Over the last twenty years, academic libraries all over the world have carried out projects to begin to make publicly-funded research immediately and freely available to the public. More recently, our peers around the world have begun to accelerate the transition to open access. A new type of publishing model, commonly referred to as a transformative agreement, prioritizes the immediate and open dissemination of publicly funded research, while initiating cost controls that address the rising cost of journal subscriptions
European institutions (including individual libraries, national, and regional consortia) are forging ahead in support of such transformative agreements. More recently, institutions in the United States, such as the University of California, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon University have entered into transformative agreements of varying scope.
The U of T Libraries strongly supports initiatives that eliminate paywalls and reduce the cost of access to taxpayer-funded research and believe it is important to make University of Toronto and Canadian research as widely available as possible. There are many paths towards the large-scale transition to immediate and barrier-free access to research, and a research-intensive institution like U of T requires an individualized approach given its place in the Canadian and international research landscape.
What we have learned from colleagues within the university community deeply engaged in this work is that a strong foundation built on engagement and support from the wider U of T community is critical to this transformation. Additionally, data analysis providing deeper insight into institutional publishing output and the value of this content in light of the current marketplace is another key element.
The University of Toronto partners with other Canadian universities through the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) to negotiate access to journal packages such as Elsevier, Springer, Wiley-Blackwell and Taylor & Francis. CRKN is a partnership of Canadian universities, dedicated to expanding access to digital content for the academic research and teaching enterprise in Canada. This partnership enables Canadian universities to leverage our collective purchasing power. The U of T Libraries works closely with CRKN during its negotiations, and supports CRKN’s Canadian approach to securing equitable access to the results of publicly-funded research and to negotiate a sustainable model for paying for it.
As we watch for further developments from the university community, the University of Toronto Libraries remains committed to working towards these foundational components, and will continue to actively look for ways to engage our faculty, researchers, and students in our own license negotiations as our journal subscription contracts are up for renewal in the coming years.
Questions or comments?
Current UTL services that support OA Publishing:
- Open Access Support at UTL
- Negotiated discounts on article processing charges (APCs)
- Support of U of T’s institutional repository, TSpace
- Tri-Agency Open Access Policy support
- Journal Production Services