Open Access

What are Transformative Agreements?

Transformative agreements are those contracts negotiated between institutions (libraries, national and regional consortia) and publishers that transform the business model underlying scholarly journal publishing, moving from one based on toll access (subscription) to one in which publishers are remunerated a fair price for their open access publishing services. (Efficiency and Standards for Article Charges, ESAC)

Transformative agreements can also be known as "read-and-publish" or "publish-and-read" deals. The exact terms of the agreements vary depending on the institution and publisher, though they tend to focus on the following principles: (Transformative Agreements: A Primer)

  • Costs- Libraries seek to shift from paying for subscriptions to paying for publishing and to reduce unsustainable price increases for subscriptions
  • Copyright- Transformative agreements often require that authors maintain their copyright instead of transferring it to the publisher. This is often accomplished by applying a Creative Commons license to the work
  • Transparency- Organizations often insist that the terms of any such transformative agreement be made publicly available, though this is often just the key components of the deal and not the entire agreement
  • Transitional- By definition, transformative agreements are transitional in that their goal is a permanent shift to open access and the end of subscription-based publishing

UTSA Memberships and Publisher/Transformative Agreements

UTSA Libraries actively seeks partnerships with organizations and publishers to reduce costs and provide value for our researchers. Below is a list of our current memberships and transformative agreements with publishers. For more information on the benefits of a specific membership, reach out to your subject librarian.


Publisher and Transformative Agreements

  • BioMed Central- 15% discount on APCs
  • Cambridge University Press- Article Processing Charges (APCs) waived at 100% through December 2023
  • MDPI- 10% discount on APCs
  • Springer Open- 15% discount on APCs

The library does not currently fund APCs but encourages UTSA researchers to take advantage of these APC discounts.

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