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Frequently asked questions for transformative agreements

What is a transformative agreement?
Transformative agreements are contracts negotiated between institutions and publishers that transform the business model underlying scholarly publishing towards a fully open access model. They represent a shift away from a subscription-only model to one which covers both subscription payments and article publication charges.

What do some of the key terms mean?

Article publication charge: The costs associated with high quality open access publishing are covered by article publication charges (APCs). In a transformative agreement, APCs are covered centrally by the institution, within a single payment. Find out more about our publishing costs, and about how we run our peer review.

Gold open access: Gold open access makes the final version of an article freely and permanently accessible for everyone, immediately after publication. IOP Publishing’s (IOPP) transformative agreements provide authors with gold open access publishing.

Hybrid open access journals: Hybrid open access journals are subscription-based journals that allow authors to choose open access at the article level. An APC applies if an author chooses the open access option.

Fully open access journals: Fully open access journals make all published articles immediately free to read and reuse without any subscription charges or access fees. To support the cost of managing peer review and publication, an APC applies. Sometimes these are referred to as gold open access journals.

FAQ's for authors

What benefits will authors get from publishing under a transformative agreement with IOPP?
As well as removing the administrative burden of dealing with invoices for APC’s, authors will benefit from greater visibility and impact for their research. IOPP’s open access articles typically receive 70% higher downloads and 15% higher citations when compared with non-open access articles. Authors can also comply with, and future-proof themselves against, a growing number of funder requirements while retaining their copyright with a CC BY 4.0 license.

How does IOPP identify an author’s eligibility?
We check corresponding authors’ affiliations against all known variations of institution name to ensure we capture eligible articles under an agreement.

Which author is the eligible author?
All our agreements are based on the corresponding author at the time of acceptance. The corresponding author is the author who submits the manuscript and is responsible for communicating with the journal during the submission, peer review, and publication process.

What do authors need to do to take advantage of a transformative agreement?
They simply need to submit their work as they normally would, ensuring that their affiliation is correct at submission, and we will identify if it is eligible, and contact the author to let them know.

What date do you use to decide eligibility?
Eligibility is assessed using the acceptance date of the article.

Is there a grace period for authors who paid an APC just before the transformative agreement was signed?
For an article to be included in the transformative agreement, the acceptance date must be within the license term.

Can authors opt out of open access publishing under the transformative agreement?
Publishing within a TA is always the author’s choice.  In case the benefits are unclear, we encourage authors to read our guide that debunks some of the myths surrounding OA publishing.

Is there a period of time in which the author must opt out?
We encourage corresponding authors to make a decision within 5 days to ensure our excellent author service standards are maintained. However, to publish open access, all authors have to sign a CC BY license associated with their article, so the timing choice is ultimately theirs to make.

What copyright license is applied to articles published through transformative agreements?
Articles published through transformative agreements are published under a CC BY 4.0 license. This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the author’s work, even commercially, as long the original work is appropriately credited. See our short video for more information on signing your copyright form to publish under a transformative agreement.

FAQ's for librarians

How can we find out what has been published under our agreement?
IOPP provides quarterly reports of all articles published under the agreement, complete with relevant metadata.

Customers with access to the OA Switchboard can also monitor their open access publications through their OA Switchboard’s ‘reporting made easy’ service.

What happens if an article is missed? 
In the unlikely case that an article that should have been made open access under the agreement was missed, we will quickly investigate. We will contact the author to request they sign a CC-BY license, which is required before the article can be made open. We will also re-check our identification process. We will make every reasonable effort to correct the error promptly.

Can IOPP include an acknowledgement of the transformative agreement funding on the published articles?
IOPP’s agreement allows the author to mention transformative agreement funding text in their own articles at the author’s discretion.

Where can I find a list of journals that are included in the transformative agreement?
The included journals can be found in your license agreement/proposal. They can also be found on our website here.

Does IOPP provide support during the transformative agreement term?
IOPP’s dedicated staff will work with you to provide resources to help make your agreement a success, and can provide resources including a library toolkit and training workshops.

What happens if an author opts out of publishing open access under the agreement?
If an author opts out, we will make every effort to inform our library partner in case they wish to make direct contact with that author to understand their reasons.

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