Open Access Agreements and Licenses Task Force


The Open Access landscape is evolving rapidly making it difficult for organizations to keep abreast of the changes. As a part of this landscape, a number of research institutions and consortia around the world are looking into how they can support open access through direct agreements with publishers. These agreements currently take the form of:

  • Licensing language that allows authors and/or institutions to retain rights to deposit copies of publications (“self-archive”) in open access repositories (disciplinary and/or institutional).
  • Publishers terms for access and reuse (i.e. to enable text mining, hyperlinking, copying, distribution, derived works etc.)
  • Memberships with open access publishers
  • Agreements with publishers for direct deposit into repositories (disciplinary and/or institutional)
  • Agreements with subscription-based publishers to publish with open access option (Hybrid Open Access Journals)
  • Other types of cooperative agreements for open access (i.e. SCOAP3)

This multi-stakeholder Task Force, initiated and supported by COAR, with members representing a number of different types of organizations (libraries, licensing agencies, library associations, and open access groups) with a common interest in promoting sustainable and effective practices for open access.

The purpose of the Task Force is to monitor, evaluate and promote the implementation of effective open access agreements and licenses in order to improve access to research papers globally.

Completed Work and publications

Related Working Groups


  • Leader: Kathleen Shearer, Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), Canada


  • Anjana Bhatt, Florida Gulf Coast University, United States
  • Lars Bjornshauge, SPARC Europe, Netherlands
  • Ralf Flohr, ZBW – German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Germany
  • Saskia Franken, Utrecht University Library, Netherlands
  • Paul Harwood, Jisc, United Kingdom
  • Kristine Hillenkötter, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
  • Anna Lundén, Kungliga Biblioteket / National Library of Sweden, Sweden
  • Mayya Revzina, The World Bank, United States
  • Hildegard Schäffler, Bayrische Staatsbibliothek München, Germany
  • Ralf Schimmer, Max Planck Digital Library, Germany
  • Birgit Schmidt, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
  • Yan Zhao, National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China

Work Plan

  • Document the variety of institutional and consortia OA agreements with publishers.
  • Assess the value of these various agreements and make recommendations regarding their efficacy. (For example, agreements will be evaluated based on their impact on cost and risks, with the aim of maximizing the benefits of these agreements for all parties)
  • Develop strategies that will promote the use of recommended agreements and clauses.
  • Gather evidence that would support the acceptance of OA agreements by publishers.
  • Identify tools, workflows and procedures for the implementation of clauses or OA agreements.
  • Summarize recommendations and make available to the public.
  • If appropriate, the Task Force will work with others (e.g. publishers) in order to meet our goals

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