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Scholarly Publishing and APC Support at TMC Library

TMC Library Support For Article Publishing Charges (APCs)

TMC Library financial support for article publishing charges (APCs) is currently limited to the publishers listed in this guide.

We will continue to evaluate future transformative agreement options from our publishers, that will allow us to provide additional benefits to our TMC Library academic community.

About Transformative Agreements

What Is a Transformative Agreement (TA)?

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:

  • Gold:  Publisher provides free online access to the article in the OA journal, usually with an Article Processing Charge (APC). 

  • Hybrid:  An article processing charge is paid for an individual journal article to be made open access in a subscription journal.

  • Open Access option: Includes OA journals and the author's choice of publishing their work open or closed
  • Copyright:  Most TAs require that the author retain copyright control, and publish with a CC BY Creative Commons License (or the most flexible sharing license permitted by the researcher's funding requirements)
  • Transparency: Terms of the agreement are typically made available to the public
  • Article processing charges (APCs):  Paid partially or in full by the institution, rather than the author
  • Subscribe to Open (S2O):  a funding model that allows a publisher to convert journals to OA one year at a time, without charging costs to authors. 

Other terms which may vary by TA:

  • Eligible journals: Whether the agreement applies to partial or full publisher portfolio; whether gold open access or hybrid journals are eligible
  • Length of contract period
  • Publishing limits: Does the library's payment apply to publishing charges ala carte, to a limited number of articles, or without limits?

Author Benefits

Author Benefit #1: Partial or Full Relief from Article Processing Charge (APCs)

A TA helps to eliminate financial hurdles from scholarly publication by redirecting the APC payment to your institution. 

Author Benefit #2: Copyright Control

With most TAs, you retain copyright control over your own work. Learn more about rights retention or predatory publishing.

Author Benefit #3: Choice of Publishing Open Access

A TA allows you to choose whether to publish open access. Should you target an eligible hybrid open access journal (requires a subscription to read), you still have the choice to publish fully open at the article level. You may also choose the Creative Commons license.

Author Benefit #4: Flexibility with Funder Requirements

Some TAs automatically publish your paper in an institutional repository if your funding institution requires it. You may also choose a CC BY license if this is stipulated by your funder.

Library's Role in TA

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.



Special thanks to Matt Young of University of Texas at Dallas for use of his original libguide.