MDPI Co-Signed Position Statement on Transformative Agreements

The advantages of the open access model of scientific publishing are being increasingly recognized in the scientific community. It allows new scientific evidence to be accessed from the moment of publication for free by anyone around the globe, boosting the impact of new research. In response, many funders, libraries and universities have been adopting new principles to accelerate the transition to open access.

Recently, “transformative agreements” have been negotiated between traditional publishers and various institutions. While increasing the number of open access papers, these agreements lack binding commitments to a full transition to open access, their conditions vary across different regions, and access is still limited for many users.

MDPI is a co-signatory of the recent position statement raising concerns about potential downsides of transformative agreements and how they may delay a full transition to open access. The statement highlights that these models “risk perpetuating current limitations on access, transparency and market competitiveness, while simultaneously facilitating excessive charges on the public purse”.

As a pioneering open access journal publisher, MDPI is the first to promote the importance of science being made available to everyone. Our peer-reviewed journals, covering diverse academic disciplines, are fully accessible to the public free of charge under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). This is why, along with other open access publishers, MDPI is a proud signatory of the position paper and is committed to contributing to the replacement of weak transitional agreements with “agreements with publishers that are already fully committed to open science and who offer full, immediate and transparent Open Access”.

Read the position paper here