COAPI Community Call on Tailoring Transformative Agreements to Support Green Open Access – Apr 7, 2020 – SPARC

“Convincing authors to deposit their scholarly articles in institutional repositories (a practice known as “green open access”) has proven to be very difficult, leading some to question the feasibility of this strategy for making scholarship more openly available. However, the growing popularity of transformative agreements between libraries and publishers presents an opportunity to explore other strategies for facilitating green open access – strategies that depend on cooperation between libraries and publishers, and that may not require any intervention on the part of authors. For example, both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Framework for Publisher Contracts and the University of California’s  Declaration of Principles to Transform Scholarly Communication demand that publishers work with libraries to facilitate the immediate deposit of scholarly articles in institutional repositories. 

How promising is this new direction in principle? What challenges does it pose in practice? What can we learn from institutions that have already had success in this area? Are there barriers that prevent smaller institutions from following suit? What resources and strategies can we employ as a community to reduce these potential inequities? …”

Measuring the Success of Transformative Agreements – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The definition of “success” varied significantly — sometimes even between parties to the same agreement. For example, Wiley and Projekt DEAL both agreed that a significant success criterion for their arrangement would be the degree to which it “’move(s) the needle’ on Open Access” (in Wiley’s words), and DEAL opened by saying that it sees “the success of (its) agreement already at its entry point” (à la IOP). The DEAL representative also explained at some length the systemic changes that it hopes will be catalyzed by the arrangement — perhaps summarized best in this statement, which was also echoed by others: “Five years from now, if transformative agreements were no longer needed, that would be the ultimate success.” This is a case in which the two parties to a single agreement defined success in very similar terms. However, in the case of the Springer Nature/Jisc agreement, the Springer Nature side defined its terms of success almost entirely in terms of effects on Jisc members (who will be able to publish more open access [OA], be more compliant with funder requirements, save time and money, etc.), while Jisc defined success not only in terms of the characteristics of this particular deal, but also in broader and somewhat more outward-facing terms: a “move away from legacy pricing to a new framework” and towards additional agreements with other publishers that will enable those publishers to “offer national agreements that remove friction to authors and institutions.” An even starker difference can be seen between Elsevier’s summary of success in its deal with VSNU-UKB (“Success for us is meeting our customer’s needs in a sustainable way”) and that of VSNU-UKB — which basically declined to say anything about how it will evaluate its deal with Elsevier, instead focusing on its larger OA goal (which is “to reach new agreements that are increasingly transformative, aiming for 100% Open Access in the Netherlands as well as in other countries”).

I want to be quick to point out that where there are differences in goals between one party and the other in a particular transformative deal, this is by no means necessarily problematic. It’s in the nature of virtually all contractual agreements that the two parties have different goals. Seeing what those different goals are can be not only interesting in an abstract sense, but also instructive as we try to anticipate the future impacts of these deals….

University of California: UC is “in the process of presenting assessment plans for our OA agreements to a variety of committees for input and feedback,” so it’s not yet clear, “what the final shape of those plans will look like or how they will specifically define or measure success.” However, they are also looking at criteria such as near-universality of uptake on the part of UC authors; compliance with funding guidelines (i.e., authors contribute from grant funds as called for in the model); affordability and sustainability; workflow efficiency/effectiveness; other libraries/consortia following UC’s example. UC was also the only respondent to cite impacts in the global community, specifically in the global South, as a potential indicator of success.”

Measuring the Success of Transformative Agreements – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The definition of “success” varied significantly — sometimes even between parties to the same agreement. For example, Wiley and Projekt DEAL both agreed that a significant success criterion for their arrangement would be the degree to which it “’move(s) the needle’ on Open Access” (in Wiley’s words), and DEAL opened by saying that it sees “the success of (its) agreement already at its entry point” (à la IOP). The DEAL representative also explained at some length the systemic changes that it hopes will be catalyzed by the arrangement — perhaps summarized best in this statement, which was also echoed by others: “Five years from now, if transformative agreements were no longer needed, that would be the ultimate success.” This is a case in which the two parties to a single agreement defined success in very similar terms. However, in the case of the Springer Nature/Jisc agreement, the Springer Nature side defined its terms of success almost entirely in terms of effects on Jisc members (who will be able to publish more open access [OA], be more compliant with funder requirements, save time and money, etc.), while Jisc defined success not only in terms of the characteristics of this particular deal, but also in broader and somewhat more outward-facing terms: a “move away from legacy pricing to a new framework” and towards additional agreements with other publishers that will enable those publishers to “offer national agreements that remove friction to authors and institutions.” An even starker difference can be seen between Elsevier’s summary of success in its deal with VSNU-UKB (“Success for us is meeting our customer’s needs in a sustainable way”) and that of VSNU-UKB — which basically declined to say anything about how it will evaluate its deal with Elsevier, instead focusing on its larger OA goal (which is “to reach new agreements that are increasingly transformative, aiming for 100% Open Access in the Netherlands as well as in other countries”).

I want to be quick to point out that where there are differences in goals between one party and the other in a particular transformative deal, this is by no means necessarily problematic. It’s in the nature of virtually all contractual agreements that the two parties have different goals. Seeing what those different goals are can be not only interesting in an abstract sense, but also instructive as we try to anticipate the future impacts of these deals….

