Announcing our Philosophy of Access to Research and Scholarship
July 5, 2022

The University of Tennessee Libraries has adopted a set of principles for providing access to research and scholarship. We invite you to review the “UT Libraries Philosophy of Access to Research, Scholarship, and Cultural Heritage.”

Over the past two years, library faculty and staff have been engaged in an in-depth examination of our core values regarding access to the scholarly literature, as well as the practical application of those ideals to the UT Libraries’ licensing and purchasing agreements.

The UT Libraries enlisted consultant Jeff Spies, a national leader on issues of open access and open science, to host a series of discussions among library faculty and staff. Focus groups composed of faculty and students drawn from across the campus served as a means of gathering input from stakeholders. All library employees were invited to help create a framework for the wise investment of public funds in sustainable subscription and purchasing agreements.

Many university libraries across the country are taking a second look at their journal licensing agreements. UT librarian Jennie Mezick recently led a working group hosted by the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries that set forth guiding principles for negotiations with vendors. The resulting toolkit, “The ASERL Eleven: Recommended Principles and Terms of Electronic Resource Agreements,” suggests model language for licensing agreements.

That document complements the principles articulated in our newly announced Philosophy of Access.

The UT Libraries is committed to maintaining outstanding scholarly collections. In negotiating with vendors, the UT Libraries will seek transparent agreements that protect the rights of faculty authors and give the general public the greatest possible access to electronic resources.