Community of Practice

Community of Practice for Negotiating and Implementing OA and Transformative Agreements

The OA2020 Community of Practice was established to expand the shared knowledge and implementation of OA (open access) and transformative agreement principles and mechanisms.

The number of new open access and transformative agreements is rapidly growing, yet an understanding of how they work is far from universal.  Mutual exchanges of ideas, tactics, and a deeper knowledge of the current and potential models will foster opportunities for open access publishing on a larger scale. 

Experienced OA and transformative agreement pioneers share their experiences and approaches and collaboratively address emerging issues and models. Collectively, the Community discusses such topics as the importance of data analysis in agreements, faculty and institutional buy-in, and the impact of shifting funding models and workflows into open access.

All are welcome to participate.

May 2, 2023: Open Access Agreements: Impact and Lessons Learned from North American Institutions

The presenters will share progress, challenges, and adjustments to the open access agreement approach of their organizations. This will include thoughts on the new OSTP Nelson memo, as well as on equitable open access, which has emerged as an important goal for many libraries and publishers.


  • Laura Hanscom, MIT
  • Craig Olsvik, Canadian Research Knowledge Network
  • Mathew Willmott, California Digital Library
  • Keith Webster, Carnegie Mellon University

Presenter slides from the Webinar:

October 27, 2022: Resources for Open Access Agreements and Workflows from ESAC

The OA2020 US Community of Practice held a webinar on October 27 at 11:00 PST / 2:00 PM EST / 8:00 PM CET: Resources for Open Access Agreements and Workflows from ESAC, featuring Ádám Dér of the Max Planck Digital Library and the ESAC Team, and Maureen Walsh of The Ohio State University Libraries. 

See the materials from the webinar below.

ESAC is an open community of information professionals dedicated to putting the vision of open access to research into practice. In this webinar, you’ll learn about the numerous resources ESAC provides to help academic and research institutions in negotiating and managing open access publishing agreements, including the ESAC transformative agreement registry

In addition to Ádám’s overview of ESAC resources, Maureen Walsh will talk about how The Ohio State University Libraries has utilized the ESAC Registry including to share their own transformative agreements.

ESAC is focused on:

  • Optimizing open access publishing workflows for authors and libraries
  • Promoting standards and good practice related to data exchange and analysis
  • Increasing transparency around the market conditions in scholarly publishing
  • Sharing experience and insights to make our publisher negotiations more impactful
  • Building capacity in libraries and consortia to prepare for a fully open access paradigm

The ESAC community includes library practitioners who collaborate to produce open resources and who exchange experiences and insights via mentorship, dedicated working groups and other activities focusing on open access author and library workflows, data gathering and analytics, agreement terms, and stakeholder engagement.


  • Ádám Dér is a member of the licence management team of the Max Planck Digital Library, where his main responsibilities are in publisher negotiations to advance the open access transition in scholarly publishing. In this role he is involved in a broad range of strategic activities, including data analyses and financial modelling. He is an expert advisor on data analytics and workflows in the ESAC Initiative, and contributes to a variety of community and industry efforts. Prior to his role at MPDL, he served as Head of Development of the Hungarian EISZ Consortium.
  • Maureen Walsh (she/her) is an Associate Professor and Scholarly Sharing Strategist for The Ohio State University Libraries. She co-leads the University Libraries Transforming the Scholarly Publishing Economy strategic initiative.

Materials from the webinar

April 27, 2022 Discussion: OA Toolkit for Agreements with Smaller Independent Publishers

Please join us for a lively discussion on April 27 from 1 to 2 p.m. Eastern Time about a new toolkit to foster Open Access agreements with smaller independent publishers such as society publishers without a larger publishing partner, university presses, library presses, and small independent presses. The toolkit was developed by four task and finish groups composed of librarians and publishers, sponsored by cOAlition S and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), and facilitated by Information Power. We’ll get a quick overview of the toolkit, hear from people involved in its development about how it evolved how they hope it will be used, and then discuss whether and how it can help us advance Open Access.

Commenting on the launch of the toolkit Colleen Campbell, coordinator of the OA2020 Initiative, said: “In order to foster a diverse, open scholarly publishing landscape, libraries and consortia need to broaden the scope of their negotiation strategies to embrace smaller independent publishers, but tailoring each agreement can take considerable time and resources. Shared standards and greater automation are required, and these tools give us a sound foundation from which to build.”

