Over the last 12 months you may have noticed that there has been a significant increase in the number of publisher agreements that the Library has signed up to. Deals which cover both the cost of open access for Durham University authors as well as the subscription fees that have long been covered from Library funds. Terms such as “read & publish”, “transformative” and “transitional” are all used but what does it all mean and what, if anything, is being so markedly changed?
As the joint statement from OA2020 and cOAlition S states, the main aim of these deals is to help us to transition to “new [publication] models that ensure outputs are open and re-usable”.
This step towards an increasingly open and accessible world of scholarly research articles can be funded, it is believed, not by spending even more money but through a re-jigging of the fees that are currently being paid to publishers specifically for subscriptions:
One of several pathways pursued by OA2020 participants is to negotiate transformative agreements under which the funds previously spent for subscriptions are repurposed to cover the costs associated with open access publishing. This approach enables a swift and efficient transition to open access, in which ‘hybrid’ publishing models can be included to increase the proportion of articles published open access— without paying twice for services relating to one piece of content.
Central bodies such as Jisc are negotiating these deals on behalf of the UK HE sector and many publishers have shown a willingness to get involved.
Negotiations are currently also underway with Elsevier and you can find updates of these here.
Previously, funds were only available for eligible papers acknowledging funding from one of the UK Research Councils (find out more about how to apply for this funding here) and, more recently, for eligible articles acknowledging Wellcome Trust funding (more details here and here). Now, we can help many other Durham-affiliated authors increase the immediate visibility and accessibility of their articles through publishing gold.
Things to be aware of
What it is really important to note is that even though the deals have similarities between them they are definitely not the same. Each publisher has its own little nuances and they all work in different ways when it comes to:
- which article types are covered (most likely to be articles reporting on “original research” but other types may also be included)
- which journal titles are covered (it is most likely that the deal will cover the hybrid titles (those that are “subscription” rather than fully open access titles) but it may not cover all of them and some deals, such as Wiley, do cover some fully open access title as well)
- how you apply (or whether its automatic)
- whether the deal is capped or not
- whether you can select a licence (and, if you can, what the options are)
- the time period of the deal
What is the same amongst these deals is that we cannot say prior to acceptance that a paper can definitely be published open access. We can tell you whether an article would potentially be covered but the majority of the deals are capped (a limit placed on how many APCs will be funded under the deal across all institutions signed up to the deal) and we just won’t know for sure whether the deal will still be available at the point the paper is accepted. Wiley, as an example, recently limited their deal to just articles acknowledging funding from one of the UK Research Councils or Wellcome and this won’t be re-set until 1st January 2021.
What will also be the same is that the deals will only cover you if you are affiliated to Durham and you are the corresponding author. Deals also only cover the cost of the Article Processing Charge (APC) and not any additional page or colour charges.
Currently we have transformative deals in place to cover 100% of the cost of an APC with the following publishers:
- American Physiological Society (APS)
- Cambridge University Press
- De Gruyter
- Oxford University Press
- Portland Press and Biochemical Society
- Taylor & Francis
A new transformative deal will be launched soon with AIP so keep an eye out on our webpages for more details about this!
In addition to these deals we also have agreements with other publishers to cover either the full cost of an APC or which offer discounts on the cost of an APC. Where the offer is just a discount, we would only be able to cover the remainder of the fee if it is an eligible article acknowledging UK Research Council or Wellcome Trust funding.
Full cost of APC covered
- American Chemical Society (limited number of “vouchers” available)
- Royal Society of Chemistry (limited number of “vouchers” available)
- Public Library of Science (PLOS)
- Royal Society (25% discount)
- MDPI (10% discount)
- Frontiers (10% discount – only available where we are paying the whole fee centrally for UK Research Council or Wellcome-funded articles)
Details of all our deals, and any updates, can be found at: https://durham-uk.libguides.com/open_research/publishingOA/publisherdeals
If you would like to ask questions do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Example articles published as part of the deals:
https://doi.org/10.1515/ijb-2020-0079 (de Gruyter)