. In response to the growth of the e-resources program the then-Electronic Resources Working Group created thresholds which potential new products must meet:

  • Minimum of 10% of the member libraries must be interested or the interested libraries must represent at least 10% of the CARLI membership FTE
  • Minimum of 25% discount off of list price
  • Minimum anticipated savings resulting from a consortial agreement of $10,000

CARLI also makes available our Standard License Agreement template. We encourage libraries to use this language to assist in their own license negotiations.

No, but we can assist you with links or put you in touch with vendors to help with these.