On March 3rd the NERL Consortium issued a statement, “NERL Demands a Better Deal,” articulating the values NERL will adopt in negotiating agreements with publishers. In a powerful and unified voice, the members of NERL asserted that, “As partners in the scholarly communication ecosystem, publishers and libraries share in the challenges of unprecedented health and economic crises, and our shared priority must be opening access to scholarship as our best way of supporting solutions to those crises.” The University of Rochester Libraries agree.
As a part of NERL the University of Rochester Libraries strongly support the statement, which coincides with our longstanding commitment to Sustainable Scholarship. In solidarity with our consortial partners and in service to an open, equitable, and healthy academic publishing ecosystem, NERL’s core values will guide our resource negotiation and implementation practices:
- Transparency: NERL commits to transparency of the negotiating process and will share details of discussions, outcomes, and cost whenever possible to demonstrate leadership for academic libraries. We commit to demanding transparency from our vendor partners and will prioritize vendor partners who honor this commitment.
- Sustainability: NERL negotiates for terms that ensure greater sustainability, pursuing opportunities to support collective infrastructure and collective ownership. We prioritize agreements that move past historical pricing models and precedent. We encourage smarter, better, and often smaller deals that do not increase cost with unrequested content while providing clear and transparent pricing models.
- Equity: NERL negotiates for terms that support the rights of all researchers to participate in the scholarly communications ecosystem as knowledge creators; to do so requires partnership between libraries and publishers to eliminate barriers. We work to ensure that costs to researchers and institutions are aligned with the costs of publishing, so everyone has access to open access publishing.
- Reproducibility: NERL agreements uphold Author’s Rights, ensuring no forced copyright transfer from author to publisher, computational rights for researchers to use articles in text mining or other practices, and the right to deposit articles in institutional repositories.
- Flexibility: We will encourage and prioritize NERL Agreements that incentivize emerging, efficient, and sustainable business models. We seek meaningful and creative alternatives that support the dissemination and preservation of the scholarly record.
The full statement can be read here.
About the NERL Consortium
The NERL Consortium consists of a core group of 30 of the most research-intensive institutions in North America. It is a national leader in negotiated licensing whose mission is to serve as an advocate for the collective power and influence of libraries and their parent institutions. NERL is based at the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) in Chicago.