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Licensing Principles

  • UMD authors will retain their copyrights and will be provided with options that enable publication while also providing authors with the rights to share, use, and deposit their scholarly work in the open-access Digital Repository of the University of Maryland (DRUM) and other open-access repositories, as they wish.
  • We recognize and respect the well-established principle of Fair Use. Fair Use principles permit library users to make certain uses of copyrighted materials for non-commercial, educational, instructional, and research purposes. Licenses will not expressly prohibit fair use of information by authorized users. Agreements will allow for the printing, downloading, and copying activities that are inherent in scholarly work. The license will specifically permit instructional use in the form of electronic reserves and course packs, as well as scholarly sharing of reasonable amounts of content with third-party colleagues.
  • We require the removal of all non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements from our contracts to allow us to communicate openly and transparently about our negotiated pricing and terms.
  • Publishers will provide tools/mechanisms that facilitate deposition of scholarly articles in the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).
  • All services and resources provided by vendors will be in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and with the Web Accessibility Initiative’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Licensors will provide a current WCAG Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) to demonstrate compliance.
  • Publishers will provide computational access to subscribed content as a standard part of all contracts, with no restrictions on non-consumptive, computational analysis of the corpus of subscribed content.
  • Publishers will ensure the long-term digital preservation and accessibility of their content through participation in trusted digital archives.
  • Provisions for interlibrary loan or other equivalent services will be included in all relevant license agreements. As a general principle, libraries should be able to deliver reasonable length extracts from licensed information to other libraries that have not signed a contract for that information for use by a specific patron. The UMD Libraries will be able to use electronic resources for the purpose of supplying interlibrary loan requests in accordance with the Interlibrary Loan Provision of section 108 of the US Copyright Law.
  • Standards-compliant usage data is essential to support assessment and decision making. Usage data will be made available on-demand. Where appropriate, usage data will be COUNTER-compliant and adhere to the most recent COUNTER Code of Practice. Usage data will be made available on-demand via a web-based portal and accessible via SUSHI.
  • We are committed to licensing resources for the benefit of all students and researchers at the University of Maryland, including individuals visiting the University to use our collections onsite. “Authorized users” include all current students, faculty, and staff of the University of Maryland. As a public institution with a broad mandate to serve the State of Maryland, the UMD Libraries' "authorized users" also include other library patrons accessing the UMD Libraries’ collections onsite (a.k.a. “walk-in users”).
  • Increasingly, libraries will expand their robust collaboration around content licensing to realize cost savings and operational efficiencies. Publishers must be willing to enter into negotiations with consortia in which the UMD Libraries hold membership, including BTAA, NERL, USMAI, and others.
  • The confidentiality of data related to the usage of licensed materials will be maintained. Such data will be used solely for purposes directly related to the licensed content and will only be provided to other parties in anonymized, aggregate form. Raw usage data, including but not limited to information relating to the identity of specific users, will not be provided to any third party.


These principles were developed by the Libraries in collaboration with the cross-campus UMD PACT (Publishing, Access, and Contract Terms) working group and the Senate-based University Library Council, and were endorsed by campus administrators and faculty stakeholders during the 2020-2021 academic year. They are based, in part, on the Libraries’ values and practices, and on models used by the University of Washington, MIT, and other research institutions.