The Royal Society

Agreement ID trs2021cdl
Agreement labeling Royal Society transformative agreement
Has the agreement been disclosed and published? No
URL (Memorandum of Understanding)
Agreement period 01/01/2021 – 12/31/2023
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 decrease
Comments on cost development Cost is based on prior UC system-wide expenditure (including prior APC spend by authors from UC campuses as well as library expenditures) and is then reduced due to withdrawal of one campus from the UC agreement. 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: There is a minimum and maximum set for the total fees that will be billed to UC in each year of the agreement. In addition, APC rates are held flat for the duration of the 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 mandatory
Publisher offers only CC-BY for open access articles.
Original research articles
Review articles

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

Comments on access costs Agreement is structured to include access as well as publishing but the finances are structured without any access fee

Are all read relevant journals covered by the agreement?

WORKFLOW ASSESSMENT Too early to assess
Comments on workflows The agreement is implemented using the multi-payer model, which provides a mechanism to combine funding from the libraries with authors’ grant funds, if the author so chooses. More details appear below in the Overall Assessment and Comments section.
OVERALL ASSESSMENT AND COMMENTS This agreement is an important step in the overall transition, particularly for not-for-profit and society publishers.

The agreement achieves both of UC’s key goals for transformative open access journal agreements: controlling costs and providing for open access publishing in the full portfolio of Royal Society journals, including hybrid (subscription-based) and open access journals.

The agreement includes open access publishing of an unlimited number of articles by corresponding authors at the nine participating UC campuses. Under the agreement, the UC libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of the open access fee, or article processing charge (APC), for authors at the participating campuses who choose to publish in a Royal Society journal. Authors are asked to pay the remainder if they have research funds available to do so. Authors who do not have research funds available can request full funding of the APC from the libraries, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish open access in Royal Society journals.

By combining funding from the libraries with authors’ grant funds, the agreement provides a model for how research-intensive institutions can create a sustainable and inclusive path to full open access.

Request contact to the licensee contact [at] esac-initiative [dot] org