A Transformative Agreement (TA) is a set of terms negotiated in a license between a publisher and a library, library system/consortia, or national organization, which is fundamentally designed to shift costs away from subscription-based reading and toward open access publishing. While there is a long road ahead, a TA is transitional in that the purpose is to eventually shift costs to publishing and eliminate subscription-based reading access to scholarly research.
A TA is "Read and Publish" when... the publisher receives payment for BOTH subscription-based reading and publishing costs in a single contract. A library will aim for an unchanged or decreased total cost when compared with the prior read-only agreement.
A TA is "Publish and Read" when... the publisher receives payment for publishing only, and reading is included at no additional charge. This is perhaps more beneficial to library systems/consortia.
Common terms included in a TA:
Other terms which may vary by TA:
TAs are not new, but they are growing in popularity as more and more publishers and libraries are finding ways to negotiate mutually sustainable agreements. Scroll down to learn how a TA serves the mission statement of your library, or skip ahead, using the navigation tabs in this guide to find more information about author benefits, current TAs at Eugene McDermott Library, and useful tools for assessing the quality of scholarly journals.
The library proactively supports transformative agreements with publishers when the agreement is financially viable and provides the faculty with comprehensive open publishing options.
Transformative agreements also foster community stewardship through open access and a shift away from paid subscriptions that place published research articles behind paywalls. In addition, these agreements help faculty who have research grants which may require the publication of research in an open-access journal.
To support these goals, McDermott Library is only signing agreements that provide the following:
The University of Texas System may at times also provide transformative agreements that cap the number of articles published per year without a charge. If known, we will note any caps that are part of UT System agreements.
In addition, the UT System may negotiate a reduction in APC charges for some publishers. These savings will be passed along to UTD faculty; however, the McDermott Library cannot provide financial support in addition to what is offered as part of the UT System agreements. Any additional costs will be the responsibility of the corresponding author.
We encourage faculty to consider publishing in a journal free of APC charges, whenever possible, to help advance transformative agreements and encourage other publishers to adopt a similar model.
The following librarians are available to answer your questions about transformative agreements and scholarly communication:
Davin.Pate@utdallas.edu // 972-883-2908
MattYoung@utdallas.edu // 972-883-2627