The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Framework for Provider Agreements

From UMass Amherst's Mission Statement:

“We draw from and support diverse experiences and perspectives as an essential strength of this learning community and accept for ourselves and instill in our students an ongoing commitment to create a better, more just world.”

The imperative for accelerated contributions to public, common knowledge is driving changes to how scholarship is constructed, distributed, and funded. Diverse and inclusive collaboration is critical to addressing longstanding need for change. Scholarly publishing is moving away from a traditional “user pays” model focused on restricted access to publications and towards a researcher-centered model focused on distribution and access to scholarship throughout the research lifecycle. New models of scholarly communication favor researchers, contributors, and authors maintaining control of their works, and, in the interest of supporting and maintaining the scholarly communities and public knowledge that sustain them, sharing these works as openly as possible. 

To those ends, the Libraries will use The Framework for Provider Agreements to guide how it invests—with money, time, and labor—in scholarly content and infrastructure. The exchange of money, whether to purchase, license, or participate, constitutes some form of agreement, whether implicit or explicit. The Libraries will apply these principles as it enters into agreements with content and service providers to both sustain and expand our relationships. In some cases, these providers may also have relationships with our community’s researchers and scholars. While this framework is primarily a tool for the Libraries to use when determining its engagements, it can also be a model for our community members as they engage with providers on their own terms. 

This framework is designed to achieve four goals:

  1. Move from our current license models to investments that fully incorporate open access and ensure the widest possible use, reuse, analysis, discovery, curation, and preservation of scholarship; 
  2. Contain costs and provide flexibility for acquisitions expenditures;
  3. Lessen the transactional and financial burdens for our scholars of publication and distribution of their works when the outcome is consistent with open scholarship; and,
  4. Foster an open scholarship culture inclusive of equitable representation by people from diverse perspectives and backgrounds, such as language, race/ethnicity and gender.

These goals are informed by the Libraries’ stated Principles and Values: collaborations and partnerships; diversity & inclusion; innovation & creativity; openness & transparency; and stewardship & sustainability. 

  1. UMass Amherst pays once for content, either through an Open Access (OA), subscription, or purchase model which will include perpetual access rights to content. (G)* 
  2. UMass Amherst pays fair and sustainable prices for value-added services based on transparent, comprehensible, and cost-based models. 
  3. Provider does not require non-disclosure of its agreement or terms.
  4. Provider offers UMass Amherst flexible acquisition options. 
  5. Provider authorizes text/data mining, computational analysis, and reuse of all subscribed or purchased research and its component parts (e.g., code, protocol/methodology, data, figures, charts, analysis, etc.), consistent with legal exceptions and limitations on copyright such as fair use, at no additional cost.
  6. Provider ensures the long-term digital preservation and accessibility of their content through participation in trusted digital archives. 
  7. Provider complies with industry standards that facilitate the discovery, accessibility, use, re-use, interoperability, and preservation of open content and metadata, e.g., NISO, FAIR, ORCID. (G) 
  8. Provider produces industry standard-compliant administrative and usage data. (G) 
  9. Provider has established philosophies, policies, practices, and procedures to ensure equitable access to opportunities and resources to support individuals in contributing to the provider’s success. It equitably supports people from any demographic background and any identities (innate and selected), with varied experiences, beliefs, values, skills, and perspectives. (G)
  10. Provider will collect and share anonymized diversity data about its staff and management, including authors, reviewers, and editors if they are a content provider. 
  11. Provider recognizes UMass Amherst authors’ copyrights, with an assigned open license of the author’s choosing, such as Creative Commons or GNU licenses, and as such authors are free to reuse, subject to privacy considerations, all component parts of their research (e.g., code, protocol/methodology, data, figures, charts, analysis, etc.). 
  12. Provider does not require UMass Amherst authors to waive the campus's Open Access Policy. 
  13. Provider directly deposits UMass Amherst authors’ scholarly outputs in institutional repository immediately upon publication and will provide tools/mechanisms that facilitate immediate deposit.
  14. Provider does not restrict access to UMass Amherst authors’ scholarly outputs.

*(G) Represents those principles that UMass Amherst includes but are not explicitly outlined in Principles shared by other universities. 


Provider: Any publisher, vendor, or organization providing scholarly publication services or infrastructure with whom the Libraries enter into an agreement, license, or other transactional compact. 

Copyrights: The bundle of rights that are granted to a creator under US Code Chapter 17 Section 106, including the right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works including translations, distribute copies of the work, and perform or display the work publicly. 

For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions and consult the Guide to Open Scholarship and Scholarly Publishing.