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Publishing: A troubled transformation

Image: Marit Henriksson [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

‘Transformative’ agreements promise to make all papers open and reduce costs, but can they deliver?

Caught between the huge costs of journal subscriptions and increasing demands from researchers and funders for open access, universities appeared to have found a golden ticket in ‘transformative agreements’. The deals also promised to help publishers transition from offering journals with subscription fees to producing open-access publications. But some in the sector are already questioning whether these deals between institutions and publishers are really as transformative as their billing suggests.

Often they take the form of ‘read and publish’ arrangements, where one fee covers access to subscription papers from a publisher as well as the costs of researchers publishing open papers with them.

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