The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Commitment to Open Scholarship

Statement on UMass Amherst's Commitment to Open Scholarship

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to supporting and advancing open scholarship with policy, guidelines, and investments in staffing, infrastructure, and scholarly content. In 2011 UMass Amherst signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. Subsequently, the Faculty Senate endorsed an institutional Open Access Policy which went into effect on July 1, 2016.  On behalf of the University, the Libraries implemented and manages an institutional repository, ScholarWorks, a platform for open access articles, books, conference proceedings, data, journals, podcasts, and more. Materials from the Special Collections and University Archives have been digitized and made openly available through Credo. The University and its Libraries provide financial support for open access publishing fees and open educational resource development. The Framework Principles for Provider Agreements guides a shift of the Libraries’ investments to those that are consistent with University’s and the Libraries’ mission and values to advance education and knowledge through open access and the widest possible use, reuse, analysis, discovery, curation, and preservation of scholarship. Libraries’ staff include specialists in archives, copyright, data management, open education, and scholarly communication, among many others. They are deeply engaged with campus faculty, researchers, editors, and reviewers to provide open access to research outputs and to develop open scholarship principles and practices. The University’s commitment extends further to its involvement with policy advocacy and education organizations such as Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI), Library Publishing CoalitionOpen Education Network, and Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

For a customized statement of institutional support for open scholarship for a research grant proposal, please contact us at

Approved by Library Leadership Council
August 19, 2021

Sample Statement for Faculty:

The words "there is no required textbook to purchase for this course” are welcome news to students, many of whom struggle to purchase expensive textbooks. Faculty using open education resources (OER) are adding a version of the sample statement below to their syllabi under the “Textbooks and Materials” section, demonstrating their commitment to equitable access and education affordability through their use of OER:

Textbooks & Materials

There is no required textbook to purchase for this course. 

I am committed to equitable access and education affordability. To that end, I only use materials available to learners for free from the University Libraries  (under the TEACH Act/Fair Use guidelines for education), and open educational resources (OER) for all required course content. 

OER not only means that resources will be free for you to use, they are also free to share, remix, and redistribute. To learn more about OER, please review the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Commissioner’s OER Working Group webpage and UNESCO’s Recommendation on OER. For more information on the licenses that allow OER to be open, review the Creative Commons’ About the Licenses page.

Short course readings will be posted on the course platform. Resources will be drawn from OER Commons, OASISOER Metafinder, and the open web.