The ESAC initiative was established in 2014 in order to keep up the discussion about open access workflows and administrative burdens related to the management of open access article processing charges. In 2013 an international workshop was held on that topic in Berlin organized by the Max Planck Digital Library in cooperation with colleagues from the German Reserach Foundation (DFG), PLOS and Co-Action Publishing.

As with November 2015 ESAC moved into the DFG funded project INTACT.

Located at the MPDL, ESAC pursues the the developement of agreed service standards around Gold Open Access charges. This includes: