How Transformative Is It?

“This spectrum illustrates the array of transformation drivers that characterize transformative agreements1 (TAs), to help institutions evaluate publisher proposals during the negotiation process, assess the progress of their current TAs, and map out their next negotiation objectives. Recognizing that libraries and library consortia will have their own unique starting points and priorities, the spectrum maps out how successive transformative agreement iterations depart from the limitations of the subscription paradigm and lead, progressively and concretely, to an open and diverse scholarly communication environment. It reflects the range of mechanisms advancing the open access transition through the over 350 agreements documented in the ESAC Registry or that are under discussion in current negotiations. For each transformation driver, the spectrum starts (at the left) with the overarching negotiation objective, contrasted by a description of conditions under the subscription paradigm. The spectrum then progresses through different agreement iterations toward the envisioned characteristics of an open scholarly publishing paradigm.”

ESAC REFERENCE GUIDE TO TRANSFORMATIVE AGREEMENTS – ESAC Initiative

“Whether starting to develop your own open access strategy or assessing a publisher “read and publish” offer for the first time, adapting to the changes underway in the scholarly publishing landscape can be daunting. Luckily, clear signposts have emerged and, thanks to the excellent resources shared by the community, there is no need to re-invent the wheel.

The ESAC Reference Guide is the narrative manifestation of a mapping exercise conducted in Spring 2021 by members the international ESAC community that have accumulated deep, first-hand knowledge and expertise in the negotiation and implementation of transformative agreements with scholarly publishers. Threading together and contextualizing the many local guidelines, recommendations, toolkits, templates and data openly available, the reference guide serves as an authoritative and essential orientation for librarians and consortium staff just beginning to approach or looking to update their transformative agreement strategies based on the latest benchmarks.

The ESAC Reference Guide develops through the phases of preparing, negotiating and implementing an agreement, but libraries and library consortia each have their own unique starting points, and the steps they take in adopting transformative agreements will have local flavors….”

New ESAC Resources on Transformative Agreements

The open access transition underway in scholarly journal publishing is transforming library services, workflows, financial streams and, naturally, library relationships with publishers. With the growth rate of open access publishing far outpacing that of the underlying scholarly journal market, there is increasing awareness that libraries cannot afford not to have an open access transition strategy.

Whether assessing a publisher “read and publish” offer for the first time or developing a strategic plan to navigate the open access transition, adapting to the evolution of scholarly publishing is a challenge that librarians everywhere are facing.  Some first movers have already worked through the transition locally and are looking at what comes after their transformative agreement phase, while many others are just starting out on their transformation pathway.

To support the global library and library consortium community in this process, the ESAC Initiative is excited to introduce three incredibly rich and authoritative resources:

The ESAC Reference Guide to Transformative Agreements
Threading together and contextualizing the many local guidelines, recommendations, toolkits, templates and data openly available, the reference guide serves as an authoritative and essential orientation on preparing, negotiating and implementing transformative agreements for librarians and consortium staff just starting out or looking to update their strategies based on the latest benchmarks.

How Transformative Is It
This spectrum illustrates the array of transformation drivers that characterize transformative agreements (TAs), to help institutions evaluate publisher proposals during the negotiation process, assess the progress of their current TAs, and define their next negotiation objectives, mapping out how successive transformative agreement iterations depart from the limitations of the subscription paradigm and lead, progressively and concretely, to an open and diverse scholarly communication environment.

2021 Enhancement to the ESAC Workflow Recommendations
Based on the critical insights and experience accumulated in the most recent wave of transformative agreements, the 2021 Enhancement to the ESAC Workflow Recommendations (2017) comprise an updated perspective on the responsibilities of the contractual partners and the metadata necessary to optimize workflows around open access publishing.

ATG Interviews Colleen Campbell, Coordinator of the OA2020 and ESAC Initiatives, Max Planck Digital Library – Charleston Hub

“Rather than framing open access as a movement, I prefer to talk about open access as a logical and necessary evolution in scholarly communication.  Living through the COVID-19 pandemic, I think there is no doubt in anyone’s mind of the value in openly sharing scholarly knowledge nor of the urgency with which authoritative knowledge should be shared.  The process of science hinges upon sharing, discussing, challenging and reproducing the results of research, and for that process to function optimally, research results need to reach the widest audience possible. 

