Criteria for Tufts Libraries Open Access Investments

Tufts Libraries Scholarly Communication Team & Collections Steering Team
March 2023


This list of priorities aims to create guidelines for investing in Open Access resources for the Tufts Libraries. While funds are a factor in the decision, we also aim to be thoughtful and deliberate when investing in those who utilize Open Access as a tool. We at the Tufts Libraries value the transformative potential of Open Access materials in that they provide a more just and equitable infrastructure in academic publishing. This includes supporting access to scholarship beyond institutional walls, making selections decisions that prioritize the broader sustainability & advancement of the scholarly communications infrastructure, and, where possible, divesting from large, monopolistic publishing companies. 


Priority category 1: First and foremost, we seek to invest in Open Access resources that provide a specific benefit to the Tufts community. We prioritize resources that:

  • Are endorsed or led by Tufts scholars, or include scholarship authored by Tufts authors 
  • Reduce prohibitive financial barriers, with savings passed on to the Tufts community, with a preference for no direct costs to Tufts researchers 
  • Have disciplinary relevance to research and teaching at Tufts 

Priority category 2: As a part of our strategy, we also reserve a portion of our funding to support resources that advance the scholarly communication landscape. We prioritize resources that: 

  • Introduce fundamental infrastructure (e.g. DOAJ, Sherpa Romeo) 
  • Contribute experimental and innovative approaches (e.g., provides multimodal forms of scholarship or a new model of Open Access) 
  • Utilize sustainable and equitable Open Access business models (e.g., follows Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure

Resources that do not fall into one of the priority categories should not be supported by Tufts Libraries. Proceed to the Evaluation section of this document.  

Where we have identified a resource that falls into one of the above categories, we prioritize resources that meet the criteria laid out in the Criteria worksheet in this document. Proceed to the Criteria worksheet

Criteria worksheet

For each criterion in the center column of the table, determine how the resource under evaluation meets or doesn’t meet that criterion, and note in the appropriate column. Once you’ve completed the worksheet, evaluate the information in both columns and determine if, on balance, the resource appears to be in line overall with our priorities. Criteria at the top of the list are priority and should be weighed more heavily in your analysis. 

Resource does not meet criteria Criteria 
The resource…. 
Resource meets criteria 
 Shares content under an open license (e.g. CC-BY, CC-BY-NC)  
 Has transparent pricing and sustainable price increases  
 (For transformative agreements) Has a clear path/timeline to becoming fully Open Access  
 Provides access to a full corpus of material and to the version of record & all related materials (data, images, figures, etc.), with a preference to resources that also provide the ability to text mine  
 Reduces barriers to authors, including a user-friendly author experience   
 Provides reduced or waived APCs for lower-income countries or authors without financial support  
 Provides appropriate tools for navigation, discovery, and preservation (e.g. standard metadata, crawled by Google, sends content to C/LOCKKS)    
 Provides a path (preferably automated) to deposit in our repository or another appropriate repository    

After completing the Criteria worksheet, proceed to the Evaluation section of this document.


Evaluated by: ​
Select one:

  • ​Recommend Tufts Libraries support this resource  
  • Recommend Tufts Libraries do not support this resource

​Briefly explain your assessment of this resource:

Date of next review

FY2027, by a group comprised of members of the Scholarly Communication Team and Collections Steering Team.