Draft Terms of Reference

All the Task and Finish Groups share the objective of reaching a consensus to deliver principles and documentation that can be adopted globally by libraries/consortia and smaller independent publishers. Each of the four groups has specific aims and objectives as follows:

Task & Finish Group 1: shared principles for transformative OA agreements

To review and revise these draft principles to underpin open access arrangements between consortia/libraries and smaller independent publishers:

  • Overall institutional expenditure to the publisher to be neutral or lower than current subscription + APC and other publishing expenditure combined.
  • Annual inflation-linked increases are ok after this base is established.
  • If the agreement is with a consortium, the base should be cost-neutral or decrease total aggregated spend by members, but the consortium is free to allocate this total cost amongst members in whatever way it chooses.
  • To allow agreements to evolve to reflect changes in author choices over time they should be based on actual article numbers from the preceding 2 years and not on estimated publishing volumes.
  • The institution that employs the corresponding author will be responsible for the costs of publishing that article OA.
  • Unlimited OA publishing with no article number caps in hybrid titles, or if there is a cap then authors, with consent of the publisher, need to be able to make their accepted manuscripts available publicly with no embargo under a CC-BY licence.
  • Differential geographic pricing based on means.
  • There should be a commitment that future pricing approaches will be transparent, equitable, and linked to services provided to authors, readers, institutions, and society.
  • Content published OA to be open in perpetuity under a liberal CC licence.
  • Archival content to be free to all in the institution or consortium to access and read.
  • Post-termination access to be provided to read content if/when an agreement ends.
  • There should be explicit acknowledgment that the OA agreement is a mechanism for transition with the aim for the publisher to shift to full Open Access over time.
  • Authors to retain copyright, and their articles to be published under a CC-BY licence. [There are sometimes reasons, as acknowledged in Plan S, that CC-BY-SA licences could also be used, or CC-BY-ND may be agreed in exceptional circumstances by cOAlition S funders.] Third-party content such as images or graphics is often included under a separate form of licence and this should be clearly labelled.
  • The publisher should comply with the Plan S price transparency requirements from no later than July 2022.
  • The agreement should last for at least two years, and ideally longer, to minimise administrative burden on both sides.
  • The agreement should be shared publicly via (amongst others) the ESAC Registry.

Task & Finish Group 2: model licence

Build on the principles agreed by Task & Finish Group 1.

Taking the SPA OPS Model License (available at: https://www.informationpower.co.uk/spa-ops-project/) as a starting point, review and revise this as needed to align with the principles and in order for it to be easy to implement.   

To deliver by 31 January a model licence that can be implemented by key stakeholders

Task & Finish Group 3: data template

Build on the principles agreed by Task & Finish Group 1.

Review, revise and agree a data template that smaller independent publishers should present at the start of an OA agreement negotiation, building upon the SPA OPS Template (available at: https://www.informationpower.co.uk/spa-ops-project/)

Devise a glossary of key terms

To deliver by 31 January a template that can be implemented by key stakeholders

Task & Finish Group 4: minimum workflow requirements

Build on the principles agreed by Task & Finish Group 1.

To agree a set of minimum workflow requirements based on the current ESAC Workflows (https://esac-initiative.org/workflows/sample-workflow-terms-for-transformative-agreements/) which are achievable by smaller independent publishers)

To deliver by 31 January the workflow requirements for implementation by key stakeholders

Ways of Working

  • Meetings will be held online every two weeks.
  • A Google folder will be established for each group