This guest post is in response to a recent open post on the OASPA blog and in line with our recent move to use the blog as a platform for open discussions on issues in open access and open research. The views presented in the guest post are the views of Jisc and do not represent the views of OASPA.
This post is by Anna Vernon, Head of Licensing, Jisc
Jisc has dedicated considerable resource to working with of all types on agreements that will accelerate the transition to open access. We are pursuing multiple routes to compliance with the principles of Plan S with an emphasis on negotiating transitional agreements to make the Version of Record (VOR) open access immediately on publication.
As a consortium, the UK is fortunate in that it works across all universities on a federated basis and that its largest research funders make considerable sums available to institutions in support of its access policies. Even with the additional and timed limited support from the Wellcome Trust, UKRI and charitable funders, the UK is a large producer of research and so establishing affordable agreements that provide full and immediate open access to the version of record in all the agreements we negotiate is challenging.
For some , for example those that publish low levels of funded articles or where the publication type does not naturally support per article payment charges, making the accepted manuscript available via the green route can be a more appropriate route to compliance and provides institutions and with greater pricing and revenue stability. Although we know that author’s overwhelming preference is for the VOR to be made open access (as evidenced by the popularity of our Read and Publish agreements which cover over 50% of UK-funded research) not all of our members can sign up to all the Read and Publish agreements we negotiate – for example, an institution might only publish one or two articles with a publisher and cannot risk tying up their limited block grants in that agreement as if their funded researchers publish elsewhere, this funding cannot then follow them to their new venue. In addition, some agreements include a cap on the number of gold OA articles provided in a deal and in this scenario an institution has already invested their own funds (and often funder’s monies) and there is no more money available to make additional funded VORs available. We also know that not all can form direct agreements with institutions.
During this transition phase the RRS removes some of the pressure for institutions and allows them to sign up to deals and invest in agreements that provide value for money and which maximise open access publishing opportunities. It provides a back stop and assurance to institutions that, if they cannot afford to participate in the full read and publish option, or they reach their article cap, their funded authors will still be able to publish in these journals. We have not seen any indication from institutions that they intend to cancel any agreements due to the availability of AAMs – instead, we have seen publishing and participation in read and publish agreements increase.
The transitional agreements agreed with , many of whom were authors of the post on the OASPA blog are the result of detailed modelling and community consultation (in some cases these agreements have taken years to co-develop) and we believe they represent the optimal path to compliance for UK institutions and authors for these publication venues. We want institutions to increase their support for transitional agreements by building confidence that they return value for money and we see the RRS as complementary to achieving this goal as it provides a backstop option (albeit a less frictionless one) for authors to comply with funder’s policies and at the same time does not require the publisher to guarantee upfront that all research will be published open access as the VOR in the initial and critical years of transitional agreements.