An introductory guide to the UC model transformative agreement – Office of Scholarly Communication

On the basis of these ideas, UC developed a unique “multi-payer” model for transformative agreements designed to engage authors and encourage shared funding between university library and research funds that can be replicated at other U.S. institutions. The model combines library funding — in the form of baseline financial support for all authors and full financial support for authors lacking grant funds — with an author workflow that asks authors with grant funding to pay a portion of the article publication costs. This is the model that UC proposed to Elsevier and that has formed the basis for our discussions with other publishers (including our April 2019 agreement with Cambridge University Press).

It is important to note that the co-funding elements of this model need not be limited to subscription publishers, but are intentionally designed for implementation with native open access publishers as well. The model is intended to create a level playing field for publishers of all types. Specific characteristics of the UC model include:

  • Default open access. Open access is the default publication option for all UC corresponding authors who publish in the target publisher’s journals. Authors have the choice of opting out.
  • Reading fee. The former subscription fee is greatly reduced and becomes a “reading” fee for access and perpetual rights to articles that are still behind a paywall.
    • UC has set its desired reading fee at 10% of the previous license fee, to allow for the bulk of the former subscription fee to be allocated to APC payments. The size of the reading fee recognizes that the proportion of closed to open access articles is decreasing as similar agreements are negotiated elsewhere around the globe.
  • Discounted APCs. The library negotiates reduced article publication charges (APCs) with the publisher, to bring the overall costs of the agreement into an affordable range that can facilitate a rapid transition to open access while protecting both the university and the publisher from undue economic risk.
  • Overall cost. In general, the total of all fees (reading fee + APCs) should be no more than the current licensing cost, possibly also including any existing APCs that have been paid outside the previous license agreement. To achieve this aim, negotiated APC discounts may be 30% or higher.
  • Co-funding model. Publication fees are subject to a co-funding model involving both institutional (library) funds and author (grant) funds, in a unified workflow:
    • Library subvention. The library provides a baseline subvention to cover a significant portion of the publication fee for all authors (e.g., $1,000 per article).
    • Grant-funded authors. Authors with access to grant funding are asked to pay a remaining portion of the article publication fee at the time of acceptance if they are able to do so, to allow for sustainability and scalability over time.
    • Unfunded authors. The library covers the publication fee in full for authors without access to grant funding (e.g., many authors in the humanities and some in the social sciences). Authors indicate the need for this support after their article has been accepted, as part of the publisher’s standard APC payment workflow.
    • Author choice. Authors can opt out of open access and publish their articles behind a paywall at their discretion.
    • Aggregated library payments. All library-funded components (baseline subvention and full funding for authors lacking grants) are paid through direct, periodic bulk payments to the publisher; there is no need for authors to request funding explicitly from the library. However, the full article publication costs, including library subvention amounts, should be disclosed to authors in the publisher interface.
  • Cost controls. Once established, the overall cost of the agreement varies up or down from year to year by a designated amount keyed to publication volume, to allow for gradual adjustments in response to author publishing behavior while allowing both the institution and the publisher to predictably manage costs.
    • UC’s model puts this standard variance at 2% — thus, the overall fees paid to the publisher can vary up or down by 2% per year….”

TRANSFORMATIVE AGREEMENTS – ESAC

Transformative agreements are those contracts negotiated between institutions (libraries, national and regional consortia) and publishers that transform the business model underlying scholarly journal publishing, moving from one based on toll access (subscription) to one in which publishers are remunerated a fair price for their open access publishing services.

The transformative mechanism of these agreements is grounded in the evidence-based understanding that, globally, the amount of money currently paid in journal subscriptions, which amounts to an average cost of Euro 3800 per article, is amply sufficient to sustain open access publishing of the global scholarly article output….”

TRANSFORMATIVE AGREEMENTS – ESAC

Transformative agreements are those contracts negotiated between institutions (libraries, national and regional consortia) and publishers that transform the business model underlying scholarly journal publishing, moving from one based on toll access (subscription) to one in which publishers are remunerated a fair price for their open access publishing services.

The transformative mechanism of these agreements is grounded in the evidence-based understanding that, globally, the amount of money currently paid in journal subscriptions, which amounts to an average cost of Euro 3800 per article, is amply sufficient to sustain open access publishing of the global scholarly article output….”

What is Open?

Open Source for Open Scholarship began when a community of people gathered to discuss how open projects might better support each other. Adam Hyde, co-founder of the Collaborative Open Knowledge Foundation (Coko), convened a group of people working on open tools for science and research and facilitated a one day meeting. This turned into regular calls, the development of a supportive network, and lead to the 2018 meeting that produced this handbook.  Face to face meetings and regular calls allow a community to develop a common vocabulary. Community vocabularies may be unclear to folks who were not in the room or on the call when terms were discussed.  This post will define the terms we use to frame our work. Our hope is that this will both give context to the posts in this series and make it easy for newcomers to jump in to open source and scholarship community discussions….”

Are we being wilfully blind about the transformation that’s needed in scholarly publishing?

