Information for eResource Vendors

This page provides an introduction, for vendors of online academic resources, to the functions of OCLS's eResources Management service, as well as our principles and expectations for consortial agreements and our relationships with vendors.

This page also outlines the next steps a vendor interested in working with OCLS may take.





OCLS's eResources Management service provides electronic resource management support to Ontario's 24 public college libraries. As part of this service, we work with eresource vendors to develop mutually-beneficial consortial agreements that maximize the benefits of collective procurement.

Information about the Ontario colleges, including FTEs, can be found in the Colleges section of our website.

Benefits to vendors

  • Efficient licensing process 
  • Efficient setup and invoicing for new subscriptions
  • Reduced administrative time
  • Streamlined customer communications through the consortium
  • Streamlined invoicing and payment
  • Streamlined renewal workflows

OCLS regularly partners with other library consortia to license resources of mutual interest to our members, including Consortia Canada, and the Ontario Learning Resources for Nursing consortium (OLRN).

OCLS's eResource Management service is fully funded by the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities, and freely available to all 24 colleges. All vendor fees and discounts are passed on as-is to the college system.

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OCLS does not accept unsolicited offers from vendors. Vendors are welcome to promote their online resources directly to the college libraries. If a college becomes interested in a new resource, they may pursue acquisition independently, or they may refer the vendor to OCLS for invoicing and other administrative support.

The colleges may also recommend new resources to the consortium for potential consortial selection. If at least five colleges already subscribe to a resource or are interested in subscribing, then OCLS will contact the vendor to begin exploring the development of a new consortial agreement. 

In anticipation of either outcome, kindly read through our guiding principles and expectations below.

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We strongly prefer working with a single account representative, to streamline our communications with you. There will also be a primary OCLS contact handling your account.

OCLS handles the larger portion of liaising with the colleges when a consortial relationship has been established. Please refer to the table below for the various ways in which working with OCLS will save you time and effort.

Vitally, we ask that vendors with whom we have a consortial relationship:

  • Send all product updates to OCLS so that we can highlight information pertinent to our members and coordinate communications
  • Send all renewal and new offer details to OCLS, to avoid confusing the college libraries who rely on us for these acquisition services

In all cases, vendors should contact only college librarians, not faculty or other college staff, with product and other marketing information. 

Direct contact with colleges 

Conduct product training and webinars


Maintain product, pricing, and licensing information in our shared ERMS for college reference


Communicate webinars and promotional materials for new products to colleges


Liaise with colleges to manage renewals, and collate the group's renewal decisions


Manage trial, quote and new acquisition requests from colleges


Address  technical issues that impact multiple subscribing colleges, such as loss of access or product functionality, on behalf of the colleges with the vendor's technical support


Manage communications to colleges about planned maintenance, platform upgrades, changes to content, and any other product updates


Address technical issues that impact an individual user, such as issues with access to an admin user account on the vendor's platform Vendor
Provide in-depth technical support for an individual college's system (including platform customization, discovery layer integration, remote authentication configuration* etc.) Vendor

*with the exception of colleges that participate in OCLS's Remote Access service, in which case OCLS will confer with the vendor on the colleges' behalf.

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OCLS’s eResources Management supports the acquisition of licensed online content like collections, databases, programs (e.g. language-learning courses, 3D anatomy resources), ready reference materials (e.g. online encyclopedias, dictionaries, and directories), etc.

We do not at this time develop consortial agreements for the following types of resources: 

  • Open access and other free resources
  • Physical materials, including print materials and software (e.g. DVDs, CD-roms, downloadable applications, datasets)
  • Single titles (e.g. journals, ebooks, videos, documents etc.)
  • Collections of content customised for a college
  • Software as a service (SaaS), online tools

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The colleges strongly prefer resources that meet the following industry standards for online resources. In many cases, these standards represent acquisition requirements. Not only are these standards essential for academic users, but resources which require non-standard set-up and maintenance incur labour costs for the libraries which represent a natural impediment to buy-in.

  • IP authenticated access (via EZProxy and SAML 2.0 SSO)
  • Unlimited concurrent access (no "seats")
  • COUNTER-compliant usage stats
  • MARC records
  • Title lists
  • Permalinks/Durable URLs (title-level stable links)
  • Integration with common discovery layers (e.g. EDS, Summon, Primo)

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In exchange for the many benefits afforded to the vendor through a consortial agreement with OCLS, we expect more favourable pricing terms than would otherwise be offered to the Ontario colleges. 

OCLS and the colleges also expect a fair and transparent pricing model with the following features: 

  • Distinction is made between colleges and universities
  • Distinction is made between institutions of different sizes (FTE)
  • Prospective institutions can see what price they would pay
  • Subscribing institutions can see the reason for their price 
  • Renewal increases from year to year, should there be any, are low and predictable

Although every consortial agreement is different, OCLS's agreements typically include a price model based on a $/FTE rate or FTE tiers, and a consortial discount that increases as participation increases (e.g. per subscriber count or subscription count). 

As part of consortial negotiations, OCLS can work with the vendor to develop a fair and transparent pricing model suitable for the college library market if necessary.


OCLS uses the FTEs audited by our and the colleges’ funding body, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, in all cases where enrolment count, user base size, or FTE is a pricing factor. These FTEs are updated every April, and are used for the duration of the April - March fiscal year. We maintain a publicly available list of these FTEs on our website. 

Common renewal date

All subscriptions for all resources from the same vendor will be aligned on a common subscription term, sharing the same start and end dates.

New subscribers who join mid-term, and existing subscribers who would like to upgrade or add new resources to their subscription mid-term, will be priced under the consortial pricing model and prorated to the common renewal date.

Existing subscribers

OCLS expects that existing subscribers will be included in new consortial agreements. Renewals will be prorated in alignment with the common renewal date upon the expiry of their current term. They will be priced under the consortial model, including any applicable discounts.

However, where a college has an existing subscription with pricing that is better than what is available under the consortial agreement, they will instead be “grandfathered” at that pricing level. Any annual increases will be negotiated between OCLS and the vendor. If the agreement includes a participation-based discount, grandfathered subscribers will count toward the participation numbers, but they may not be subject to the discount.

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OCLS negotiates and signs the licence as an authorised representative and signatory for participating colleges.

OCLS's model licence was developed to meet the colleges’ unique requirements and licensing priorities, and to reflect industry standards for academic licensing. We encourage all vendors interested in working with OCLS to review our model licence

Licence negotiation is an expected part of the development of a new consortial agreement. While OCLS strongly prefers the use of our model licence, we can also use the vendor's standard licence as a basis for negotiations.

Baseline expectations

OCLS does not handle resources with auto-renewal clauses. All subscriptions must be licensed to expire at the end of the subscription period unless both parties (OCLS and the vendor) have agreed to renew.

We expect the standard academic uses to be outlined explicitly in the licence.

We require that the governing law in effect for the licence be that of Ontario, Canada, and that copyright law referred to will be Canadian copyright law, including fair dealing exceptions. The licence must allow for the altering of licensed material to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Please review the OCLS Model Licence for the list of expected clauses in full.

Existing subscribers

The negotiated and ratified licence should be offered and made available to all Ontario colleges, including those with existing agreements outside of the OCLS agreement.

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