SPARC Crafts Language in Response to COVID-19 Publisher Offers

As publishers provide students and faculty with temporary free access to learning materials during the COVID-19 crisis, concerns have been raised about access and time limitations associated with the offers. Working with members of the library community, SPARC has developed the following template that can be used to communicate with publishers about the restrictions.

Dear [Name],

We greatly appreciate your offer to make [Resource Name] available to the [University Name] community through [Date] as our community adapts to these challenging and exceptional circumstances. We currently anticipate that we will remain in distance learning mode until at least the fall, and want to do all we can to ensure continuity of access for our students. We would, as such, request that you amend the parameters of your proposal to accommodate this. We specifically suggest the following two changes:

  • Duration. We have a number of programs that extend into and through the end of summer. To ensure that no students lose access to resources in the middle of their classes, we would appreciate it if you could extend access through [Date].
  • Accessibility & Authentication. Our students, faculty, and researchers are dispersed across the globe. Our preference is that access to your content is made available without authentication requirements. If that is not possible, then we wish to establish access through our regular authentication mechanisms.

Again, we greatly appreciate the effort you are making to help us ensure that our students receive uninterrupted access to your materials. With the suggested amendments outlined above, we would be pleased to work together with you to alleviate some of the uncertainty from our students’ daily lives.

Optional add-on for course materials

  • Price Transparency. The cost of course materials is an important issue on our campus. For any course materials that ordinarily would be purchased by/billed to students, we ask that you inform faculty of the retail price, so that they may consider the financial implications of assigning the material in future semesters.

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