CSHL Menu

Transformative Agreements

photo of CSHL campus with CSHL Press logo

A Transformative Model for High-Quality Open Access Publishing in the Biological Sciences

“A sustainable path to open publication of biomedical research is a long-sought objective among the many science communication initiatives at Cold Spring Harbor. Our transformational offerings provide a model for any research-intensive institution whose scientists wish to make their articles openly available in these long-established, prestigious, not-for-profit journals.”

— Dr. John Inglis, Publisher of CSHL Press, co-founder of bioRxiv and medRxiv

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press is exploring new types of online licensing arrangements with research institutions and libraries that incorporate an Open Access (OA) publishing program for authors. These “transformative” agreements offer, for a single annual payment, full access to the complete collection of CSHL Press subscription journals and an OA publishing option for corresponding authors of accepted papers that eliminates or greatly reduces any article publication charges (APCs) or OA publishing fees, which will be covered by the institutional license agreement. The goal, over time, is to maintain the highest standards of publishing in the biological sciences while reducing the reliance on traditional subscription payments and expanding the output of Open Access research.

If you are interested in discussing such an arrangement for your institution or group, please email Stephanie Novara or Doug LaFrenier at dlafrenier@cshjournals.org

Transformative Agreements: Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for Librarians

  1. What are transformative agreements, and how do libraries and authors benefit?
  2. What types of articles are eligible for Open Access publication under a Transformative License Agreement?
  3. Which CSHL Press journals are available under a Transformative License Agreement?
  4. Is my library or institution eligible to participate?
  5. How can authors tell if they are eligible for Open Access?
  6. Do we require institutions to approve publication/charges if an author’s manuscript is accepted for OA publication?
  7. What if an author’s paper is rejected? Is there an editorial process to publish papers of value that can save authors resubmission to other journals or publishers?
  8. What is the OA Switchboard (OAS)?
  9. Are there any special features of a Transformative License with CSHL Press?
  10. My institution is interested; how do we get started?

FAQ for Authors

  1. What is Open Access publishing? How is it different from traditional journal publishing?
  2. What are my options for Open Access publishing with CSHL Press?
  3. How are my OA options different under a Transformative License Agreement?
  4. How do I benefit as a researcher from a Transformative License Agreement? As an author?
  5. How do I know if my institution has a Transformative License Agreement with CSHL Press?
  6. What types of articles are eligible for Open Access publication under a Transformative License Agreement?
  7. Which CSHL Press journals are available for OA publishing under a Transformative License Agreement?
  8. How do I submit an article for publication under a Transformative license with my institution?

FAQ for Librarians

  1. What are transformative agreements, and how do libraries and authors benefit?
    • Transformative License Agreements offer a path toward greater Open Access publishing by encouraging authors of accepted papers to opt for OA publication: first, by building this option into the workflow of accepted manuscripts; second, by removing or reducing any author-facing publication charges; and third, by enabling authors to retain copyright over their own works. Libraries see tremendous benefits as well. They typically gain access to the complete collection of CSHL Press journals, often expanding their current subscription portfolio, while holding costs steady over a multiyear term; and they support the transition to Open Access scholarship by helping to expand their authors’ output of OA content.
  2. What types of articles are eligible for Open Access publication under a Transformative License Agreement?
    • Fully peer-reviewed research, review, and case-study articles, accepted for publication, are eligible for Open Access publishing. Editorials, comments, protocols, methods, and similar material are not eligible.
  3. Which CSHL Press journals are available under a Transformative License Agreement?
    • CSHL Press offers transformative agreements that include access to two review and one methods journal:
      • CSH Perspectives in Biology (launched 2009) ranks in first quartile of journals in Cell Biology*
      • CSH Perspectives in Medicine (launched 2013) ranks in first quartile of journals in Research & Experimental Medicine*
      • CSH Protocols (launched 2006) covering all biology disciplines (does not receive Impact Factor), includes proven, peer-reviewed recipes, techniques, and protocols from legendary CSHL courses and working scientists
    • Corresponding Authors from licensed institutions may submit to the following journals, with the option to publish an unlimited number of Open Access research articles:
      • Genes & Development (launched 1987) ranks #3 among research (non-review) journals in the field of Developmental Biology and is one of the “Top 20” Cell Biology journals*
      • Genome Research (launched 1991) ranks #7 among research journals in the field of Genetics and Biotechnology and is one of the “Top 15” Molecular Biology journals*
      • RNA (launched 1995) ranks in second quartile of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology category*
      • Learning & Memory (launched 1994) ranks in second quartile of Neurosciences category*
      • CSH Molecular Case Studies (launched 2016), an open access journal of research and treatments in precision medicine

