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The Road to Open Through Strategic Procurement: Home

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This guide accompanies the poster The Road to Open Through Strategic Procurement (PDF). It expands on the poster content and provides links to relevant documents.

The guide and the poster were created by Angus Cook, Kate Davis and Bob Gerrity for the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).

All content in the guide and poster is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0) licence. Under the licence conditions, please attribute the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).

This poster was originally created for the 15th Berlin Open Access Conference.


The Road to Open Through Strategic Procurement

March 2019

CAUL Statement on Open Scholarship published

CAUL released its first Statement on Open Scholarship in 2010, with updates in 2015 and 2019. 

March 2019

Green light for transformative agreements

At the CAUL Council meeting, CAUL Members indicated support for CAUL to pursue transformative agreements. The CAUL Board endorsed this and it has become a major strategic focus of the Content Procurement service.

June 2019

CAUL Consortium Principles and Framework for Pricing Digital Content published

Developed by the Content Procurement Strategic Advisory Committee, the Principles and Framework serves as a guide for consortium members in the acquisition of digital content in support of the learning, teaching and research programs of the institutions participating in the Consortium.

October 2019

First transformative agreement signed 

The first transformative agreement for Australia and New Zealand was signed with the UK-based Microbiology Society.

January 2020

First two transformative agreements commenced

CAUL-negotiated transformative agreements with Microbiology Society and Portland Press commenced. CAUL was the first library consortium to sign a transformative agreement with the Biochemical Society (Portland Press), the wholly-owned publishing subsidiary of the Biochemical Society.

Throughout 2020

CAUL saved the sector by negotiating 0% increases

A significant downturn in international students and other COVID-19 related disruption had a significant impact across the sector in 2020, and continues to do so in 2021. Budget cuts, redundancies and organisational restructures are occurring across the sector. It is anticipated this will continue for some time. In the face of this straitened financial climate, CAUL negotiated 0% increases on the majority of consortium agreements for 2021.

Late 2020

CAUL’s Fast Track to Open Access Toolkit published 

To accelerate the transition to Open Access, CAUL Procurement Published a framework for publishers to provide pricing and publishing information in a consistent and efficient manner. The toolkit includes

  • Criteria for pricing and licensing Ready & Publish agreements

  • A pricing template

  • A licensing template

  • A proposal template

  • A publication report template.

Proposals submitted under the Fast Track program that meet all the criteria, licensing and pricing requirements can progress to agreement swiftly and with minimum negotiation. The toolkit is based on the SPA-OPS Transformative Agreement Toolkit and amended based on the pilot CAUL agreements.

January 2021

Five additional transformative agreements commenced

CAUL negotiated an additional five transformative agreements that commenced in January, including the first with an Australian publisher, CSIRO.

February 2021

CAUL Position on the End Goal of Open Access to Journal Articles published

The position statement outlines CAUL’s rationale and strategy to achieve the end goal of open access to journal articles, which is articulated as universal, immediate and perpetual open access to the version of record.

April 2021

Procurement Agreement Principles for 2022 Renewals published

Major negotiations commenced for 2022 renewals, underpinned by six principles. The principles aim to reduce costs and/or include OA publishing without an increase in spend. 

May 2021

Return on investment project

CAUL undertook a return on investment project to assess ROI for transformative agreements. Early indications are that there is strong financial ROI as well as increased downloads, Altmetrics, and citations for articles published under CAUL transformative agreements.

August 2021

Read & Publish Agreements Negotiated by CAUL guide published

To support libraries in managing and communicating with stakeholders about CAUL-negotiated Read & Publish agreements, CAUL Produced a guide containing key information about CAUL-negotiated Read & Publish agreements. The guide includes information for libraries and authors. Content for existing agreements will be updated annually and new agreements will be added to the guide as they are negotiated.

The future: January 2022+

Four new transformative agreements expected in 2022

As a result of the current negotiations for 2022 renewals, CAUL is in advanced stages of negotiation for an additional four transformative agreements, two with large publishers and two with mid-sized publishers.

CAUL’s Advancing Open Scholarship program will continue in 2022

Strategic engagement and advocacy work alongside targeted projects keeps us focused on the broader open research agenda. CAUL’s Advancing Open Scholarship program will continue to be a priority in 2022.

ROI work will continue through gathering and analysing data

In 2021/22, CAUL is working to adapt and adopt Jisc’s article level metadata reporting approach.