If not a transformative agreement, then what? Nine questions and answers about an alternative

A.J. Boston


Librarians are increasingly coming to agree that the scholarly record should be open and available to anyone who seeks it without financial barriers. But the topic gets murkier when we ask the question: how. How do we open the full scholarly record? One of the swiftest ways to get a mass amount of scholarly articles opened up in a short period of time is through Transformative Agreements (TA). TAs can be attractive offerings to institutions with a need or a desire to make their scholarly output open.

It is likely someone in your library has been asked by a commercial publisher if they are interested in signing a TA (sometimes called read-and-publish, publish-and-read, or pure publish deals). In these deals, a library pays a publisher to make some agreed upon number of works open access if the corresponding author is affiliated with the institution. Your library leadership holds probably one of three attitudes on this proposition: pragmatically in favor, ideologically opposed, or simply sort of confused about the whole thing.

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