    *Journal Citation Reports Impact Factor Data © Clarivate

  4. Is my library or institution eligible to participate?
    • Institutions that subscribe to at least four CSHL Press titles (or the equivalent) are eligible for a Transformative License Agreement proposal.
  5. How can my authors tell if they are eligible for Open Access publication?
    • Upon acceptance of a corresponding author’s paper, the author will be informed of his or her Open Access publishing options. They can indicate their choice to publish OA at no APC charge when they submit their License to Publish form.
  6. Do we require institutions to approve publication/charges if an author’s manuscript is accepted for publication by a CSHL Press research journal?
    • No, approval is not required. In most cases all fees are covered under the terms of the agreement.
  7. What if an author’s paper is rejected? Is there an editorial process to publish papers of value that can save authors resubmission to other journals or publishers?
    • The high-quality standards of CSHL Press’s research journals can limit acceptance of many papers. However, CSHL Press, in partnership with EMBO Press and Rockefeller University Press, has established a new journal, Life Science Alliance (LSA). Although editorially independent, editors at LSA work closely with editors of CSHL Press journals to offer seamless transfer of papers, including pre—peer review consultations that provide authors with a high degree of certitude for rapid review and publication in LSA.
  8. What is the OA Switchboard (OAS)?
    • OAS is a nonprofit data-exchange service to facilitate communications between key stakeholders in OA publishing, including publishers, academic institutions, and research funding organizations. Many of our transformative partner institutions are using OAS already and we encourage broad participation in order to simplify messaging and reporting among the parties. More information can be found here: https://www.oaswitchboard.org/
  9. Are there any special features of a Transformative License Agreement with CSHL Press?
    • Licensees have the option to create a branded channel in the preprint server bioRxiv, which will include all preprints submitted to bioRxiv and medRxiv by your authors.
  10. My institution is interested; how do we get started?
    • CSHL Press works with both library consortia and with individual institutions to customize transformative agreements that meet the specific needs of customers. If you are interested in discussing such an arrangement for your institution or group, please email Stephanie Novara at novara@cshl.edu or Doug LaFrenier at dlafrenier@cshjournals.org.

FAQ for Authors

  1. What is Open Access publishing? How is it different from traditional journal publishing?
    • In the traditional model, libraries pay subscription fees for access to journal content for all users in their institutions. Under the Open Access model, publication costs are usually borne by the author or grant funder and the published research is immediately free for anyone in the world to read.
  2. What are my options for Open Access publishing with CSHL Press?
    • Transformative License Agreements simplify the payment process for authors who wish to publish Open Access papers, but the option to publish OA does not depend on one. Open Access is currently available to any author of an accepted paper in Genes & Development, Genome Research, Learning & Memory, RNA, and CSH Molecular Case Studies upon payment of an Article Publication Charge (APC) and an OA publishing fee.
  3. How are my OA options different under a Transformative License Agreement?
    • If your institution has a Transformative License Agreement with CSHL Press, you may opt for Open Access publishing of any accepted paper without paying APC or OA publishing fees, which will be covered by the institutional license agreement. There is little to no administrative burden on authors.
  4. How do I benefit as a researcher from a Transformative License Agreement? As an author?
    • Under a Transformative license agreement, researchers typically gain access to the full collection of a publisher’s journals, beyond what their institutions had been subscribing to. And they gain the important benefit of publishing their accepted papers as Open Access, so they are immediately free to read around the world. In addition, OA papers are published under a CC-BY license (a Creative Commons noncommercial license), which allows redistribution and reuse of the paper as long as the author is appropriately credited. Further, transformative agreements usually remove any author-facing payment requirements, as these are now covered in their institution’s license agreement.
  5. How do I know if my institution has a Transformative License Agreement with CSHL Press?
    • Please click this Institutions link to see if your institution participates in a Transformative License Agreement with CSHL Press.
  6. What types of articles are eligible for Open Access publication under a Transformative License Agreement?
    • Fully peer-reviewed research articles, accepted for publication, are eligible for Open Access publishing in Genes & Development, Genome Research, Learning & Memory, RNA, and CSH Molecular Case Studies. Review articles, protocols, editorials, and similar material are not eligible.
  7. Which CSHL Press journals are available for OA publishing under a Transformative License Agreement?
    • Corresponding authors from licensed institutions may submit to the following journals, with the option to publish an unlimited number of Open Access research articles:
      • Genes & Development (launched 1987) ranks #3 among research (non-review) journals in the field of Developmental Biology and is one of the “Top 20” Cell Biology journals*
      • Genome Research (launched 1991) ranks #7 among research journals in the field of Genetics and Biotechnology and is one of the “Top 15” Molecular Biology journals*
      • RNA (launched 1995) ranks in second quartile of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology category*
      • Learning & Memory (launched 1994) ranks in second quartile of Neurosciences category*
      • CSH Molecular Case Studies (launched 2016), an open access journal of research and treatments in precision medicine

      *Journal Citation Reports Impact Factor Data © Clarivate

  8. How do I submit an article for publication under a Transformative License Agreement with my institution?
    • There is no change in submission procedures. See the “Information for Authors” link at each journal homepage (click on any title in Question #7, above.) If your article is accepted for publication, you will then be informed of your Open Access publishing options.