Current Transformative Agreements Are Not Transformative: Position Paper – For Full, Immediate and Transparent Open Access
frankhellwig's bookmarks 2020-03-12
This is the basis for recent interest in so-called transformative agreements. Based on our assessment of several such agreements, we argue that they are not genuinely transformative and that their transformational potential is actually very low. Such models risk perpetuating current limitations on access, transparency and market competitiveness, while simultaneously facilitating excessive charges on the public purse. While they permit some legacy publishers to increase the fraction of OA content, they also increase the number of articles published in hybrid journals, lock subscribers into their current arrangements with publishers, and do nothing to improve price transparency. If such agreements allow publishers to continue their current pricing behavior, the long-term cost for libraries, higher education and research institutions will be much higher than they expect. So called Transformative Agreements frequently display the following shortcomings:
• They lack binding commitments to a full transformation to OA.
• Access is limited to selected parts of a publisher’s portfolio.
• Conditions vary across national borders.
• They crowd-out pure OA publishers from institutional or national agreement negotiations.
The signatories of this position statement believe that OA that is delivered in a full, immediate and transparent (FIT) way by fully OA publishers offers a high-quality, cost-effective alternative to hybrid models. We advocate for an "OA first" policy that should make it mandatory to find mechanisms of support for native OA publications and alternative peer-review platforms first, before entering large-scale transformative agreements with legacy publishers providing OA coverage or subsidies of OA APCs.
The signatories therefore recommend that: ...