University of California: UC is “in the process of presenting assessment plans for our OA agreements to a variety of committees for input and feedback,” so it’s not yet clear, “what the final shape of those plans will look like or how they will specifically define or measure success.” However, they are also looking at criteria such as near-universality of uptake on the part of UC authors; compliance with funding guidelines (i.e., authors contribute from grant funds as called for in the model); affordability and sustainability; workflow efficiency/effectiveness; other libraries/consortia following UC’s example. UC was also the only respondent to cite impacts in the global community, specifically in the global South, as a potential indicator of success.”

Publishers roll out alternative routes to open access | Science | AAAS

“Now, two nonprofit publishers of prominent journals have debuted new ways to support OA journals without shifting the burden entirely to authors. “Everybody that we work with is watching these two [new models] closely,” says Michael Clarke, managing partner of the consulting firm Clarke & Esposito, which advises publishers. “There is not currently a good solution.”

One approach, called Subscribe to Open and implemented today by Annual Reviews, would transform the nature of subscriptions. To make a journal freely available, institutions would be asked for a contribution equivalent to their previous subscription—minus a 5% discount that Annual Reviews is offering to retain a critical mass of paying institutions. To deter freeloading, Annual Reviews says it will reimpose paywalls and rescind the discount if not enough subscribers renew each year. It is planning to pilot the approach in up to five of its 51 titles, many of which are widely cited….

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) launched a different approach earlier this year. ACM is asking the institutions that publish the most papers in its 59 journals to pay more than they do now for subscriptions—in some cases about 10 times as much, or $100,000 per year. The higher fees will allow all researchers at participating universities to publish an unlimited number of papers in ACM journals without paying APCs. The average cost per paper will beat the average market rate for APCs, the society says. ACM is betting the approach will sustain its journal revenue while it transitions to making all the 21,000 peer-reviewed papers it publishes annually free to everyone.

So far, both approaches are getting a positive response….”

CSU / Elsevier ScienceDirect Renewal Supports the Future of Research in California | CSU Libraries Network

“We are pleased to announce that the California State University has finalized a two-year ScienceDirect contract with Elsevier. In this impactful move, the CSU Libraries have agreed to a Read and Publish-Plus agreement with substantial savings, additional content, and a vision that moves the CSU Libraries and Elsevier towards a new model of academic publishing….”

Förderung von Gold Open Access: Abkommen mit MDPI

From Google’s English:  “At the beginning of 2019, the new open access agreement between 15 Austrian research institutions, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Gold Open Access Publisher MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute) came into force. The agreement enables scientists from these institutions to publish their articles in the publisher’s over 190 Gold Open Access journals using a simplified workflow and institutional cost management.

In addition to an institutional discount, the agreement offers the participating Austrian research institutions comprehensive reporting on expenditure and research results at the institutional and consortium level. The full transparency of the agreement published on Zenodo should also be emphasized: http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2536007 …”

MSU LIBRARIES AND DE GRUYTER SIGN AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING FOR MSU AUTHORS | MSU Libraries

“The MSU Libraries have signed a three-year “transformative” read-and-publish (R + P) agreement with the De Gruyter publishing house to provide default open access publishing for all articles by MSU authors in De Gruyter journals. This arrangement means that MSU lead authors publishing in these journals will no longer have to pay the usual De Gruyter article processing charge, which can amount to hundreds of dollars. MSU-authored articles will be visible to all readers, even those without an MSU Net ID, increasing the visibility of MSU research on the internet. The agreement also gives readers with an authenticating MSU Net ID access to articles in a full set of 347 De Gruyter subscription journals. …”

Transforming an academic publisher | Research Information

“The conversation in the industry has noticeably moved from ‘whether’ to ‘how’, eliciting a rich mix of excitement and trepidation. The fundamental basis of publishing is still largely in place: content dissemination underpinned by the proven principles of copyright, licensing and payment. But the potential for the internet to utterly transform how content is distributed, and all of the ramifications of this change, is still at an early stage of being realised. 

Our ability to disseminate research outputs as open research, instead of putting them behind paywalls, has become tangible. There are, however, a bunch of other trends and pressures that are stimulating speculation about how scholarly communication will evolve in the next few years, and so complicating our decisions about how to deliver the open research transformation….

[One challenge:] When we (or pretty much any sizeable publisher) looks at a map of where our readers and authors are, there is only partial overlap….

The second major challenge I want to highlight is the need to avoid creating new barriers to authorship….”

 

 

New business models for the open research agenda | Research Information

“The rise of preprints and the move towards universal open access are potential threats to traditional business models in scholarly publishing, writes Phil Gooch

Publishers have started responding to the latter with transformative agreements[1], but if authors can simply upload their research to a preprint server for immediate dissemination, comment and review, why submit to a traditional journal at all? Some journals are addressing this by offering authors frictionless submission direct from the preprint server. This tackles two problems at once: easing authors’ frustrations with existing journal submission systems[2], and providing a more direct route from the raw preprint to the richly linked, multiformat version of record that readers demand and accessibility standards require….

Dissemination of early-stage research as mobile-unfriendly PDF is arguably a technological step backwards. If preprints are here to stay, the reading experience needs to be improved. A number of vendors have developed native XML or LaTeX authoring environments which enable dissemination in richer formats….”