The world of scholarly publishing is changing rapidly and rise of new open access models and directives is shaping the conversation about the future of scholarship. Below is a brief summary of major events or initiatives that have taken place around open access recently.
Plan S, launched in 2018, aims to shift all publicly funded research from supporting European countries from paywalled to open access by 2021. As publishers operate globally, Plan S has the potential to affect the entire publishing ecosystem as they adapt to the demands of their European customer base. Read more here: https://www.coalition-s.org/.
In response to Plan S and institutional open access mandates, academic consortia and institutions are negotiating transformative agreements with publishers. These agreements seek to transform the existing scholarly publishing model from subscription based access to open access. A popular method of doing this is the Read and Publish agreement, in which libraries continue to pay subscription dollars and APCs for faculty publishing are rolled into the price, allowing institutional authors to publish open access at no cost to them.
Major transformative agreements that have been negotiated in the U.S. include:
- OhioLINK and Wiley
- Carnegie Mellon and Elsevier
- The University of California and Cambridge University Press
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Sage
- MIT and the Royal Society of Chemistry
Yale University Library supports the transition to a more open publishing landscape by negotiating transformative agreements and publisher memberships that reduce or remove cost barriers to authors who wish to publish open access. We were an early adopter of PLOS's institutional membership program, in which library funding eliminates APC charges for Yale authors. Read more about how the library supports and promotes openness here: https://guides.library.yale.edu/openaccess/support.
Many universities are also re-evaluating their contracts with commercial publishers through an open access lens and ending relationships with those who are unwilling to support open access publishing while making the costs sustainable for institutions.
The University of California led this effort in the U.S. in 2018 by cancelling their subscription to materials on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect platform when they could not reach an agreement with the publisher that would both promote open access and cap institutional costs. In 2021, however, UC announced that they had negotiated a new deal with Elsevier that met both university and publisher goals.