Fast Track to Open Access

Fast Track to OA Toolkit for Publishers

To accelerate the transition to Open Access, CAUL Procurement is providing a framework for publishers to provide pricing and publishing information in a consistent and efficient manner. 

The tool-kit provides publishers with the following:

Proposals submitted under the Fast Track program that meet all the criteria, licensing and pricing requirements can progress to agreement swiftly and with minimum negotiation. 

This initiative progresses 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 state 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. Ideally, Fast Track proposal pricing should be cost neutral on the subscription cost.

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

Pricing Criteria

All proposals submitted via the Fast Track program must be cost neutral on the subscription cost.  There can be no extra expense on top of existing subscription fees to transition to open access, and no additional fees for publishing. 

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 during the article submission 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 increase 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.


To quickly progress proposals to agreement stage publishers must submit the following completed documents 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.
  • Proposal
    • This summarises CAUL's and the publisher’s expectations regarding the agreement.
    • Publish Component:
      • Background information including the publisher’s Open Access strategy
      • How 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 Repository feeds
      • Any other supporting information
      • Any other value adding services included as part of the offer
    • 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 (included in the License Template)
    • Once discussions are completed, CAUL and the publisher sign a letter of agreement which will confirm the license.  Please note, for Fast-Track agreements, CAUL only signs the Letter of Agreement, not the license itself.  Licenses still need to be signed between the Publishers and each subscribing CAUL member.
  • 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 Proposal (As above)
      • Licence Fees (Schedule 1)
      • Offered titles (Schedule 2)
      • Industry Standards and Obligations (Schedule 3)
      • Open Access Provisions (Schedule 4)
  • Publication Report Template
    • Publishers with Fast-Track Agreements should use the Publication Report Template to report publishing activity during the agreement term.  These reports should be sent to CAUL ideally on a quarterly basis and no less than twice per year (mid year) and as soon as full year data is available the following year.  As an aid to CAUL to complete analytics efficiently and consistently across a number of agreements, CAUL requests that all publishers use the provided template for reporting publishing activity.

Proposal Submission

When ready, publishers should submit proposals to:

Angus Cook
Director, Content Procurement, CAUL.



File Publisher Fast Track Proposal Template (docx, 16.55 KB, last modified 03/03/2021)
PDF icon CAUL Fast-Track License 2.0 July 2022 (pdf, 252.83 KB, last modified 12/10/2022)
File CAUL Fast Track to OA Pricing Template June 2023 (xlsx, 39.43 KB, last modified 29/06/2023)
Author Larissa Denham
Last modified 29 June 2023