Publisher information

Jisc Collections, as the centralised negotiation and licensing service for UK higher and futher education, provides publishers an efficient, cost-effective way to offer digital content to the academic and research communities.

Working with publishers

Our service saves publishers time and effort, allowing more time to build relationships with librarians and users regarding content and resources.

All UK publicly funded higher education institutions are automatically members of Jisc Collections and are eligible to subscribe to the agreements we negotiate for them. Our expertise in negotiation and licensing means institutions can be confident that the terms and conditions of our agreements meet their requirements and can subscribe to your offer without delay.

We also serve as an entry route for new publishers and markets, and for establishing new products. If you are new to us, or would like an overview of how we benefit publishers, our Publisher Engagement Summary and Collections Management Development Policy outline our work with publishers, our content selection and our agreement processes. Publishers also have an access route to provide offers to our affiliate members, which are listed on our banding page.

Publisher Contract and Model Licences

We apply Jisc Model Licences to all agreements. The model was developed with publishers and provides our members with the assurance that the terms and conditions will meet their requirements. The model licence also details the general responsibilities of the publisher including:

  • COUNTER-compliant usage data and aggregated stats
  • Service levels and provision of a helpdesk
  • Compliance with Open URL standard
  • Compliance with accessibility standards
  • UK Access Management Federation
  • Providing complete title list information
  • Providing order details of all institutions taking up the offers
  • Providing title list updates to Link Resolver and A-Z list vendors

The terms and conditions associated with transformative open access agreements are details in our requirements and reiterated in the final license agreement with the publisher.

Once the publisher agreement is finalised, it is made available via our licence subscriptions manager service.

The Jisc Model Licences are developed in collaboration with publishers and institutions to provide security on how content is accessed and used. We are responsible for informing institutions about any changes to the licences as agreed and after negotiation with the publisher.

For journal agreements, we often apply a contract and licence model where the contractual agreement is between a publisher and each institution signing up to one of our agreements. Institutions are required to sign only the Jisc Collections Licence.

Pricing for institutions is based on the Jisc Banding Model.

Industry Standards

We work with publishers to implement a range of industry standards to support the promotion, management, preservation, access and use of e-resources. These standards are drafted and regularly updated in consultation with UK further and higher education libraries and international standards organisations. The standards, and information on the standards, are listed as a responsibility of the publisher within the Jisc Model Licences.

Transnational education licensing service

Our transnational education (TNE) licensing service provides an efficient way of managing the licensing of your resource to students overseas. The service reduces duplication of effort and minimises the time spend on negotiation. Please contact our helpdesk for further guidance.

Open access agreements

We are negotiating to put in place transitional open access agreements with publishers and societies to ensure that researchers can continue to publish in hybrid journals and that the costs to institutions, of both publishing and reading, are affordable and controlled.

Our requirements for transitional agreements are informed by analysis of previous offsetting agreements and have been endorsed by our strategic groups, SCONUL, RLUK and UK universities. Publishers must meet these requirements for an agreement to be deemed transitional. Our Transitional agreements oversight group has been set up to monitor the progress and impact of these agreements.

There are currently several different models for ;transitional agreements. In our negotiations we work with publishers to determine the most suitable model for their agreement.

The Wellcome Trust and UKRI have issued guidance stating that UK institutions, in receipt of their block grants, may use these funds to contribute to the "publish" element of transitional agreements that fulfil our requirements up front. The cost charged to a block grant must be based on the institution's previous APC spend or funded article output.

Requirements for transitional open access agreements

These requirements apply to contracts negotiated in 2020 between institutions, consortia (including Jisc) and publishers for open access journal agreements and are targeted at transitioning hybrid titles to open access (OA). The requirements may be updated in response to developments in higher education, research and changes to funder policies. Jisc will evaluate proposed agreements against these requirements and make the results of the evaluation available online. The evaluation will also make clear if a proposed agreement is compliant with current and prospective research funder's policies. Agreements that meet the requirements and are accepted by the UK HE sector will be registered in the ESAC transformative agreements registry.

1. Agreements must reduce and constrain costs

Academic publishing is a shared endeavour between publishers, research funders, academic staff, and institutions. A global transition to OA requires funders, publishers and institutions to work in unison to implement agreements that offer the maximum benefit with the minimum burden, on public finances, to researchers and institutions. The cost of agreements must reflect the financial circumstances of UK universities and recognise the significant non-cash contribution the sector provides through peer review and editorial services.

Universities are already taking measures to reduce their costs and further increase efficiency through actions including recruitment freezes and tighter spending controls. University and research libraries ask their suppliers to similarly strive for efficiency in order to provide affordable options that reflect the new financial context universities now operate under. Many if not all institutions need to reprioritise investment to respond to fast-changing circumstances and are unable to commit to agreements that lock in library or research funds. The Covid-19 pandemic shows beyond doubt the value of OA to society, not only for public health but to knowledge in all areas.

The agreement must:

  • Enable institutions to publish 100% of their research OA and access paywalled articles for an affordable and sustainable fee. For clarification, the total fee charged for both access to paywalled content and OA publishing must result in a reduction on existing subscription expenditure

  • Offer fair, affordable and sustainable fees for access and publishing services

  • Commit to constraining costs for all elements of the agreement, including APCs. Fees should not reflect payments made for publishing services "in the wild" by individual researchers

  • Recognise that institutions are diverse with differing research profiles. Publishing output can vary dramatically each year

  • Ensure that charges for paywalled content and collections reflect the volume of content made open access - reconciliation of the volume of content made open access should be undertaken each year and reflected in the price paid by all customers

  • Ensure that OA titles remain OA. Public funds and collective efforts have assisted the transformation of titles to OA. OA titles should not revert to paywall access under subscription models

Agreements that include APCs paid by individual researchers or arrangements with illusory or complicated discount mechanisms, such as the application of discount codes, add costs and inefficiencies to the system and must be avoided. We are of the view that models that convert all output to OA and that lessen the number of transactions, particularly by authors, are the most efficient and cost effective.

