First transformative agreement for Australia and New Zealand

The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and the UK-based Microbiology Society are delighted to announce the signing of the first transformative agreement for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).

Jill Benn, Chair of CAUL said, “This deal is a significant step towards achieving full and immediate open access to research in the region. It is CAUL’s first transformative/transitional agreement with a publisher and we are thrilled it is with a not-for-profit organisation committed to open science.  This agreement will enable Australian and New Zealand researchers an easier and uncapped route to publishing in Microbiology Society journals. We look forward to pursuing similar agreements with other learned and professional societies, and with commercial publishers.”

Jodi Lindsay, Chair of the Microbiology Society Publishing Committee said, “The Society’s Publish & Read deal is a way to provide a simpler and more inclusive OA route for researchers and their Institutions. Whilst this is a two year pilot, our long-term goal in securing a nationwide flip to OA is to remove uncertainty for researchers in author pay models and to develop a model that is simple, sustainable and scalable for all stakeholders.”

The transformative Publish & Read (PAR) agreement is a transitional pilot for two years (2020-2021) offered on an opt-in basis. The transitional agreement provides ANZ university libraries the ability to pay a single “publish and read” fee for uncapped open access publishing in all of the Society’s journals by corresponding authors. The deal provides unlimited access to all paywalled content in the Society’s journals, including the entire archive back to 1947, for reading and text and data mining.

The opportunity for a consortial transformative agreement with the Microbiology Society arose through the Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S program (SPA-OPS). The project was sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, UKRI and the ALPSP* for the development of a Transformative Agreement Toolkit for consortia to use with small society publishers. The aim is to help society publishers comply with Plan S by ensuring immediate and unrestricted access to research outputs such as journal articles.

Previously, 20 Australian and 5 New Zealand university libraries subscribed directly to various Microbiology Society journals, with subscriptions worth over £100,000 annually. 25 universities published an average of 40 articles in Microbiology Society journals in 2016-2018. Article Processing Charges (APCs) worth around £20,000 annually, were paid to publish approximately one-third of these articles open access.

The Microbiology Society publishes six journals of which two are fully open access. The PAR provides unlimited open access publishing in all six of these journals by corresponding authors at the universities that opt-in. It allows for CC-BY licence terms and there are no transactional APCs or other service charges for publishing. The Microbiology Society will notify Australian and New Zealand university authors of the PAR during the peer review process and supply a PDF of the version of record for institutional repositories.


Download a copy of the media release (PDF)

For comment: Jill Benn, Chair of CAUL;; (02) 6125 2990

About CAUL

CAUL is the peak leadership organisation for university libraries in Australia. CAUL members are the University Librarians or equivalent of the 39 institutions that have representation on Universities Australia and the 8 members of the Council of New Zealand University Librarians (CONZUL). CAUL makes a significant contribution to higher education strategy, policy and outcomes through a commitment to a shared purpose: To transform how people experience knowledge – how it can be discovered, used and shared.

About The Microbiology Society

The Microbiology Society is a membership charity for scientists interested in microbes, their effects and their practical uses. It is one of the largest microbiology societies in Europe with a worldwide membership based in universities, industry, hospitals, research institutes and schools. Our principle goal is to develop, expand and strengthen the networks available to our members so that they can generate new knowledge about microbes and ensure that it is shared with other communities. The impacts from this will drive us towards a world in which the science of microbiology provides maximum benefit to society.

Author Harry Rolf
Last modified 17 October 2019