An April post described how the NERL Consortium (Johns Hopkins University is a Core Member) issued a public statement describing how they will negotiate with publishers for a better deal for researchers and libraries. They outlined five principles they would use in their work with publishers and vendors:
- 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.
On May 26, NERL released their Preferred Deal Elements. These Preferred Deal Elements are individual terms within an agreement that align with the five principles listed above. As a Core Member of NERL, Johns Hopkins Libraries participated in the development of these principles and Preferred Deal Elements.
Our work NERL as well as our individual work with publishers is aimed at moving the scholarly publishing ecosystem to a more open and equitable model, In 2019 the Johns Hopkins Libraries adopted this statement about Open Scholarship:
The Johns Hopkins Libraries affirm a vision of open scholarship that advances research, teaching, and intellectual growth, and furthers the University’s mission of knowledge for the world. Open scholarship benefits everyone because it facilitates faster dissemination and access to knowledge by broader audiences. Open scholarship removes barriers to interdisciplinary and international scholarship, facilitates discovery and collaboration across fields, and ensures that scholarship remains accessible through time. For these reasons, the JHU Libraries are committed to supporting the immense possibilities of open scholarship.