2. Agreements must be transitional

Publisher proposals must:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to an OA transition through the conversion of subscription expenditure to support immediate open access publication

  • Provide a rapid increase in UK authored articles published OA - 100% of UK output as quickly as possible. Funding by cOAlition S members to support publication fees in transitional agreements will cease on 31 December 2024

  • Demonstrate a commitment to a global transition by offering similar transitional agreements to other institutions, consortia or countries 

  • Show how the agreement breaks the link from legacy pricing models to support the implementation of clear, fair and transparent pricing models more suited to an open access environment

  • Provide permanent full-text access to all content. This is to secure future access and remove the need for publishers and institutions to maintain entitlement records relating to paywalled content

3. Agreements must aid compliance with funder mandates

The agreement must enable institutions and their authors to comply with funder mandates by:

  • Supporting OA via the green route by making the "version of record" first made publicly available (such as on the publisher's website) or the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) openly available immediately in repositories in full alignment with funder policies including the application of CC-BY licensing terms

  • Allowing the author or the author´s institution to retain their copyright and the rights necessary to make a version of the article immediately available under a compliant open licence

  • Implementing processes that assign the specific licensing terms, such as CC-BY, that make clear to the author that the application of the licensing terms is a requirement of funding

  • Joining Jisc Publications Router to provide the systematic transfer of metadata and deposit of full-text articles into repositories 

  • Depositing articles into PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the first publication of the version of record, where applicable, and no more than three months after the date of acceptance

4. Agreements must be transparent

It is in the public interest, not only that publicly funded research has the widest possible reach, but that the costs, progress and details of the transition to open access are openly available. This allows the sector to benchmark, improve processes and better understand where investment or divestment is required. The goal is the implementation of fair, transparent, affordable and sustainable pricing for publishing services.

It will be a requirement of an agreement that the publisher enters into open and transparent conversations with the sector and Jisc on the transition of their portfolio, business models and underlying financial accounting. This will be monitored by the Transitional Agreements Oversight Group. From 1 July 2022, only those publishers which adhere to at least one of the cOAlition S Price Transparency Frameworks will be eligible to receive funds from cOAlition S members and qualify as a transitional agreement.

In advance of consultations with institutions, publisher proposals must provide details by institution of:

  • The number of articles published by each UK institution in all the publisher's journals including, on an article basis, details of article processing fee charges and corresponding author information

  • All available information that identifies whether the research was funded by UK research funders and whether the applicable article processing fee charges was supported by UK research funders

On acceptance of an agreement, details of the costs, pricing models and the agreement terms (contract) will be made publicly available online. The agreement will be logged in the ESAC registry.

Throughout the agreement, the publisher will be contractually obligated to provide the following data:

  • The number of total OA articles published in each journal

  • The number and details of all OA articles published in fully open access and subscriptions journals included and outside the agreement by year

  • Article level data for all articles published by UK authors, including details of which titles have "flipped to OA" that were previously paid for through subscriptions

5. OA content must be discoverable, and agreements must support improvements in service and workflow for authors and administrators

An effective transition to open access is reliant on developments in technical infrastructure and the adoption of national and international standards, which can enable deliver efficiencies for publishers, authors and institutions and enhanced discovery and re-use.

The agreement must:

  • Evidence a commitment to improving the processes and workflows associated with managing open access to deliver greater efficiencies and discovery of open access material

  • Include the service and performance levels stipulated in the Jisc model licence, which reflect several of the ESAC recommendations and provide a compensation mechanism should the agreed levels not be met

The publisher shall be responsible for the identification of eligible authors and eligible articles from a given individual and institution as part of the submission and publication process.

The publisher shall build ORCID, Ringgold or other recognised identifiers into submission, production, and peer review workflows and expose author ORCIDs in published articles and author accepted manuscripts via AI services, CrossRef and other discovery services.

The publisher shall identify eligible authors through at least one of the following parameters:

  • Authors stating their affiliation(s) at article submission 

  • IP ranges

  • Email domain(s)

The publisher undertakes to:

  • Register the article's DOI with CrossRef upon acceptance, and inform all co-authors

  • Identify funders of institutional research by populating funding metadata, including funding body and grant number, in Funding Data (on CrossRef) and on the publisher's site so institutions can report to funders and show compliance levels

  • Include clear licensing terms at article level to ensure institutional readers/users understand what they may do with a given article and that repository staff and related services can act upon the correct article licensing terms. Article level information is required for each version of the article and ideally by populating the LicenseRef metadata on CrossRef as well as in a human-readable form

Models for transitional open access agreements

This list includes models currently in use or in development. Our aim is to explore with publishers how these models can be applied to ensure a sustainable way to achieve full and immediate open access. Please see the options at the bottom of this page for more information

Transformative agreements (see 1-3) 

At their most basic, transformative open access agreements should move funds previously paid for subscriptions to pay for OA publishing.  

Other transitional models (see 4-5) 

Several other models seek to make content openly available without moving the burden of payment to the "authors" or content creators. 

Other compliant models (see 6-8) 

Transformative agreements or other transitional models may not work for all publishers or be affordable for institutions. Other options allow for compliance with UK funder policies from January 2021.