Library eBook Pledge

eBooks are a vitally important part of the 21st century knowledge landscape. They provide users of public, school, academic and research libraries with benefits not possible with paper books – from faster and more diverse methods of access to a more inclusive learning experience.

Although lending is enshrined in copyright law, the move to licensed eBooks has undermined many things we once took for granted, including stable pricing, preservation and inter-library loan, through to even the possibility for a library to acquire a book. This is not sustainable.

The Pledge

Without affecting the right of a publisher to offer different eBook licensing models to libraries, we pledge:

To make all eBooks available to libraries to preserve and to lend to the public directly or via inter-library loan, as soon as they are available to the public.
To make all eBooks individually purchasable by libraries outside of bundles.
To make available to libraries pricing terms which are transparent and clearly differentiate between the cost of the eBook itself (Digital File), and any hosting and platform costs (Platform Costs). Where percentage-based models are the norm, this should comprise the percentage paid to the publisher and the percentage paid to the author, and the platform provider.
To offer pricing for the Digital File on a “one copy one user” basis that is the same or similar to the price of the paper copy of the book, where available.
To allow all registered users of the library to access eBooks onsite and off.
To grant libraries the right to receive and host the Digital File on their own platform in perpetuity if requested, and lend to their own patrons on a “one copy one user” model without incurring any Platform Costs. For the avoidance of doubt, unless agreed otherwise, a publisher shall no longer be responsible for or have any obligations to provide libraries with replacement digital files when they become corrupted and degraded, in the case of files being held on library servers.
To also offer a licence on fair and equitable terms that extends access beyond a “one copy one user” model.
To not withdraw titles during the subscription period, and with at least 12 months prior notice to both libraries and authors, unless required due to an unforeseen legal reason.
To offer contracts to libraries that respect limitations and exceptions for libraries and their users provided in national copyright law.
To allow libraries to develop and freely share catalogue records acquired as part of ebook purchases with other libraries.
To align any collection of data with library privacy policies, and share non-personal and/or anonymised usage data with libraries to support their own decision-making.
To provide authors with appropriate remuneration for the lending of their works by libraries.


My commitments towards open access

“Open access is the principle that the output of academic research, in particular research papers, should be made available to everyone at no cost on the Web. This principle is intuitively reasonable but not yet widespread. This page describes briefly the issue of open access, presents my perspective on it, and outlines the steps I have been taking to push academia towards open access.

In summary: I try to avoid submitting to closed-access conferences and journals, I refuse to review for such venues, and I put the definitive version of my papers online: you can jump to the specific commitments if you don’t care about the motivation. If you wish to take specific commitments yourself, you can sign the pledge No free view? No review!. …”

Commitment to Openness in Research and Research Communication – PLOS

“Open Science encompasses the entire research process and the entire research community. It empowers researchers everywhere to share valuable artifacts from each stage of their investigation and increase visibility and collaboration around their work. Every research community and individual has an opportunity to shape the activities and norms that inspire trust in their work. A commitment to Open Science, therefore, is not a pledge to adopt a few specific behaviors, but to advance openness, transparency and reproducibility in daily life as a researcher.

Together, we can cultivate a more inclusive and trustworthy future for science….”

Making sense of preprints by adding context – The Publish Your Reviews initiative | Impact of Social Sciences

“Improving scientific publishing is often framed as an issue of openness and speed and less often as one of context. In this post, Ludo Waltman and Jessica Polka make the case for a more contextualised approach to open access publishing and preprinting, and introduce the Publish Your Reviews initiative. Launched today by ASAPbio, the initiative allows reviewers to provide richer contextual information to preprints by publishing peer reviews and linking them to the preprint versions of the articles under review….”

#PublishYourReviews: Open Conversation on Preprints and Reviewing – ScienceOpen Blog

“#PublishYourReviews is a campaign to encourage more transparency, enrich the scientific conversation with diverse expertise, and catalyze a culture of open commenting on preprints. ScienceOpen is proud to be a supporter of this initiative spearheaded by ASAPbio, a scientist-driven nonprofit working to promote innovation and transparency in the life sciences.

Publish Your Reviews encourages all reviewers to post their comments alongside the preprint versions of articles.

With over 2 million indexed preprints from a wide range of repositories and a powerful infrastructure for open peer review, ScienceOpen is ideally situated to support the Publish Your Reviews initiative. We look forward to facilitating the conversation on preprints and open peer reviewing and publishing your reviews!

The initiative invites all the researchers interested in promoting more open dialog around preprints to sign the following pledge:

“When a journal invites me to review an article that is available as a preprint, I will publish my review alongside the preprint. I will make sure that the published version of my review does not include the journal name, a recommendation for publication, or other confidential information.”