This brings to mind another esoteric wall game, “Open Access”, where it could be argued that the remorseless application of pressure over the past two decades has advanced open access inch by painful inch to the point where we are all exhausted, but the goal?—?no paywalls?—?remains out of reach.

That both games have remained goalless for so long suggests each contains a fundamental flaw that can only be fixed by some sort of transformation of the way it’s played. Whisper it quietly, but unlike tradition-loving private schools in Britain, “transformative” has emerged as a new buzzword in the Open Access lexicon….”

Invest in Open Infrastructure: A Concept 0.2 | Invest in Open Infrastructure

“We imagine a world in which communities of researchers, scholars, and knowledge workers across the globe are fully enabled to share, discover, and work together. It is clear that the needs of today’s diverse scholarly communities are not being met by the existing largely uncoordinated scholarly infrastructure, which is dominated by vendor products that take ownership of the scholarly process and data. We intend to create a new open infrastructure system that will enable us to work in a more integrated, collaborative and strategic way. It will support global connections and consistency where it is appropriate, and local and contextual requirements where that is needed….

It is clear that the needs of today’s diverse scholarly communities are not being met by the existing scholarly infrastructure, which is dominated by vendor products that take ownership of the scholarly process and data as well as by North Atlantic dominance and digital colonialism. The goals of these vendors is largely to generate profit, which stands in stark contrast to the values of mission-driven educational and research organisations where innovation and open access are central. These products favor vendor lock-in and monopoly models by nature, despite a clear incompatibility with the scholarly values of our communities. The dependence of research and scholarship on digital infrastructure has grown. In the scholarly community, there is a new awareness of the opportunities of open infrastructure (including governance for user communities and contextual relevance alongside the retention of resources within scholarly communities) and new engagement as well as a sense of urgency to work together to support stable, sustainable, interoperable and open infrastructure….

The Framework will serve a number of essential functions for stakeholders concerned with the maintenance and development of this infrastructure:

  1. Research and Reporting: tracking projects, infrastructure services, existing mechanisms for community supported infrastructure, funding data and funder needs; and exchanging knowledge on this research on open infrastructure.
  2. Definition: establishing criteria for OI, defining the workflow of scholarly communication, and identifying areas of redundancy and gaps.
  3. Collaboration: building agreement among stakeholders, creating a healthy, competitive environment where end-to-end solutions that meet stakeholder needs and meet OI criteria can be identified and packaged.
  4. Advocacy and Engagement: communicating principles, priorities, good practices and practical tools.
  5. Matching and Assessment: Develop and maintain a methodology for matching what is needed to what is available, prioritizing collaborative solutions. The framework would help to identify areas for investment in the connections between projects that will create more fully adoptable solutions, and promote investment therein….

Our Definition of Open Infrastructure for Scholarly Communications

  • By “Infrastructure” we mean the sets of services, protocols, standards and software that the academic ecosystem needs in order to perform its functions throughout the research lifecycle – from the earliest phases of research, collaboration and experimentation through data collection and storage, data organization, data analysis and computation, authorship, submission, review and annotation, copyediting, publishing, archiving, citation, discovery and more.
  • Open infrastructure is the narrower sets of services, protocols, standards and software that can empower communities to collectively build the systems and infrastructures that deliver new improved collective benefits without restrictions, and for a healthy global interrelated infrastructure system….”

Gold Open Access 2013-2018 now available « Walt at Random

“This report covers 12,150 fully-analyzed journals (out of a universe of 12,415)–and not only did article count finally exceed 600,000, it exceeds 700,000 2018 articles.

As usual, most articles in biomed and STEM involve fees of some sort, while most articles in H&SS (humanities and social sciences) do not–and, as usual, most journals do not have fees.

The incorrect term APC has been replaced by fee (which includes submission fees, processing/publishing fees and required membership dues). The apparently confusing term free has been replaced by no-fee….”

Gold Open Access 2013-2018 now available « Walt at Random

“This report covers 12,150 fully-analyzed journals (out of a universe of 12,415)–and not only did article count finally exceed 600,000, it exceeds 700,000 2018 articles.

As usual, most articles in biomed and STEM involve fees of some sort, while most articles in H&SS (humanities and social sciences) do not–and, as usual, most journals do not have fees.

The incorrect term APC has been replaced by fee (which includes submission fees, processing/publishing fees and required membership dues). The apparently confusing term free has been replaced by no-fee….”

Transformative Agreements: A Primer – The Scholarly Kitchen

At its most fundamental, a contract is a transformative agreement if it seeks to shift the contracted payment from a library or group of libraries to a publisher away from subscription-based reading and towards open access publishing. Though there are many flavors of transformative agreements, the following attempts to offer a description of their core components.

Transformative agreements are everywhere and, although they have received greater attention over the past year, particularly in North America, they are not new. All five of the largest publishers, as well as other smaller ones, have signed one or more transformative agreements. These agreements may be with an individual library (e.g., MIT/Royal Society of Chemistry), a library system (e.g., University of California/Cambridge University Press), or a library consortia (e.g., VSNU-UKB/Springer Nature).  …”