EUA webinar series: Universities and the future of scholarly publishing

8 June 2021 – 14.00 to 15.30 CEST

This third webinar of the series "Universities and the future of scholarly publishing" looked into the ins and outs of the different types of transformative agreements with large and small publishers. It also explored their potential to flip scholarly publishing to Open Access.

The scholarly publishing sector is experiencing a transition to new forms of business models, with traditional subscription big deals being increasingly replaced with so-called transformative agreements. This is accompanied by a push through policies such as Plan S.

Building on the results of the study on future scenarios for scholarly publishing, this EUA webinar took stock of these changes. It focused on the risks and opportunities as the sector moves towards a combination of publishing and subscription agreements. In detail, participants discussed the fields of diversity and competition, affordability, as well as the sustainable operation of smaller publishers. Particular attention was paid to the implications for universities and consortia and how they can navigate the transition.

A recording of the webinar is available on our EUA Youtube Channel.

Panellists and presentation:

  • Liz Ferguson, Vice President of Open Research, Wiley
  • Jens-Peter Gaul, Secretary General, German Rectors‘ Conference HRK, for Projekt DEAL
  • Jack Hyland, Manager, IReL
  • Stephan Kuster, Head of Institutional Relations, Frontiers
  • Claire Moulton, Publisher, The Company of Biologists

Chaired by Stephane Berghmans, EUA, Director for Research & Innovation

From 18 May until 15 June, EUA hosted the webinar series “Universities and the future of scholarly publishing”.

18 May: Webinar I - Into the unknown: most likely futures for Open Access publishing
25 May: Webinar II - Universities and the promises of scholar-led publishing
8 June: Webinar III - Quo vadis, transformative agreements?
15 June: Webinar IV - Let’s get practical: aligning institutional action with Plan S (The final webinar is reserved to EUA members upon invitation.)

Scholarly publishing began experiencing a transition long before the Covid-19 crisis showed the power of Open Access in advancing knowledge amidst a global pandemic. The move away from the traditional subscription model has been happening now for several years. New types of Open Access agreements - replacing the traditional big deals - are emerging around the globe. This new landscape is complex and its future is uncertain. Scholarly publishing is entering into uncharted waters, with publishers big and small experimenting with flipped business models, and research organisations and communities proactively building alternative means of scholarly communication.

Universities, through their dual role as hosts of researchers and economic actors in scholarly communication, can be a crucial factor in determining which course scholarly publishing will take. Collective action from universities, as part of consortia or as actors determining institutional publishing policies, can and has had an impact.

EUA has been a vocal supporter of Open Access for years and continues in this role. The Association’s positon “Universities without walls – A vision for 2030” stresses the commitment of Europe’s universities to Open Science as the new normal, promoting and supporting a diverse publishing system. Open Science is a core element of the EUA Strategic Plan and a crucial part of its “Perspectives on the new European Research Area”.

Following the strategic reflections in the 2020 report “Read & Publish contracts in the context of a dynamic scholarly publishing system”, EUA is offering a series of webinar discussions about the role of universities in determining the future of scholarly publishing. The webinar series aims to raise awareness across universities about their role in developing an Open Access publishing system and to engage in a discussion with universities, consortia, funders, researchers, publishers and other stakeholders.

Divided in four events, the first three webinars will be organised as foresight-oriented, strategic discussions. The fourth and final event, in partnership with Coalition S, will focus on addressing imminent and practical questions about universities and the implementation of Plan S.

The EUA webinar series will be of interest to university and library leadership, leaders in scholarly communication and publishing and anyone else interested in Open Access.

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