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Transformative Agreements at Clemson

Transformative agreements are innovative contracts between academic institutions and publishers that aim to shift the traditional subscription-based publishing model towards open access.

Read-and-Publish vs Publish-and-Read

apple iconThe key difference between Read-and-Publish and Publish-and-Read agreements lies in their primary focus. R&P agreements maintain a dual model of subscriptions and open access publishing, while P&R agreements are designed to advance the transition to a fully open access publishing landscape. Both models aim to balance subscription access and open access publishing, and the choice between the two depends on an institution's specific goals and the publisher's offerings.

Read-and-Publish agreements blend subscription access with cost-free open access publishing for an institution's researchers, facilitated by a fee covering both subscriptions and open access. This lets researchers publish in open access journals connected to the publisher, supporting open access while retaining subscription access.

Publish-and-Read agreements facilitate the shift from subscriptions to full open access by having institutions pay a fee to cover open access publication costs, leading to all content becoming open access and granting the institution access to the entire content. This model accelerates open access adoption by tying publisher revenue to research dissemination instead of just subscriptions.

Other Agreement Types

laptop iconTransformative agreements can take various forms and can be tailored to suit the needs and priorities of different institutions, consortia, publishers, and disciplines. Some other common approaches to transformative agreements include:

  • Offsetting Agreements: Offset agreements involve negotiating discounts on subscription fees based on the institution's or consortium's contributions to open access publication charges. These discounts are often referred to as "offsets" because the money saved on subscriptions is used to offset the costs of open access publication.

  • Society-Driven Transformative Agreements: Some transformative agreements focus on supporting society publishers' transition to open access. These agreements may involve collaborative efforts to redefine business models and ensure that society-published research remains accessible and sustainable.

  • Big Deal Transformative Agreements: In the context of large publishers offering bundles of journals (often referred to as "big deals"), transformative agreements can be designed to gradually transition from subscription-based access to open access. Over time, the proportion of open access articles increases as the subscription content decreases.

  • Pure Publish-and-Read: In this model, institutions pay for the open access publication of their researchers' work without including access to subscription content. This approach is more focused on facilitating the shift to open access publishing and might be particularly appealing to institutions strongly committed to open access.

  • Hybrid Offset Agreements: These agreements aim to manage the costs associated with publishing hybrid (subscription-based) journals by negotiating reduced subscription fees in exchange for funding open access publication within those journals.

It's important to note that the choice of approach depends on factors such as the institution's funding structure, research output volume, disciplinary focus, financial capacity, and strategic priorities. Transformative agreements are designed to be flexible and adaptable to accommodate the diversity of academic publishing landscapes and to accelerate the transition to open access in a sustainable manner.