18. November 2019

OA2020 Progress Report


Latest update: December 21, 2020

In December 2020, the OA2020 Community came together to reflect on the progress made toward our shared objective of transitioning today’s scholarly journals to open access.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • The OA2020 community has demonstrated that transformative and other transitional agreements are truly viable strategy to achieve open access on a large scale in a matter of a few short years.
  • There are challenges, but with each step forward, we gain a new vantage point. Through our alignment as a global community of stakeholders we can address these challenges.
  • Our next milestone will be achieved with the proliferation of transformative and transitional agreements, to make the transition irreversible.
  • Transformative agreements with traditional subscription publishers need to be complemented by extended support for new and improved fully open access publishing venues and platforms

The 15th Berlin Open Access Conference in the Spring of 2021 will be our next opportunity to come together to explore these and other topics more deeply and share our progress.

View the slides highlighting the progress of OA2020 here (.pdf).

Watch the video featuring regional perspectives from OA2020 champions around the world on our collective impact and insights into their local efforts!

With contributions from:

Rima Kupryte Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL)
Ahmed Bawa Universities South Africa, South Africa
J.K. Vijayakumar and Nevena Tomic King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudia Arabia
Dale Askey University of Alberta, Canada
Yan Zhao National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P. R. China
Liam Earney Jisc Collections, United Kingdom
Johan Rooryck cOAlition S
Anna Lundén National Library of Sweden, Sweden
Jun Adachi National Institute of Informatics, Japan
Curtis Brundy Iowa State University, United States of America
Milan Vasiljevic and Alwaleed Alkhaja Qatar National Library, Qatar
Hwanmin Kim Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), South Korea
Francisco Mora Technical University of Valencia, Spain
César Rendón Consorcio Colombia, Colombia
Ivy Anderson California Digital Library, University of California, United States of America


Number of articles covered by transformative agreements. Visualization by Ádám Dér, Max Planck Digital Library. Data from ESAC Registry of Transformative Agreements, retrieved on December 10, 2020.


OA2020 has gained consensus and forged alignments among key stakeholders worldwide

Signing the OA2020 Expression of Interest in the Large Scale Implementation of Open Access to Scholarly Journals is an opportunity for self-reflection that over 150 umbrella organizations representing thousands of universities and research institutions across all continents of the world have taken. These institutions have forged new alignments within their own organizations and as part of our global network—uniting researchers, libraries and library consortia, administrators, funders and other political entities around the shared objective to liberate the money currently invested in subscription paywalls and enable authors to publish the results of their research openly.

Our community includes other open access initiatives, such as SciELO and Open Access India; many of the funding organizations that are part of cOAlition S; and the EIFL consortium which brings together libraries in developing and transition economy countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America—just to name a few.

United in the recognition that a multiplicity of approaches must be implemented in order to reach our shared goal, the African Open Science Platform, AmeLiCA, ScieLO, cOAlition S and OA2020 expressed their alignment in the São Paulo Statement on Open Access.

Recognizing the symmetry between research funding and research performing organizations in supporting the scholarly communication chain, cOAlition S expresses support for OA2020 in the implementation guidance of the Principles of Plan S, and together these initiatives work in synergy as described in the Joint Statement of 9 May 2019.



Participants in OA2020 have built capacity to realize the transition

A large number of our participants have made great strides in data gathering and analysis to understand publishing trends, track subscription and publishing expenditures, and cost-model transition scenarios. To support these efforts, a Open Access 2020 dataset has been released, enabling organizations to freely conduct analyses to better understand the volume and publisher share of the scholarly journal articles by corresponding authors from their country’s institutions, an essential step in preparing for a fully open access future.


Global Publisher Market Shares 2014 – 2018 Original Articles and Reviews indexed in the Web of Science

The ESAC Market Watch tool, integrated with data from multiple sources, is available online. These tools build transparency around the open access publishing fees currently charged by the major commercial publishers, empowering research communities with a baseline from which to determine what they consider to be a fair price for open access publishing services for their authors.


Our strategies have made momentous progress toward our goals

Following the Final Statement of the 14th Berlin Open Access Conference which validated Transformative Agreements as a viable and effective method to accelerate the transition to open access, uptake of this strategy has grown considerably. The ESAC Registry of Transformative Agreements now counts more than 170 such agreements, negotiated in 22 different countries with 38 publishers large and small, leading to the publication of over 90,000 articles immediately open access in 2020.


ESAC Registry: Number of Transformative Agreements by Publisher Data retrieved on December 14, 2020



ESAC Registry: Number of Transformative Agreements by Country and Publisher Data retrieved on December 14, 2020

Members of the OA2020 community have established the LMIC Working Group which is now gathering quantitative and qualitative information on the financial and publishing interaction of Low and Middle Income Countries with commercial publishers. With such data, the community will be in a better position to propose and secure appropriate mechanisms to ensure that scholars everywhere benefit from the transition of subscription journals to open access. Read more about their work here

Participants in OA2020 who are negotiating Transformative Agreements have validated the ESAC guidelines to orient institutions, consortia and other entities in the nature and objectives of these agreements.


Many among the OA2020 community have developed negotiation principles, roadmaps and toolkits to guide their own actions and help others build similar strategies. These highly useful resources are shared on the ESAC and OA2020 websites.

Please continue to share news of your progress and get in touch with the OA2020 community at contact@oa2020.org.