A large US-based engineering and scientific consulting firm relies on subscriptions to standards to provide innovative insights and evidence-based plans to its global network of clients. The CCC Annual Copyright License (ACL) provides an easy way for them to collaborate with a range of standards publications while protecting intellectual property and respecting copyright.

At this 500+ person organization, the Chief Librarian faces several challenges, including reducing physical inventory of standards documents and facilitating access to digital standards for her multidisciplinary team of scientists, physicians, engineers, and business consultants. In her organization, standards are primarily used internally to provide consultants with the background they need to develop studies, evaluate research findings, conduct testing, and understand historical norms. With the recent global pandemic, they must provide easy, online access to materials considered critical to the engineers’ work. This includes standards.

Because the needs of the engineering teams span business and technical use cases in support of a growing number of global customers, the organization has established hundreds of subscriptions with dozens of standards development organizations and standards brokers. As a result, the library and their users now must manage multiple ways in which standards are delivered to the organization, each with a unique licensing arrangement. The library staff tracks these rights in a shared spreadsheet, requiring consultants to continually engage the library’s staff with one-off questions about how and when their distributed team can collaborate with standards content as they prepare material for the client. This can lead to difficulty when the library team is offline and the engineering team is approaching a client deadline.

Like many professional services organizations whose business value is linked to their own intellectual property (IP), this engineering firm has published a rigorous internal policy on IP and copyright compliance. It requires that every employee take an annual training course on the importance of IP protection and copyright, and verify that they’ve read and understood that policy. In addition, they rely on the ACL to provide their employees and business consultants with the ability to collaborate using subscribed content in compliance with policy. The ACL offers a consistent set of rights to business users who wish to reuse published materials previously acquired through subscription or purchase, complementing those subscriptions and purchases by providing additional reuse rights that may not be included in those agreements. Materials in the ACL repertory include standards, news publications, books, scholarly journals, and more.

Given our focus on designing products, systems, and buildings, standards are our most reused type of content

Chief Librarian