Open Access - Transformative Agreements

Open Access (OA) means making research publications freely available so anyone can benefit from reading, and using, research.

The result is that research becomes available to many more people than a subscription-only journal article does. This, in turn, may stimulate further research and feed into a wider scholarly communications ‘cycle’.  And besides wider public accessibility, there is clear evidence that OA can lead to an increase in citations.

Open Access also encourages public engagement with research, much of which is paid for out of public money. It is part of a wider movement to encourage free exchange of knowledge, data and other resources in an attempt to widen access and stimulate creativity.

More detailed information about Open Access can be found on the pages of the Department of Research, Business and Innovation:

To support the Open Access agenda and to gradually change the existing publishing ‘pay-to-read’ model the University is provided with a block grant from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). This is administered by Information Services and is intended to cover a range of eligible OA costs, from Transformative Agreements with publishers which contain ‘Read’ and ‘Publish’ elements, to individual Article Processing Charges (APCs). 

Details relating to those Transformative Agreements and how authors can make use of their OA allowances can be found below.

Transformative agreements

UKRI is a member of cOAlition S and supports the global Open Access 2020 Initiative (OA2020) which aims to accelerate the transition to Open Access by adopting strategies to systematically withdraw financial support of paywalled publishing venues and reinvest those funds to support Open Access publishing. cOAlition S encourages publishers to enter into transformative arrangements globally in all countries and share data from such arrangements.

Aberystwyth University has signed a number of Transformative Agreements negotiated by Jisc [] with academic publishers on behalf of UK researchers and universities. The following agreements provide both traditional ‘read’ access to journals and various mechanisms for Aberystwyth authors to publish gold open access.

These Transformative Agreements are complex and do vary enormously. Please read your publisher correspondence carefully and contact with any questions to avoid any personal liability for costs.

Elsevier Negotiations

Aberystwyth University’s subscription to Elsevier’s journals expires at the end of 2021 and the University is part of a UK-wide consortium (led by JISC and Universities UK) attempting to negotiate a new agreement. AU is committed to the transformation of academic publishing to create an equitable and open research environment.  The negotiations with Elsevier are being undertaken with this in mind and it is hoped that Elsevier will offer a Transformative Agreement which is in line with all other major academic publishers whose deals we have subscribed to already (see below).  For further information, see JISC’s short presentation on Youtube.

If you have any questions regarding these negotiations please contact the Resource Discovery Team at

ACS Publications 2019 - 2021

AU has been provided with 2 Open Access Tokens for 2021 as part of their Read and Publish deal with ACS.  Instructions can be found on this page:

Authors MUST select their institution at the time of article submission. If the article is not affiliated with the institution included in the open access agreement, the CCC RightsLink transaction will not prompt them to request funding from that institution.

If authors have any difficulties, please contact

Cambridge University Press (CUP) - 1 Jan 2021 – 31 Dec 2024

This read and publish agreement allows for unlimited publishing in year 1 (2021), by corresponding authors of participating institutions

For details on publishing via Open Access in Cambridge University Press journals: 

Oxford University Press 1 Jan 2021 – 31 Dec 2023

OUP’s Read and Publish Deal allows for 11 APCs in 2021, 12 in 2022 and 13 in 2023.  These can be applied for by authors via the process set out on the OUP website

Company of Biologists - 1 Jan 2020-31 Dec 2021

Participating institutions (which includes AU) receive unlimited access to all paywalled content, plus unlimited, immediate open access publishing of the Version of Record for all corresponding authors at those institutions under CC-BY licence terms, in the Society's three hybrid journals: Development; Journal of Cell Science; Journal of Experimental Biology.  For further details see websites for each of the journals:

Institute of Physics Publications - 10 Feb 2020 - 31 Dec 2023

Deal covers more than 40 journals which they manage.  It allows for unlimited APCs within those journals at no additional cost.  A small number of further journals are eligible for a 70% discount, though authors will need to identify eligibility to the publishers themselves. A link to the journal lists, together with details about how discounts etc are applied can be found on this page:

Microbiology Society - 1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2021

AU receives unlimited access to all paywalled content, plus unlimited, immediate OA publishing under CC-BY licence terms of the "Version of Record" for all accepted manuscripts, where the corresponding author is at Aberystwyth University.  Further details can be found here:

Open Library of Humanities Library - 20 Jun 2019 - 30 Apr 2021

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a not-for-profit, Gold open access journal platform (with 27 journals) and books publisher for the humanities. OLH implements a collaborative and collective funding model and facilitates open access through institutional membership.  For further information, see:

Royal Society of Chemistry - 1 April 2020 - 31 Dec 2021

AU’s current agreement includes an allowance for 2 APC’s annually.  Information for authors can be found on this page:

One APC has so far been used for 2021.

Taylor & Francis - 1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2023

Corresponding authors at AU may publish their article gold open access with a fully funded Article Publishing Charge (APC). Authors will be able to choose to publish open access if their article is accepted to the journal following peer-review.  All Taylor and Francis ‘Open Select’ journals are covered by the agreement, however, there may be a cap imposed on the number of APCs for journals which charge £3k or more.  For more information, see:

Springer - 25 Apr 2020 – 31 Dec 2023

Unlimited APCs in Springer hybrid subscription journals.  Please see for details of SpringerCompact deal.  The same page provides a link to a listing of Springer journal titles which are eligible for the SpringerCompact deal.

Wiley - 4 Mar 2020 - 31 Dec 2023

 **We have been informed that due to another record year of submissions Wiley will need to introduce restrictions to limit OA publishing to UKRI/Wellcome funded articles at the end of June 2021.**  

APCs are available up to a limit set by Wiley for this year of the deal – which is the equivalent across all UK HE of 8000 APCs on a first come, first serve basis.  We will be informed when there are none left or when limitations on eligibility are introduced.  Current take-up suggests this may be in October

Authors are guided through the process on submission via Wiley’s portal.

Transformative Open Access Agreements - FAQs

What are transformative agreements?

Transformative (sometimes referred to as transitional) publisher agreements allow papers which have an Aberystwyth University corresponding author to be made open access on the publisher’s website, at no cost to the author. They enable compliance with funder open access requirements and support the principles of Plan S.

Transformative agreements are a way for publishers to transition their subscription journals to full open access. The costs of open access is included in our Library subscription payment and so they are sometimes also called “Read and publish” deals.

What agreements does Aberystwyth have?

The Library regularly reviews new agreements and you can find information on our current deals on the Open Access : Information Services, Aberystwyth University webpage.

What if the publisher is offering a discount?

These discount deals with publishers are not transformative agreements and still require payment for open access. You may need to source funding to make use of these discounts, please contact for further information.

Why has Aberystwyth not signed up to all agreements?

Agreements must represent value for Aberystwyth, both for the “read” (subscription) and “publish” (open access) elements of the deal. We review usage and publishing data and seek feedback from academics when evaluating whether to sign a new deal or cancel a deal that does not meet Aberystwyth’s current or future needs. If a deal is cancelled because it does not represent value, the cost can be reallocated to other resources.

How can researchers make use of these agreements?

As the cost of open access is covered by our agreements, you do not need to apply for open access funding if the corresponding author is affiliated with Aberystwyth. The publisher will arrange for the Library to approve the open access by confirming your affiliation. Each publisher has a slightly different process, so refer to their guidance for more information or email  for support.

To make use of these agreements authors need to agree to publish under a CC-BY licence.

How can a researcher tell if a journal is covered by an agreement & get more information and support?

Some agreements only cover hybrid (subscription) journals. Information about our deals is available on the Open Access : Information Services, Aberystwyth University webpage or you can contact the Open Access Working Group at

What if the journal I am submitting to is not covered by a Transitional Agreement?

You can usually be compliant with funder requirements for open access by depositing your Author Accepted Manuscript (sometimes called a Postprint) in Pure. Further information can be found in the Researcher Good Practice webpages.