"Researchers from over 3700 Global Institutions Now Supported by Springer Nature Transformative Agreements"


Springer Nature now supports researchers from over 3700 institutions, across six continents, with open access (OA) publication via its Transformative Agreements (TA). The continued growth of the publisher’s TAs underscores the Springer Nature’s in accelerating the global transition to OA, ensuring all who want to publish OA can do so regardless of location or funding.

https://tinyurl.com/4xrsebkr

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"Are Transformative Agreements Worth It? An Analysis of Open Access Publication Data at the University of Kentucky"


Open access publishing is continuing to grow as funders such as cOAlition S, National Institutes of Health, and the White House implement mandates and requirements that publicly funded research be made immediately available for public consumption. Publishers have adopted open access as a business model through transformative agreements that combine subscription and publishing fees. However, it is unclear whether these agreements are beneficial for libraries. This article discusses a project by the University of Kentucky Libraries to gather and analyze open access publication data to aid in the evaluation of transformative agreement proposals. This article also discusses how the University of Kentucky compares to peer institutions in the Southeastern Conference and other benchmark institutions regarding open access publishing output. Additionally, this article discusses downsides of transformative agreements and highlights promising alternatives.

https://doi.org/10.5860/lrts.68n1.8211

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"Navigating Open Access and Transformative Agreements: A Case Study of the University of Maryland"

"What should we be doing as a public institution when it comes to open access and transformative publishing agreements"” Most large US research institutions are facing this question, including the University of Maryland, College Park. This article explores this issue by looking at the University’s publishing landscape from a high level. It then dives deeper into three recent transformative agreements the University library has entered, investigating pricing, usage, and publishing data for a nonprofit society publisher, a for-profit commercial publisher, and, finally, a university press. The goal is to better understand how these agreements intersect with university-sponsored scholarship, library budgets, and the implications for the academic publishing landscape.

https://doi.org/10.5860/lrts.68n1.8219

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"Exploring a Read and Publish Agreement: The Three-Year Taylor & Francis Pilot"


The Ohio State University Libraries (University Libraries) entered into a three-year read and publish pilot agreement with Taylor & Francis in 2020—the first read and publish agreement for The Ohio State University and the first such deal for Taylor & Francis in the Americas. This study provides an overview of University Libraries’ motivations behind the agreement, the lessons we learned implementing and supporting the agreement, and the open access publishing outcomes of the pilot agreement that ended December 2022.

https://doi.org/10.5860/lrts.68n1.8213

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"Transitional Agreements Aren’t Working: What Comes Next?"


Most important is the question of whether TAs deliver on their promise of their name to be transitional and transformative. Overall, the rate of journal "flipping" is low (with the exception of some smaller publishers). Most shocking, if not entirely unsurprising, to me was the following finding: based on the journal flipping rates observed between 2018 -2022 it would take at least 70 years for the big five publishers to flip their TA titles to OA.

https://tinyurl.com/n2ukvxr6

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"The Cost of Open Access: Comparing Public Projects’ Budgets and Article Processing Charges Expenditure"


Thus, this research tries to estimate the percentage of the budget of the projects funded by the Spanish State Plan for the Generation of Knowledge and Scientific and Technological Strengthening of the R&D&I, Spain’s two main public project funding calls in Spain. The period studied is 2013-2019. Additionally, we study the relationships between publication intensity, funding attraction, and the availability of OA journals with APC expenditure at the area level. The results show that €43.67 million were spent on APCs, with most projects spending 3-8% of their budgets. However, numerous outliers with rates over 10% suggest further study on the role of APCs in the financial performance of the research activity.

https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/98j5p

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"The ‘Must Stock’ Challenge in Academic Publishing: Pricing Implications of Transformative Agreements"


While several contract designs exist, the ‘publish-and-read’ (PAR) scheme is the one that comes closest to the ideal of an entirely open access environment: Publishers are paid a fixed case-by-case rate for each publication, which includes a fee for their extensive libraries. In turn, all subscription payments are waived. I theoretically derive that this contract design benefits the included publishers regardless of whether the number of publications in these publishers’ journals grows or declines. Consequently, widespread PAR contracts are likely to raise entry barriers for new (open-access) competitors even further.

https://arxiv.org/abs/2403.03597

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"How Open Are Hybrid Journals Included in Transformative Agreements?"


