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Open Negotiation Education for Academic Libraries (ONEAL)

This guide provides information for the ONEAL project.

What is the ONEAL Project?

The Open Negotiation Education for Academic Libraries (ONEAL) project is a collaboration between Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis, Grand Valley State University, and Belmont University to develop curricula and open educational resources to support teaching negotiation education within academic libraries and in Master of Library Science (MLS/MLIS) programs. These educational resources will teach negotiation theory and strategy using academic library context of negotiating third-party content provider agreements. 

The curriculum developed will raise the capacity and skill of academic librarians to plan and execute negotiations for electronic resources with third party vendors moving libraries toward sustainability as well as improving access to resources for patrons. While targeted toward academic libraries licensing resources for research, teaching, and learning, the materials created also have the potential to benefit all library sectors (academic, public, school, and special) at the national and potentially global levels. Library science programs will have access to the OER, addressing an issue of strategic importance around maintaining collections.

Key Deliverables

Asynchronous Learning Modules

Asynchronous Learning Modules will be centered around three primary learning components designed to teach negotiations concepts and strategy, basics in licensing, and dive more deeply into issues affecting academic libraries. The exact content included will be influenced by  community discussion forums, which will guide the curriculum planning process and ensure that these modules are centered on the academic library experience. The project team will collaborate with identified experts in creating the content of these modules.

1.0 Best practices in planning and executing principled negotiations

These will be best practices based on up-to-date research on executing negotiations and will include concepts such as understanding your BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement), ZOPA (Zone of Possible Agreement), and Reservation Price (the walk away point). It will also provide guidance on when to offer concessions and how to manage a negotiation when the other party is behaving inappropriately, among other topics.

2.0 Negotiating vendor licensing agreements

This module will introduce key clauses within vendor licensing agreements including authorized use/restrictions, authorized users, pricing and term, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and termination. Beyond introducing the contractual clause, planned content includes discussion of key issues around specific clauses such as NDAs and how they affect libraries.

3.0 Issues in negotiations within academic libraries

This module will include deeper dives into issues affecting library vendor relationships and their negotiations. Examples of topics that may be covered include user surveillance and privacy, transformative agreements, and open access. The exact content of this module will be derived from discussions that occur at three online discussion forums, as well as the curriculum planning workshop which occurs in fall of 2022.

Synchronous Teaching Support

With the assistance of expert content creators, the project team will develop a set of synchronous teaching materials that can be used in concert with the asynchronous learning modules to aid in the learning of the material from the three modules. This includes lesson plans, discussion guides, and in-class exercises. These materials will enable groups such as consortia, professional organizations, and individual libraries to facilitate learning and practice within their organizations.

Case Studies

ONEAL will develop a set of fictionalized case studies centered around negotiations within academic libraries based on the experiences of 25 interviewed academic librarians. Qualitative analysis will be used to identify key themes in order to draft scenarios that enable engagement with the material taught through the asynchronous (and optional synchronous) materials. Each case study will have three parts: 1) library point of view, 2) vendor point of view, and 3) teaching note. These case studies will allow learners to practice preparing for and executing negotiations by working with a partner. (Note this preparation and practice could happen between two individuals or two small groups.) The library and vendor point of view are written with differing information to replicate the missing information that must be uncovered mid-negotiation when seeking agreement. The teaching note can be used by a group facilitator or by a pair of individual learners after the negotiation. It will provide discussion/reflection questions and will summarize key themes within the case study facilitating a debrief of the experience.

Partnership with SPARC

The project is partnering with SPARC who is currently developing a website focused on supporting negotiations in academic libraries through their Negotiation Community of Practice. While the OER developed by ONEAL will reside in institutional repositories, The Negotiation Community of Practice website will offer a convenient access to the materials. This partnership is strategic and will provide synergy for both parties; the community that SPARC supports has indicated an interest in developing negotiation skills, meanwhile the current community of practice provides opportunities for connection, programming, and resources for academic librarians undergoing negotiations. The website will provide a portal where academic librarians negotiating for resources can develop skills, learn techniques and strategies to build stakeholder support, and keep up to date with vendor and collection issues and trends. The content developed in the project will be maintained on the website for a minimum period of 5 years beyond the end of the grant performance period. However, by aligning with the community of practice, there is the potential to create new community driven content reflecting up-to-date issues to supplement the originally created material ensuring relevance. 

Project Funders

This project is funded through an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant.