National Academy of Sciences

Agreement ID nas2021cdl
Agreement labeling Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences transformative agreement
Has the agreement been disclosed and published? No
URL (Memorandum of Understanding)
Agreement period 08/01/2021 – 07/31/2023
Consortia / Institution California Digital Library (University of California)
Country United States

Approximate range of annual corresponding author publications


How do the costs of the agreement relate to previous subscription-only agreements with the publisher?

Cost increase
Comments on cost development The UC libraries are paying PNAS an annual Publishing Services Fee (PSF) of $55,000, which yields a reduced, single publication charge of $3,000 per article, with no other page or publication charges, for UC corresponding authors who choose open access. This PSF is a cost increase for the libraries.

The $3,000 fee per article, which would be paid from an author’s research funds for authors who elect open access publishing, is less than the usual total cost of article page charges (a standard requirement for authors publishing in PNAS) plus PNAS’ open access fee (the relative savings will vary, since under PNAS’ usual structure, page charges depend on article length).
The agreement includes mechanisms to control costs throughout the term of the agreement.


Transfomative agreements vary by their transformative mechanisms, meaning the way in which financing is shifted from the subscription side to open access publishing. What are the characteristics of this agreement to this regard?

Subscriptions fully converted to OA publishing fees (access related costs 5% or less)

How do entitlements for open access publishing correlate to the anticipated article output? Which mechanisms for risk sharing have been agreed in cases of exceeding or not reaching the number of OA publishing entitlements?

The agreement features the following risk-control mechanism: the libraries are paying a set fee. Included in the agreement is a provision that if publication exceeds expected levels, UC will make an additional negotiated payment up to a capped amount, with the actual amount determined through mutual agreement.

Are all journals relevant to your affiliated authors (in which you expect them to publish) eligible for OA publishing under the agreement?

Are fully open access journals covered by the agreement? Yes
OA LICENSE CC-BY preference, exceptions allowed
Original research articles
Review articles

What is the approximate share of access related costs of the overall agreement?


Are all read relevant journals covered by the agreement?

WORKFLOW ASSESSMENT Too early to assess
Comments on workflows Under this agreement the author’s experience is streamlined when publishing open access, as there are no separate page charges and a simpler workflow
OVERALL ASSESSMENT AND COMMENTS This is the first transformative agreement between PNAS and a US research institution, and so represents an important step in shifting this prestigious journal towards open access.

This agreement is sustainable, in that it controls costs for UC through a flat fee, and provides protection for the publisher in the case of unexpected growth in publication.

The agreement enables authors across the UC system to publish with immediate open access in PNAS at a lower total cost (on average) and with no separate article page charges. A flat annual fee covered by the UC libraries provides read access to PNAS at UC institutions and subsidizes the decreased cost of open access publishing for UC authors.

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