21. February 2022

OA2020 Equity Working Group Project Brief



Seeking pathways to more rapidly achieve the open information environment envisioned in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, institutions worldwide have joined in the Open Access 2020 Initiative (OA2020), an international effort that aims to transition today’s scholarly journals from the current subscription (paywall) system to new open access publishing models. 

Institutions pursue this transformation process by converting resources currently spent on journal subscriptions into funds to support sustainable OA business models. Accordingly, their libraries and library consortia are negotiating transformative agreements (TAs) with scholarly publishers in which former subscription payments are repurposed to cover open access publishing of the research articles by the institution’s or country’s authors–in addition to reading access to content. 

Fortified with community guidelines and local negotiation principles, their TAs have massively increased the amount of new research made openly available to the world and significantly reduced and, in most cases, eliminated open access publishing fees for their authors.

Yet as these agreements drive scholarly publishing toward an irreversible flip to open access, participants in OA2020, together with other partners, wish to explore mechanisms to ensure that the scholarly journal publishing ecosystem to which they are contributing is accessible not only to readers but also to authors, globally. 


Building on the progress made with transformative agreements, publisher negotiations are an opportunity for institutions, their libraries and library consortia to define principles that drive practices of equity, inclusion and diversity in scholarly journal publishing. The objective of the present effort is to lay the groundwork for drafting such community principles. Following a transparent and inclusive process of drafting, vetting and launch, it is the hope of the working group, that such principles will inspire practical strategies and partnerships among institutions and their libraries, funders and publishers that ensure researchers everywhere have the opportunity and means to publish their peer-reviewed research articles openly in the journals most appropriate for their research under economic conditions that are fair and equitable.

Working Group participants

Kunhua Zhao
Open Access Specialist, National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Nicolás Duque Buitrago 
Library Director (former)
Teacher in the Department of Philosophy, Universidad de Caldas

Melkamu Beyene Ababu (PhD)
Director, Addis Ababa University Library 
Chairperson, Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (CEARL)

Colleen Campbell
Open Access 2020 and ESAC Initiatives
Max Planck Digital Library, Max Planck Society

Nina Chachu
Head Librarian, Ashesi University
Vice-Chair, Management Committee, Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH)

Arnold Mwanzu
Regional Librarian, East Africa at Aga Khan University
Kenya Libraries and Information Services Consortium (KLISC)

Rima Kupryte, Director 
Iryna Kuchma, Open Access Programme Manager
Romy Beard, Licensing Programme Manager (former)
Lorraine Estelle, Licensing Programme Manager (current)
EIFL – Electronic Information for Libraries
Lithuania (head office)

Jagadish Aryal
Librarian, Social Science Baha Library
Nepal Library and Information Consortium

David Bukenya
Deputy University Librarian and Head of Library Systems, Uganda Christian University
Consortium of Uganda University Libraries

Ellen Finnie
Director of Shared Collections, California Digital Library
United States of America

Curtis Brundy
Associate University Librarian, Iowa State University
United States of America

Last updated: September 2021