During their November 5 meeting, the Graduate Student Government (GSG) passed a resolution officially endorsing the proposed policy on equitable access to scholarly research put forth by the University of Maryland Publishing, Access and Contract Terms (UMD PACT) group.
The policy, entitled Equitable Access to Scholarly Articles Authored by University Faculty, aims to remove price and permission barriers to UMD’s research output; to help faculty members comply with research funders’ open access mandates; and enhance faculty authors’ ability to retain their rights. The policy is currently under review and will be considered for adoption by the University Senate in Spring semester 2022. If passed, future scholarly articles by UMD faculty will be available open access through DRUM, University of Maryland’s institutional repository.
The GSG resolution asserts the value of open access to enhance human knowledge and increase the reach and impact of UMD’s research in the State of Maryland and across the globe, especially among low- to middle-income countries. The resolution states that “open access will help graduate students have greater ability to do robust research … by having more vetted scholarly materials available without paywalls or long waits to view materials.” It calls explicitly for UMD “graduate students, faculty, libraries and senior administration to support the efforts of UMD PACT in opening up access and removing barriers of access to UMD’s publicly funded research outputs.”
UMD PACT, a subgroup of the University Library Council sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Faculty Affairs, and the Division of Research, is leading a movement to make university research more visible, accessible, affordable and transparent.