What is a Transformative Agreement?
A transformative agreement is a contract that tries to shift the payment from a library (or group of libraries) to a publisher. In a nutshell, transformative agreements are a shift away from pay to read (subscription cost) toward pay to publish (article processing charge). In some cases, transformative agreements are a way for publishers to transition their traditional subscription journals to fully open access.
Principles of transformative agreements usually include items related to copyright ownership and transparency:
Transformative agreements are usually described as "Read and Publish" or "Publish and Read".
A Read and Publish agreement is where a publisher receives es payment for reading and payment for publishing bundled into the same contract. This bundling brings payment for publishing into a contractual arrangement rather than being addressed by each individual author who is choosing to publish open access. These agreements redirect funds previously spent on a subscription cost to a publishing cost.
A Publish and Read agreement is an agreement in which the publisher receives payment only for publishing, and reading is included for no additional cost.
For both agreements, the goal of libraries is to either reduce the cost to access the journals' content, or at least keep the contract cost-neutral to a traditional subscription cost. Open-access is also a key objective for negotiating transformative agreements.