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SCELC Transformative Agreements: Definition, Goals & Values

Transformative agreement definition

This definition and list of goals and values was recommended by a task force of representatives from 12 SCELC member institutions that reflect member diversity in size and type. The task force reviewed statements created by other library consortia and surveyed the full membership to ensure that this statement reflects the views of a broad range of SCELC institutions.  This SCELC Transformative Agreement Goals and Values Statement (pdf) was approved by the SCELC Board on May 20, 2022.

Transformative agreements are contracts negotiated between institutions (libraries or consortia) and publishers that gradually transition the business model underlying scholarly journal publishing. These agreements shift funding away from paying to read closed articles toward paying a fair price for open access publishing services.

Transformative agreement values

Values: As the task force reflected on a larger candidate list of goals and numerous values statements, they identified four broader value themes to guide us going forward. 

  • Author Rights

  • Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility

  • Mutual Respect through Partnership

  • Sustainability and Stewardship

Transformative agreement goals

Goals: In priority order, SCELC libraries prefer transformative agreements that:

  1. are simple for authors to access & easy for libraries to administer
  2. enable authors to retain copyright
  3. redistribute costs fairly & sustainably
  4. enable deposit of open articles into member institutional repositories
  5. demonstrate paths to transition to full OA over time
  6. incorporate total cost controls (including author payments)
  7. include fully OA journals and allow authors to choose OA or closed publishing when hybrid journals are included
  8. have transparent terms and pricing with no non-disclosure agreements
  9. support OA publishing for authors without grant funding

SCELCwide survey to identify & prioritize goals

TATF Presentation of Transformative Agreement Values Survey Results