This study presents a novel approach based on open data, which leverages metadata on over 700 agreements and nine million journal articles to estimate the extent to which transformation agreements contribute to the transition of this journal business model. The results highlight a strong growth in open access between 2018 and 2022, driven by an increasing number of institutions that had transformative agreements in place. However, the majority of research literature published in hybrid journals in this five-year period remained behind publisher paywalls. Growth in the adoption of open access in hybrid journals, in particular through transformative agreements, can be largely attributed to three large commercial publishers — Elsevier, Springer Nature, and Wiley — but varies substantially across journals, publishers, disciplines, and country affiliations. Despite the limitations of the data, the findings indicate that the current level of implementation of transformative agreements is insufficient to bring about a large-scale transition to fully open access.

https://arxiv.org/abs/2402.18255

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"How Transformative Are Transformative Agreements? Evidence from Germany across Disciplines"


Research institutions across the globe attempt to change the academic publishing system as digitization opens up new opportunities, and subscriptions to the large journal bundles of the leading publishers put library budgets under pressure. One approach is the negotiation of so-called transformative agreements. I study the "DEAL" contracts between nearly all German research institutions and Springer Nature and Wiley. I investigate 6.1 million publications in 5,862 journals covering eight fields in the years 2016–2022 and apply a causal difference-in-differences design to identify whether the likelihood of a paper appearing in an eligible journal increases. The effect strongly depends on the discipline. While material science, chemistry, and economics’s tend to shift towards these journals, all other disciplines in my sample do not react. Suggestive evidence hints at the market position of the encompassed publishers before the "DEAL" was established: Springer Nature and Wiley appear to benefit more from the contracts in disciplines in which they possessed a higher market share ex ante. The transformative vigor of these agreements in terms of publication behavior seems to be limited. It and highlights that the developments in this intertwined market require further examination.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-024-04955-y

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"Scaling up Open Access Publishing through Transformative Agreements: Results from 2019 to 2022"


  • The Biochemical Society’s transformative Read & Publish (R&P) agreements follow an all-inclusive and unlimited model (developed in collaboration with other society publishers) that cover all titles, both hybrid and fully open access (OA), and does not place caps on article numbers.
  • This case study shows that these R&P agreements have significantly boosted OA uptake in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
  • It also shows that the agreements are most effective in regions where there is adequate funding, high research output and a willingness from institutions to engage collectively (through consortium agreements).

https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1601

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"Strategies for Negotiating and Signing Transformative Agreements in the Global South: The Colombia Consortium Experience"


The article presents the methodology used by the Colombia Consortium to negotiate the first transformative agreements (TAs) in Latin America. These TAs are a strategy to manage costs associated with Article Processing Charges (APCs), facilitate the transition to Open Access (OA) and increase the visibility of Colombian publications.

https://doi.org/10.1080/01930826.2023.2287945

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"New ALA Report Maps Increasingly Complex Digital Public Library Ecosystem"


According to the report, three key factors have contributed to confusion about the structure of and access to the digital public library ecosystem:

  • Essential terms like "reading," "library use," and "circulation" should be consistently and transparently defined.
  • The impact of current digital licensing terms on authors: midlist, bestselling, and self-published.
  • The role of Big Five publishers in setting licensing terms for public libraries.
  • How Amazon’s dominance in the audiobooks market influences audiobook library access, impacting audiobook authors, publishers, and narrators.
  • Gen Z and millennials borrow extensively from digital collections but are less aware that digital library lending apps are connected to their local library.

https://tinyurl.com/mrxbyv8w

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Germany: "DEAL Consortium and Wiley Sign New 5-Year Open Access Agreement"


The DEAL Consortium and scholarly publisher Wiley today announced the signing of a new five-year agreement which will allow scientists from German academic institutions to publish their research open access (OA) within Wiley’s portfolio of scientific journals. Instituted by the Alliance of German Science Organizations the DEAL Consortium is open to more than 900 mostly publicly funded academic institutions in Germany. Signed by Wiley and MPDL Services gGmbH as the DEAL Operating Entity, the new agreement will begin in January 2024, offering further support for the needs of the scholarly community and accelerate the open access transformation.

https://tinyurl.com/3f3kn4zp

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"Scientists Paid Large Publishers over $1 Billion in Four Years to Have Their Studies Published with Open Access"


Stefanie Haustein’s team from the University of Ottawa (Canada) has spent "years" collecting data from the period 2015-2018. According to their calculations, Springer Nature took the lion’s share, with $589.7 million, followed by Elsevier ($221.4 million), Wiley ($114.3 million), Taylor & Francis ($76.8 million), and Sage ($31.6 million). . . .

Haustein’s study reveals that two scientific journals, Scientific Reports and Nature Communications, accounted for this income, with $105.1 million and $71.1 million, respectively.

See also: "The Oligopoly’s Shift to Open Access. How the Big Five Academic Publishers Profit from Article Processing Charges."

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"IGI Global Releases Annual OA Survey Results on Researcher Perceptions Surrounding Open Access Publishing Support"


The survey was sent to over 200,000 worldwide researchers of all ages, experiences, fields, ethnicities, etc. . . .

Respondents were asked "What funding resources have you used for OA publishing?" and they had the ability to choose all resources that they have used.

As IGI Global had expected, the majority of respondents indicated they were "self-funded" at 48%, 8% stated "national funding body," 5% answered "international funding body," 18% indicated "my Institution/library/entity affiliated to my institution," 4.5% stated "non-profit institutions," 2% claimed they received funding through "private donors," 5% indicated "associations/societies," 2.5% indicated "business enterprise," 3.5% stated "foundations," 1% claimed "crowdfunding," 14% claimed they received a "publisher waiver," and 2% indicated they received funding from a "platinum open access publication" where the APC is waived by the publication. A large portion, 34% of respondents, had not used an OA funding resource.

https://tinyurl.com/mv4ty6hf

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Paywall: "Nature and Characteristics of Global Attention to Research on Article Processing Charges"


This paper examines research on article processing charges (APCs) to understand the extent of attention given by researchers and assess the status. The study analyses document types, source types, source titles, affiliations, and open access types of APC research. It also explores countries of researchers’ affiliations, volume and growth of literature, and visualizes keywords based on data from Scopus. . . . Many papers addressing APC were published in Green Open Access sources. Researchers from all subject categories in Scopus have contributed to APC research, but the major focus of research in the area is library and information science. Interestingly, researchers outside the field, notably from biomedicine and computer science, have also contributed significantly, reflecting interdisciplinary engagement.

https://doi.org/10.1080/01462679.2023.2230166

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"Wiley and German DEAL Consortium to Sign New 5-Year Agreement "


Wiley (NYSE: WLY) today announced its intent to enter a new five-year agreement with the DEAL Consortium, a countrywide consortium representative of more than 1,000 academic institutions in Germany, commencing January 2024. Wiley and DEAL are creating a blueprint for the next phase of open access publishing to better meet the evolving needs of the scholarly community.

Wiley and DEAL will build on the unprecedented success achieved in their first five years of partnership, which has resulted in:

  • Nearly 100% of eligible hybrid DEAL articles published open access across Wiley’s portfolio.
  • 90% of Wiley’s article output from Germany published open access. Increased usage of research content in Germany by 83%, resulting in nearly 20 million full text downloads in 2022 alone.
  • Rapid growth in usage of German-authored content globally, especially in low-income countries.

https://tinyurl.com/3f8rvzd7

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"Which Database with Article Processing Charges Should Be Used?"


This study investigated the characteristics of three databases compiling article processing charges—price lists on publishers’ official websites, Directory of Open Access Journals, and OpenAPC—for open access journals published by Elsevier, Springer Nature, and Wiley. Although many article processing charges listed on Directory of Open Access Journals are identical to those listed on price lists for 2023, several article processing charges on the Directory are not updated. . . . journals on OpenAPC are not representative of open access journals in general. Nevertheless, the correlation between list prices and actual article processing charges paid indicates a strong positive relationship, implying that even if empirical studies on article processing charges use different databases, the database chosen might not significantly influence their conclusions.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-023-04841-z

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Paywall: "A Study on Copyright Issues of Different Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) Modes"


The paper will explore CDL modes by combing CDL practices and programs from research papers and official website documents of different library organizations. Then, based on legal frameworks of CDL in the US, Canada and the UK which are summarized, copyright issues of CDL modes are analyzed from perspectives of implementing institution, service resources, and usage mode. Finally, some copyright recommendations for sustainable development of CDL are proposed.

https://doi.org/10.1177/09610006231190654

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"Frontiers Pilots ‘Flat Fee’ Publishing Partnership with the University of California"


Gold open access publisher Frontiers has announced its first consortium partnership in North America with the University of California (UC). The one-year agreement will also pilot a novel partnership model: UC will receive unlimited publishing in 20 specified Frontiers journals for a pre-agreed annual flat fee.

