Directory: Publishers’ Licensing Services

Publishers’ Licensing Services

Publishers' Licensing Services (PLS) is best known for managing collective licensing on behalf of publishers. A not-for-profit organisation, PLS has been serving the collective interests of publishers since 1981. It is owned and governed by four publisher trade associations: ALPSP, IPG, PPA and the PA.

Key activities

Collective licensing offers a simple and cost-effective solution for those who wish to copy extracts from books, journals, magazines and websites without breaking the law and it returns revenue to right holders where direct licensing would be neither efficient nor cost-effective.

PLS works through two collective management organisations to license in the education, public and business sectors: CLA and NLA media access. PLS distributes the resulting licensing revenues, worth over £38 million in 2018/19, to some 4,000 signed up publishers according to the data collected on the copying of their publications.

PLS® Permissions is a suite of services designed to help publishers streamline their permissions process. The suite comprises:

PermissionsDirect  - which introduces efficiencies for publishers managing their own permissions requests.

PermissionsAssist, a service by which publishers outsource the entire management of their permissions to PLS, and

PermissionsRequest, a free service that enables authors and editors and seeking to reuse published content to get permission to do so quickly and easily.

The Access to Research service provides free access to over 15 million academic articles in public libraries across the UK. More than 95% of UK local authorities have signed up.

Access to Research was launched in response to a recommendation of the Finch Group, that the major journal publishers should provide free access to their academic articles in public libraries. Access to Research is the result of a unique collaboration between librarians and publishers and was established by PLS which continues to host it. The content is searchable through the Summon discovery service, generously provided by ProQuest.

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