Fast Track to Open Access

Fast Track to OA Toolkit for Publishers

To accelerate the transition to Open Access with publishers, CAUL Procurement is providing a framework for publishers to provide pricing and publishing information in a consistent and efficient manner.  The framework provides templated documents and criteria.  If a publisher can meet all the criteria and pricing requirements, then a consortium agreement can be enabled very quickly and with minimum negotiation. 

This initiative furthers CAUL’s mission to facilitate Open Access in line with the CAUL Statement on Open Scholarship and CAUL’s Principles & Framework for Pricing Digital Content which states that:

  • Open Access content should be free, easily discoverable and with re-use clearly defined using the most permissive Creative Commons licenses
  • The transition to Open Access through transformative agreements should not increase the total costs of licensing and publishing

Fast Track OA Criteria

The criteria and templated documents originate from the SPA-OPS Transformative Agreement Toolkit, which was used for CAUL’s initial pilot transformative agreements with the Microbiology Society and Portland Press.  The templates have been amended to suit local needs and laws. 

Pricing Criteria

  • Cost neutral: No extra expense on top of existing subscription fees to transition to open access, and no additional fees for publishing.  Proposals that are priced accordingly are prioritised and automatically agreed if all other criteria are met.
  • Subscription + Previous OA spend:  Proposals will be subject to further review if all other criteria are met.
  • Subscription + Previous OA spend + equivalent APC charges for publishing that was previously non-OA: Subject to review and negotiation if all other criteria met.

Open Access Criteria:

  • In addition to the Pricing and Templates, publishers should be mindful of key criteria highlighted below:
    • All publications by Eligible Authors must be under an open license, using the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY).
    • The Publisher will communicate to eligible authors both within its submitting process and on its website, that they do not need to pay Article Processing Charges for Open Access Articles.
    • Pricing should be capped for each year of the agreement.  There can be no increasing in pricing during or at the end of term if a higher than expected amount of publishing was achieved at the end of the term.
    • Pricing should be transparent.  Agreements, including pricing, will be published to the ESAC Registry.
    • The Publisher will not charge Eligible Authors or their institutions service fees (e.g. colour-in-print, reprints, posters).


To fast track proposals to agreement stage publishers must submit the following completed document with data where required.  There should be no amendment to the original documents, publishers should only add information in the fields provided:

  • Pricing Spreadsheet

    • Please note although pricing is requested for 3 years, years 2 and 3 are non-binding.  CAUL is seeking only single year agreements. Pricing for years 2 and 3 is required only for indicative forecasting purposes.
  • Agreement Summary (Please provide as a separate document, it will also be added to the License).
    • This summarises CAUL's and the publisher’s expectations regarding the agreement
    • Summarises the PUBLISH component including:
      • background information including the publisher’s Open Access strategy
      • How are authors are made aware of open access provisions prior to and during submission
      • Number of journals included and any exceptions
      • Any automated feeds to discovery systems or Institutional Repositories feeds
      • Any other supporting information
      • Any other value adding services included as part of the offer
    • Summarises the READ component:
      • Journals included and any exceptions
      • Publication years included and archive and backfile access
      • Post Termination Rights
      • List of current CAUL member subscribers
      • Any other value adding services included as part of the offer
  • Letter of Agreement
    • This document includes the letter of agreement between the publisher and CAUL and confirms the license, which is agreed between the publisher and the institution (see below).
  • The License Template
    • This will be the template used as the legally binding agreement between the publisher and the institution. It is best used after the offer has been accepted by the consortium, and individual member participation confirmed.
  • Please note included in the license are:
    • The Agreement Summary (As above)
    • Licence Fees (Schedule 1)
    • Offered titles (Schedule 2)
    • Industry Standards and Obligations (Schedule 3)
    • Open Access Provisions (Schedule 4)

Proposal Submission

When ready to supply, publishers should submit proposals to:
Angus Cook
Content Procurement Manager, CAUL.



File CAUL Fast Track to OA Pricing Template (xlsx, 45.23 KB, last modified 02/09/2020)
File Fast Track License to OA including letter of Agreement (docx, 94.99 KB, last modified 02/09/2020)
File Fast Track License to OA (docx, 92.5 KB, last modified 02/09/2020)
Author Larissa Denham
Last modified 7 September 2020