“• Is it legal to post “postprints” online? • Depends on each publisher’s policies • We compiled a list of 60 Applied Linguistics journals (from Web of Science) • Examined their copyright policies from Sherpa Romeo ( • Publishers that permit postprints: • Cambridge, Elsevier, John Benjamins, SAGE, Emerald, De Gruyter, Akadémiai Kiadó • Publisher that permit postprints on personal websites only (embargo on repositories): • Springer, Oxford University Press, Taylor & Francis • Publishers that do NOT permit on postprints before an embargo period: • Wiley (usually 24-month embargo)…

What this Pledge is NOT asking you to do: • Does not ask you to break any laws. Sharing postprints is within your rights (see table next slide). • Does not ask you to share “preprints” but to share “postprints”. • Does not limit you to publishing in these journals. • Does not require you do anything else (like boycotting certain publishers or not reviewing for them)….” 

PCI Manifesto – Peer Community In

“I agree to submit at least one of my best articles to a PCI for peer review before the end of 2023 and, if recommended, to publish it in Peer Community Journal.”

“I support PCI and adhere to the idea of making Peer Community Journal a widely-used venue for the publication of high-quality articles.”

“I will be bound by this promise only if at least 500 other researchers make the same commitment.” …

“PCI has now been running for five years, and has evaluated and recommended hundreds of high-quality preprints. At the end of 2021, we launched Peer Community Journal, to enable authors of PCI-recommended preprints to publish their articles in an open access journal for free. More than 200 authors have already opted to publish their recommended preprints in Peer Community Journal. This is a first step, but we need to aim even higher for the scientific and academic community to reclaim control over the publication process.

Our goal is for Peer Community Journal to provide an efficient route for open access publication at no cost to authors or readers. The Peer Community In model allows high-quality research to be reviewed and published, while saving the scientific community millions of dollars in subscription and publication fees….”

Open Access Pledge |

“Open access is a publishing model for scholarly communication that makes research information available to readers at no cost. Includovate believes that knowledge should be inclusive and available for all. However, Includovate needs YOU to echo our words. Send in your pledge and spread the words. Together, we can create a more inclusive world! #OpenAccessForAll #IncludovateRaisesTheBar ”

Should we publish researchers’ pledges? – Ask Open Science

“During a breakout room at the recent SORTEE conference, Daniel Mietchen suggested an intriguing idea: what if we were to develop a common (machine-readable) format for the various pledges that researchers take and **publish these pledges in an indexed journal**. This could help to increase visibility of the pledges, provide citeable DOIs, celebrate researchers who commit to positive action, and facilitate searches/meta-research on the pledge space (because everything would now be machine-readable). Daniel also pointed out that Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) already publishes a variety of ‘alternative’ research outputs beyond articles and could thus incorporate this new pledge format relatively easily. …”

ASAPbio open letter to ARC – Google Docs

“The Australian Research Council (ARC) does not allow researchers to cite preprints in their grant applications and recently disqualified a number of applications for this reason.  

Preprints advance scientific discovery and are encouraged by many funders, including Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council. Citation of any source, regardless of its peer review status, is essential for proper attribution of ideas, and prohibiting the citation of preprints prevents applicants from discussing and building on the latest science. Further, listing preprints as evidence of productivity allows reviewers to develop an accurate picture of an applicant’s research outputs.

On August 31, we will send the list of signatories below to the ARC along with an offer to provide more information about preprints in the life sciences that can inform their review of their policy. We are also happy to support Australian researchers, librarians, editors, and other stakeholders in having conversations about preprints. Please get in touch with Jessica Polka ( if you would like assistance in hosting an event for your community. You can also sign other open letters: one drafted by Australian researchers to encourage the ARC to reconsider its preprint policies, and a second encouraging the same as well as eligibility extension and policy simplification. …”

#ASAPpdb: Structural biologists commit to releasing data with preprints – ASAPbio

“The Protein Data Bank (PDB) was established as the first open access repository for biological data, and the datasets it hosts have been invaluable to research in fundamental biology and the understanding of health and disease. Just this month, we witnessed the announcement of the AlphaFold2 results toward structure prediction, made possible thanks to the more than 170,000 freely accessible structures in the PDB which provided “training data” for the structure prediction software.

It was not always the case that such structural biology data were freely available, even upon journal publication. From the founding of the PDB in 1971 until the late 1980s, most journals did not require deposition of structures in a public database. A key moment was a petition, circulated in 1987 by a group of leading structural biologists, demanding that the data created be made openly available upon journal publication. This petition led to major journals adopting data deposition standards. In the early 1990s, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) imposed similar requirements on all grantees. 

The revolution in publishing made possible by preprints calls for a re-evaluation of data disclosure practices in structural biology. While journal review processes take weeks, months, or even years, preprints allow researchers to rapidly communicate their findings to the community. However, withholding access to PDB files that accompany preprints inhibits the progress towards scientific discovery which preprints can enable. 


We pledge to publicly release our PDB files (and associated structure factor, restraint, and map files) with deposition of our preprints.

We encourage all structural biologists to also deposit raw data in appropriate resources (e.g. EMPIAR,,, etc). …”