Researcher with laptop - publishing

May 25, 2021, by Rob Ounsworth

New publishing opportunities for researchers

Guest blog by Tony Simmonds, Senior Research Librarian, Faculty of Social Sciences

A quiet revolution is unfolding in how research is published and consumed. Publisher by publisher, new articles are appearing by virtue of a novel business model.

Steered by Plan S, which crystallises funders’ resolve to share research widely and quickly, the university is signing up to more and more agreements that transform the terms of scholarly comms. Three of the four largest journal publishers – Springer, Wiley and most recently Taylor & Francis – are now operating such ‘transformative agreements’ (also known as ‘read and publish’ deals). The largest, Elsevier, has opened negotiations in the UK too.

Plan S logo

These deals matter because they shift revenue from paying to read articles (via subscriptions) to paying for open access publication. This dismantles paywalls that have blocked access to discoveries for many. It also eliminates the burden on authors of figuring out how to pay open access costs and then handling invoices: terms can differ, but if a transformative agreement exists for your chosen journal then by and large there will be no one-off fee to manage.

For all the agreements that the University has signed so far, this applies equally whether the research underpinning the article was grant-funded or not.

Guidance before you publish

University of Nottingham Libraries maintains a list of live transformative agreements here. Please consult this webpage ahead of publishing your next article for guidance on the provisions of any deal, and actions you may need to take in order to benefit.

For further advice, please email

Posted in research