SMHS Library Resources

Updates and information from your health sciences library

Read and Publish Agreements

A couple weeks ago, we shared a post about the publishing industry and open access. The post pointed out the huge profit margins of major journal publishing firms and highlighted several library-led initiatives to counter the cycle of paying the researcher and paying to get the research. Another of the ways in which academic libraries like ours are attempting to limit this double-dipping by publishers is entering into “read and publish” agreements.

Read and publish agreements are one type of transformative agreement that libraries are requesting. All types of transformative agreements are based on the premise that publishing industry practices are not sustainable and contracts needs to transform towards open access. Read and publish agreements aim to strike a balance between article processing charges (APCs), fees paid by researchers (authors) to make their content open access, and ever-increasing journal subscription rates. UND and the School of Medicine & Health Sciences have followed this trend and entered into read and publish contracts with several publishers. To date, these are Annual Reviews (AR), Cambridge University Press )(CUP), and The Company of Biologists (TCoB).

What does this mean for me as a researcher?

Annual Reviews

  • Subscribe to Open (S2O) agreement, which converts new volumes to open access with sufficient support from enough subscribers. Continued support is required for journals to remain open on a year-to-year basis.
  • Our read access covers most journals in the Science Collection
  • Instructions for authors at AR

Cambridge University Press (through partnership with Lyrasis)

The Company of Biologists

Do you want to learn more? Borrego and Abadal (2021) have written a nice history of transformative agreements. Looking for something more concise? Check out our Scholarly Publishing Guide and talk to your education librarian.


Borrego, Á., Anglada, L. and Abadal, E. (2021), Transformative agreements: Do they pave the way to open access?. Learned Publishing, 34: 216-232.

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