Over the last two years Information Services has been evaluating and entering into new agreements with journal publishers. These Read and Publish agreements are being negotiated by JISC on behalf of the sector. They are being termed “transformative agreements” because they are transforming the journal publishing world and the library-publisher relationship by combining the costs of library subscriptions (the read element) with the costs of Open Access (the publish element). The aim is to develop a new business model that supports sustainable approaches to Open Access publishing. For example, “double dipping” is prevented, where the publisher receives revenue from subscriptions and then again from Article Processing Charges (APC) by charging to make individual articles Open Access within subscription journals.
In this way, the University supports the wide dissemination of its research and scholarship at an affordable cost. This also benefits Kent authors as the process of publishing open access in these journals is simpler.
Are these agreements working for Kent?
We are still developing methods and tools for recording, monitoring and reporting on use of our Read and Publish agreements and are working with JISC on a new version of their evaluation system, Monitor, to enable us and the sector to be able to do this efficiently. The quality and format of the data provided by publishers also varies. However, with these caveats, our initial assessments appear to reveal very good news.
Use of Kent Read and Publish agreements January 2020-September 2021
|Transformative Agreement name||No of articles published OA with agreement|
|American Chemical Society||2|
|Institute of Physics||2|
|Royal Society of Chemistry||8|
|Taylor and Francis||23|
Since January 2020, at least 225 University of Kent journal articles have been published Open Access under our agreements. This means that they are available to anyone anywhere over the internet. They also have licences that make it clear how they can be used and shared.
The precise cost of an APC for making an article Open Access under each of the different Read and Publish agreements, is not currently easy to obtain. However, using the current average price for an APC of £2176 we can estimate it would have cost the University of Kent £489,600 to make these articles Open Access if we did not have these agreements. Even taking out the £110,000 paid towards the publish element of the agreements, a significant amount of money has been saved and a greater volume of Kent work is publicly available than ever before.