The eligible journals have been selected by UC from Frontiers’ Humanities and Social Sciences and Sustainability titles as being from underrepresented and under-funded disciplines. The deal will allow corresponding UC authors at any of the University of California’s 10 campuses, including the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), to publish in these journals without limit and without APC.

https://tinyurl.com/yxuhb3fs

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"IOP Publishing and the University of Texas System Drive Forward Open Access to North American Research with New Transformative Agreement"


The University of Texas System (UT System) — one of the US’s largest public university systems — have established a three-year transformative agreement (TA) with society publisher IOP Publishing (IOPP). The agreement between IOPP and the UT System allows affiliated researchers to publish unlimited OA articles in IOPP’s journals and most partner journals with the costs to publish already covered. . . .

The TA will help to widen the readership and increase visibility of research published by authors affiliated with all 14 UT System Institutions. IOPP user data shows that OA content is downloaded 80% more and cited 30% more than paywalled content, demonstrating the substantial advantages of publishing research OA.

https://tinyurl.com/5n6t3z5u

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"The Rights of UC Authors Are at Stake. Here’s What We Are Doing about It."


"We have learned that many publishers are requiring UC authors to sign misleading License to Publish agreements, which undermine the spirit and intent of [UC’s open access policies]," wrote Susan Cochran, Chair of the faculty Academic Senate PDF.

By purporting to restrict an author’s abilities to reuse their own work, "these agreements essentially turn faculty authors into readers, as opposed to creators and owners of their own work," the Academic Senate chair concludes.

The team that leads negotiations with scholarly publishers on behalf of the university, including representatives from UC’s California Digital Library, the 10 campus libraries, and the Academic Senate, is now taking up the charge, making author rights the next frontier in advocating for the UC research community.

https://tinyurl.com/mry3hczw

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"Sustainability of Open-Access Author Fund: A Case Study of Faculty Usage Patterns and APC Cost"


The California State University, Los Angeles Library established a pilot program on Open-Access (OA) Author Fund in 2018. This article presents information about the management of the University Library’s Open-Access Author Fund. Particularly, this article focuses on faculty usage of the OA Author Fund by colleges, disciplines, and publishers. Additionally, the authors examined the article processing charges (APCs) and self-archiving policies of the top open-access journals where Cal State LA faculty publish. This analysis will assist the University Library’s Open-Access Group to understand if the University Library needs to provide additional funding and explore new ways to sustain the funding. Our research also revealed that librarians in specific academic areas can be more proactive in educating, explaining, and initiating conversations with disciplinary faculty about the benefits of open-access publications.

https://tinyurl.com/35kprj6a

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"NISO Approves Working Group to Develop Recommended Practice for Operationalizing Open Access Business Processes"


The volume of OA content has proliferated in recent years, but the systems and workflows currently used by publishers and librarians were designed for traditional, pay-to-read models. Business processes are currently inadequate to address the requirements of—for example—transformative agreements, which require complex financial management and the tracking of authors and publishing outputs across large institutions. Libraries face challenges in managing micropayments and assessing the financial impact of such agreements, and authors often have difficulty determining whether their manuscript is eligible for OA publication under agreement terms. These complexities also impact publisher editorial and financial systems. As a result, organizations often adopt manual processes for managing these agreements, giving rise to inefficiencies across the ecosystem.

NISO’s Working Group will address the problem by identifying gaps in the infrastructure for OA publications and agreements, developing terminology to describe the surrounding processes, and outlining best practices for exchanging data and analytics and metrics. The work will focus first on the metadata required for exchange prior to publication as well as for article-level financial transactions, and then address reporting following publication. As the new Recommended Practice will be of interest to publishers, libraries, authors, funders, and OA advocates and community initiatives, the group is seeking volunteers representing a range of stakeholder groups from across the scholarly communications industry.

https://tinyurl.com/ywb7cu3e

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"Over 1000 Institutions Now Covered by RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) Read & Publish Agreements"


The Royal Society of Chemistry has signed a Read & Publish agreement with CRUE (Conferencia de Rectores de las Universidades Españolas, the national consortium of Spanish Universities), taking the number of institutions in the RSC’s R&P community to more than one thousand covering 32 countries.

https://tinyurl.com/3jc9juus

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