The toolkit addresses this need for automation with the following materials:

  • A report (download or view), containing shared principles for developing an OA agreement; a data template;  six example licenses ready to be used and adapted as necessary; and a list of the many librarians and publishers who have contributed to the development of the toolkit. 
  • A detailed workflow (download or view) providing an overview of the entire process, from contract negotiation to achieving compliance with funder policies and reporting to libraries.


  • Lorraine Estelle (Information Power)
  • Celeste Feathers (Lyrasis)
  • Miguel Peralta (Rockefeller University Press)
  • Judy Russell (Smathers Libraries, University of Florida)
  • Alicia Wise (Information Power)

March 10, 2022 Discussion: What do you want from the Community of Practice?

The OA2020 US Working Group plans to relaunch its Community of Practice in 2022 and wants to hear from you on what format and topics will be most useful to you as your library explores and undertakes agreements with publishers to enable a transition to open access.  At our meetings we aim to have less presentation and more discussion, and we hope that the discussions will include engagement with colleagues from outside the US.

Please join us on Thursday, March 10, 1–2 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific, where the convenors of the Community of Practice will suggest a few possible future directions before opening the floor to hear from you on what you want!

Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

May 27, 2021 Meeting: Transformative Agreements and Institutional Open Access Policies, Principles, and Strategies

Thursday, May 27, 1–2 p.m. Eastern Time

In March 2021 the University of California announced a four-year transformative agreement with Elsevier covering reading access and open-access publishing for UC authors. While there continues to be significant discussion over the merits of UC’s approach, one aspect of this agreement that has not been widely discussed is how it relates to UC’s open access policies for research articles written by anyone employed by UC.

Given the great interest in UC’s agreement and policies, this event focused on helping attendees understand the mechanics of UC’s approach to furthering open access to scholarship. Ellen Finnie, Open Access Publisher Agreements Manager for the UC Office of Scholarly Communication, provided a brief presentation on the interaction of the transformative agreement and UC’s OA policies, principles, and strategies, followed by plenty of time for discussion.

This event was co-sponsored by the OA2020 US Working Group and Community of Practice and the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI).

Links mentioned during the presentation:

March 8, 2021 Meeting: Business models and transition mechanisms in open access and transformative agreements (part 2)

This was the second in a two part series focusing on open access business models. Each call in the two part series featured three publisher representatives who described the importance of central (library-publisher) agreements for open access publishing, the mechanics of the business models they are adopting, how they arrived at the model, and progress to date.

Our speakers for Part 2 were:

  • Malavika Legge, Director of Publishing, Biochemical Society | Portland Press
  • David Fisher, VP, Research Sales, Americas & Global Sales Partnerships, Wiley
  • Scott Delman, ACM Director of Publications, Assoc. Computing Machinery

February 23, 2021 Follow-up Meeting: Publication and financial data gathering: An analysis for strategic considerations of OA and transformative agreements

Presented by: Keith Webster and Mat Willmott

Facilitators: Mat Willmott, Eric Schares, and Curtis Brundy

This event was open only to participants of the July 2020 meeting.

January 19, 2021 Meeting: Business models and transition mechanisms in open access and transformative agreements (part 1)

This was the first in a two part series focusing on open access business models. Each call in the two part series featured three publisher representatives who described the importance of central (library-publisher) agreements for open access publishing, the mechanics of the business models they are adopting, how they arrived at the model, and progress to date.

Our speakers for Part 1 were:

  • Sara Rouhi, Director of Strategic Partnerships, PLOS
  • John Edwards, Open Research Sales Manager, Cambridge University Press
  • Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-In-Chief, Annual Reviews

October 20, 2020 Pre-conference Workshop at the 2020 Charleston Conference: How to successfully negotiate and implement transformative and central open access publishing agreements

Presented by: Colleen Campbell, Mat Willmott, Curtis Brundy, Mike Hawthorne, and Cheryl Ball

September 30, 2020 Meeting: Stakeholder alignment in preparation for negotiating open access agreements

  • Recording (provide a name and email address to access)

Links mentioned during the presentation:

July 10, 2020 Meeting: How to gather, analyze and use publication data for negotiating open access agreements

May 14, 2020 Meeting: Negotiating and Implementing OA and Transformative Agreements