Transformative Agreements in Action: The Microbiology Society

With the 1 January 2020 date of the transition to Plan S rapidly approaching, Information Power is pleased to see that following the SPA-OPS report, Jisc has announced a transformative agreement with the Microbiology Society. Jisc and the Microbiology Society have announced that this agreement will offer improved access for researchers and academics to the society’s resources and publications, while still ensuring that researchers at participating institutions will be able to publish an unlimited number of OA articles and access the society’s full portfolio in return for a cost-neutral fee. Jisc negotiated this deal on behalf of 180 universities and research institutions, all of whom will benefit from the deal.

The chief executive of the Microbiology Society, Dr Peter Cotgreave, said about the deal, “We are delighted to have forged this agreement with our first national consortium for the benefit of microbiology researchers in the UK. As a small publishing society, we are keen to introduce models to promote new, innovative and country-wide OA publishing across our portfolio of journals.” It is rare for small organisations (like the Microbiology Society) to broker agreements with universities, but Jisc has introduced new contracts that will allow similar organisations to open their resources to new users.

Robert Kiley, head of open research at Wellcome, said, “Following the work we commissioned with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) to help learned society publishers transition to full and immediate open access, I am pleased to see these cost-neutral transformative agreements come to fruition and I hope others will follow the lead of the Microbiology Society.”

The Microbiology Society and Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) participated in the pilots Information Power facilitated to help learned society publishers and library consortia to broker transformative agreements. The have now signed this agreement and Jill Benn, Chair of CAUL said, “This deal is a significant step towards achieving full and immediate open access to research in the region. It is CAUL’s first transformative/transitional agreement with a publisher, and we are thrilled it is with a not-for-profit organisation committed to open science. This agreement will enable Australian and New Zealand researchers an easier and uncapped route to publishing in Microbiology Society journals. We look forward to pursuing similar agreements with other learned and professional societies, and with commercial publishers.”

Information Science are excited to continue to see the benefits of the SPA-OPS project and the Transformative Agreements Toolkit.

ALPSP has recently posted the video of the official launch of the SPA-OPS project, along with a transcription of the session. Our report and the Transformative Agreements toolkit are available under a CC-BY licence on the ALPSP website and here.