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Academic Publishing: Transformative Agreements

A guide to define and explore the domains of Academic Publishing

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For more information, visit the Scholarly Communication: Transformative Agreement page

What are Transformative Agreements?

“Transformative agreement” is an umbrella term describing those agreements negotiated between institutions (libraries, national and regional consortia) and publishers in which former subscription expenditures are repurposed to support open access publishing of the negotiating institutions’ authors, thus transforming the business model underlying scholarly journal publishing, gradually and definitively shifting from one based on toll access (subscription) to one in which publishers are remunerated a fair price for their open access publishing services.

These agreements are a significant departure from the previous standard in subscription license agreements, as they bring the two transactional sides of subscription-based journals, reading access (subscription fees paid by libraries) and open access publishing (“hybrid” APCs predominantly paid by authors), under one centrally negotiated agreement. The dual aim of the negotiations is to bring institutional investments in scholarly journal publishing under oversight and control, with an eye to cost reduction, and to drive a transition of scholarly journal publishing to open access."

Read more about the ESAC Initiative

JISC. Working with Transitional Agreements

"Institutions have let us know that transitional agreements (TAs) are requiring them to work in new ways and that this work can be complex. For some institutions, TAs have raised the profile of open access (OA) with senior stakeholders, for others they’ve brought together teams that had not previously worked closely to assess publisher offers. For all institutions, TAs provide OA publishing options that need to be understood by researchers.

We’ve created some resources to help institutions communicate and evaluate TAs. We’ve also sourced case studies to show how some institutions have adapted their working practices and how they are communicating TAs to their various audiences, including senior leaders and researchers.

These resources will also support messages to library/institutional colleagues about developments in scholarly communication."


SANLiC formulates Framework for Transformational Open Access Agreements in South Africa