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Update: Library Partnership (LP) Rating

Published onOct 12, 2023
Update: Library Partnership (LP) Rating

If the description of Library Partnership (LP) Certification in our 2021 article intrigued you, you’ll be happy to know we’ve kept busy the past two years. Thanks to dedicated and thoughtful volunteers, LP Certification has grown and changed. This update tells you what we’re currently working on and provides a summary of the work done since fall of 2021.

First and foremost, LP Certification is now called Library Partnership (LP) Rating.1 The goals and purposes remain the same.

As a quick reminder, LP Rating has three goals.

  1. Provide information about journal publishers’ alignment with select library values to improve librarians’ funding decisions.

  2. Improve clarity in librarians’ discussions about openness and publisher practices.

  3. Give librarians and publishers a way to communicate and collaborate around these values.

LP Rating uses the LP Rubric to evaluate a journal publisher’s practices. The rubric underwent extensive work with members of the 2022-2023 LP Advisory Council (LPAC).2 During June and July of 2023, a new group of librarians and publishers took another deep dive into the rubric and our associated files, seeing it all with fresh eyes. The feedback from this group of reviewers3 has been incorporated into the LP Rubric and related documentation. We are indebted to both LPAC members and the reviewers for their hard work. Because of their input, the LP Rubric Beta version is now available.

Here’s a look at our current and near-term work plan.

Fall 2023 - January 2024


  • We just completed an LP Rubric Beta version thanks to reviewers and the 2022-2023 LPAC.

  • We also completed scorer instruction documentation for the beta rubric.

  • Work progresses on improving a Publisher’s Questionnaire.

  • LP Rating website work. Text is drafted. We have a logo thanks to Shelly Synar. Goal is to go live in October.

  • We are onboarding our 2023-2024 LPAC.4 This group of librarians and publishers will help us complete work on the Beta version, turning it into LP Rubric 1.0, which will be used in the first round of scoring. They will also assist us with outreach activities.

October - November

  • LP Rubric 1.0 released on the LP website under a Creative Commons Attribution license with information about scoring.

  • Recruit and train a group of librarians to use LP Rubric 1.0 to score the first group of publishers.

  • If you are interested, please complete this form and we will contact you.

November - December

  • Librarians score 10 -12 publishers.

  • Scores are vetted by Caldwell and Sinn.

  • LPAC works on outreach.

January 2024

  • LP Rating Scores for 10-12 publishers are shared on the LP Rating website.

  • Publishers have a chance to respond to the LP Rating scores through March.

  • LPAC discusses feedback from the first cohort of scorers and publishers.

2022 through 2023: Work with the first LP Advisory Council

The first LPAC wrapped up their year of work in mid-2023. We are extremely grateful to each of them for the insights and advice they provided. The time and energy they spent improved LP Rating immensely and prepared us to solicit feedback from a new group of reviewers and council members.

Early on, LPAC guided us in an exercise that defined the principles this work is based upon and improved our definitions and descriptions of the values used in the LP Rubric. Below are the LP Rating Principles and Values. We hope they resonate with you.

LP Rating Principles

  • Sharing academic research is a community effort.

  • Access to research and scholarship is a public good that accelerates research and benefits people everywhere.

  • Libraries and publishers are responsible for working together to reduce existing inequities in sharing academic research and create greater equity.

  • Libraries are responsible for articulating professional values and asserting them in decision making. The LP Rubric is one attempt to do so.

LP Rating Values

  • Community. We want to work with:

    • Organizations that are transparent, cooperative, and collaborative in their business practices

    • Organizations that are strong partners; or, organizations that, over time, adopt practices better aligned with library values

  • Access. We seek:

    • Immediate open access to articles

    • Equitable access for readers and authors through reduced barriers and burdens

    • Affordability for libraries, authors, funders, and others

  • Rights. We favor:

    • Author retention of rights/permissions to their own work

    • Explicit permissions to readers to reuse and build on the work

    • Authors being given a choice of standard open licenses, or a publisher applying these by default

    • Recognizing diverse needs across disciplines

  • Discoverability and Accessibility. We prefer:

    • Open and indexable full-text and metadata

    • Diligent compliance with relevant accessibility standards

    • Participation in initiatives focused on interoperability

  • Preservation. We want partners to:

    • Deposit content into established and open federal, disciplinary, or institutional repositories

    • Participate in standard industry preservation efforts

LP Rubric Use in the Near Future

The LP Rubric is intended for wide use. While a group of librarians will score several journal publishers later this year and assign each publisher their earned LP Rating, there is no reason librarians should wait in order to use any part of the LP Rubric for their own work. The LP Rubric is openly licensed and uses publicly accessible information provided by publishers on their websites. The LP Rubric can be used by library publishers in order to foster partnerships and collaborations. It can be used to help make collections decisions and inform collections strategy. Use the entire rubric or pick and choose from the criteria most relevant to your library or institution. And, since the LP Rubric is designed to change and grow, we hope you will share feedback with us, including suggestions about criteria to include in future versions of the rubric.

Have feedback?

Please annotate or comment on this article, or fill out this form to share your ideas and questions. You can also email the authors directly:

  • Rachel Caldwell, Head of Academic Engagement, University of Massachusetts Amherst, [email protected]

  • Robin N Sinn, Director of Collections & Open Strategies, Iowa State University, [email protected]

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