Researchers today heavily rely on journals to provide the scholarly communication services of organized criticism and dissemination of their results, but the subscription business model that underlies the bulk of scholarly journals is actually creating drag on the advancement of science.  What I find compelling is to consider what researchers could accomplish if they were able to finally interact with an open corpus of peer-reviewed research, instead of limiting their interactions to those journals their libraries happen to be able to subscribe to this year. ”

OA2020/ESAC Community of Practice call – Transformative agreements: one objective, a variety of approaches

“Ignasi Labastida, Head of the Research Unit at the University of Barcelona’s Learning and Research Resources Centre (CRAI) and Agnès Ponsati, Head of the Libraries Coordination unit of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), will present Spain’s approach and negotiation outcomes. Discussion with national-level transformative agreement negotiators from other countries will follow, in order to explore the commonalities and unique characteristics in their approaches, with ample time for Q&A….”

 

MARKET WATCH – ESAC Initiative

“The scholarly journal publishing market is in transition. While a great portion of publishers still operate their journals under the subscription paywall business model, open access publishing is keenly on the rise, as fully OA publishers and platforms are launched and come into maturity, scholarly publishers experiment a variety of new open access business models, and, not least, the number of research institutions and library consortia negotiating transformative agreements proliferates.

The visualizations below aim to inform the broader community of a number of key trends in the demographics and distribution of scholarly journal publishing in transition:

the relevance of publishers for scholars and scientists, as expressed in their share of scholarly articles published,
the growth of open access via transformative agreements and the impact these agreements have in enabling universal open access to the research articles produced on a local (country) and global (publisher) level, and
the costs and price points of article processing charges….”

ESAC Workflow Recommendations for Transformative Agreements – ESAC Initiative

“These recommendations were developed in 2017, at the 2nd ESAC Offsetting Workshop attended by libraries, funders and publishers from seven European countries, the United States and Japan. They have also been published in UKSG Insights. To learn more, please read also an article by colleagues at the Vienna University Library about workflows for open access agreements.”

OA2020 Progress Report

“To date, the OA2020 expression of interest in the Large scale implementation of Open Access to scholarly Journals has been signed by more than 140 research organizations representing over 4600 institutions from all regions….

A large number of our participants have made great strides in data gathering and analysis to understand publishing trends, track subscription and publishing expenditures, and cost-model transition scenarios. To support these efforts, a Open Access 2020 dataset has been released, enabling organizations to freely conduct analyses to better understand the volume and publisher share of the scholarly journal articles by corresponding authors from their country’s institutions, an essential step in preparing for a fully open access future….

Following the Final Statement of the 14th Berlin Open Access Conference which validated Transformative Agreements as a viable and effective method to accelerate the transition to open access, uptake of this strategy has grown considerably. The ESAC Registry of Transformative Agreements now counts more than 130 such agreements, negotiated in 19 different countries with 32 publishers large and small, leading to the publication of nearly 90,000 articles immediately open access in 2020….”

LIBER Webinar: The Anatomy of a Transformative Agreement

“An increasing number of LIBER institutions—and also institutions and consortia worldwide—are looking to integrate their Open Access strategies with Transformative Agreements. Such agreements enable institutions to repurpose their subscription expenditures to support open access publishing rather than paywalls.

Transformative Agreements (TA) specifically aim to rein in hybrid publishing costs and liberate the lump-sum payments of subscriptions: authors no longer pay APCs and, instead, their institutions (via their libraries) repurpose former subscription expenditures to remunerate publishers for their editorial services associated with the open access publication of accepted articles. While each agreement is unique and context-specific, TAs share a common goal and seek to adhere to the ESAC Guidelines for Transformative Agreements. In order to better understand the latest benchmarks achieved with TAs, this webinar will present two case studies of TA negotiated by LIBER members, illustrating in what way they are considered to be transformative and providing an open assessment of to what degree they have been successful in achieving their goals.”

?New transformative agreement with Elsevier enables unlimited open access to Swedish research – Kungliga biblioteket – Sveriges nationalbibliotek – kb.se

“The Bibsam Consortium is signing a Read & Publish agreement with the scientific publisher Elsevier. This means that Swedish researchers will have access to the publisher’s 2000 journals once more. In addition, all Swedish research articles will be published open access….

The previous agreement with Elsevier was terminated in 2018, as Bibsam and Elsevier were unable to reach a solution that met both parties’ requirements for sustainable prices and open access. But after negotiations, a new agreement is now in place that meets Bibsam’s requirements and reflects fair value for both sides….

The key elements of the new agreement are:

Unlimited open access publishing in Elsevier hybrid and fully gold titles, society journals, and fully gold Cell Press and The Lancet titles
A unique pilot centred around open access publishing of 100 articles per year in Cell Press hybrid journals, which covers the entire consortium’s publication output in these journals
Reading rights to the Science Direct Freedom Collection (approximately 2,000 journals) from 1995, and as an additional option Cell Press (14 journals)
Publishing with CC-BY license (or another open license, according to the author’s wishes)….”