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Understanding open access

What are transformative agreements?

Transformative agreements, also known as 'transitional' or read and publish agreements, are ways for publishers to move from traditional subscription journals to an open access model. A portion of the fee paid to the publisher gives traditional 'read' subscription access, and the other portion allows for open access publishing. The agreements vary between publishers, some have uncapped publishing and others allow for a stated number of outputs. The open access costs payable in these agreements are covered by Library Services journal subscription payments to specific publishers.

Which publications are covered by the agreements?

City's transformative agreements can cover the cost of publications which are:

  • original research and review articles
  • by corresponding authors at City who are academic and research staff
  • to be published in participating subscription journals and open access journals.

Please note, the agreements do not always cover other publication charges such as page, or colour charges. Authors are advised to check with the journal prior to submission if other publication charges are included, and request a waiver if such charges apply.

Who is eligible for the agreements?

Due to capped limits applied to the agreements request for Open Access publications, Library Services approve articles where:

  • the corresponding author is affiliated with City, University of London and is employed as academic or research staff.

Library Services is currently unable to approve requests made by honorary staff, visiting lecturers or PhD students unless they have an employed City co-author.

For advice on eligibility for the agrements please contact the Publications Team

Which publishers does City have agreements with?

CityLibrary has transformative agreements with the following publishers

  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • BMJ
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Elsevier
  • Oxford University Press
  • Sage
  • Springer
  • Taylor & Francis
  • Wiley

The process for using each agreement varies between publisher. See Agreements by publisher for details on each one.

How to use the transformative agreement open access option

When submitting your article to the journal:

  • Ensure the journal that you are submitting to is covered by the agreement. In many cases publishers have a separate set of titles that fall outside of transformative agreements
  • Ensure you are listed as the corresponding author
  • Include your City, University of London affiliation
  • Include your City email address.

Your article will then be identified as being eligible to be published gold open access with a Creative Commons (CC) licence. Academic funders specify the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence as a condition of their funding, therefore, it is important to check the terms and conditions of your funding agreement prior to selecting the licence.

The publisher will contact you directly regarding licence options for you to choose. Rights retentions, that is the ability of the author to retain copyright in their work rather than signing it over to the publisher, has become a key concern in recent times. This must be considered when agreeing any contract.