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.

UNESCO supports the launch a new version of the Global Open Access Portal (

The new Global Open Access Portal ( presents access to a wide array of Open Access resources worldwide, through an advanced user interface design. allows users to browse dynamic Open Access contents via both a text-based search and a map-enabled country search option. Building on an earlier version, the new Portal includes Open Access profiles of 166 countries and highlights existing key Open Access initiatives, mandates, events and publications.

Additionally, incorporates dynamic content sourced from publicly available information and provides workflows to facilitate the publishing of non-commercial journals. gathers important resources such as open journals, repositories, articles and FAQs for trending subject domains such as Covid-19, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Another feature included is the incorporation of Open Educational Resources on Open Access, which provides learning resources for researchers and librarians responsible for facilitating and benefiting from the use of Open Access resources.

UNESCO supports Member States in their quest to build inclusive knowledge societies by leveraging new technological innovations and supporting the principle of ‘Openness’ and ‘Inclusiveness’. The new version of will facilitate the advocacy for openness, sharing of contents, technologies and processes that generate information and knowledge. Although Open Access is mainstreaming in developmental discourses, there is a real need for a global repository that tracks Open Access development, presents best practices, enhances capacities as well as to maintain financial accountability and transparency….”