A recent article by Graham Stone (Jisc) and Kai Geschuhn (MPDL) published in the British library journal UKSG Insights highlights the outcomes of two workshops organized by the Efficiencies and Standards for Article Charges initiative (ESAC) in 2016 und 2017.
The paper makes the case for stronger engagement of libraries and consortia when it comes to negotiating and drafting offsetting agreements. The workshops have shown a clear need for an improvement of the current workflows and processes between academic institutions (and libraries) and the publishers they use in terms of author identification, metadata exchange and invoicing. Publishers need to invest in their editorial systems, while institutions need to get a clearer understanding of the strategic goal of offsetting. To this purpose, strategic and practical elements, which should be included in the agreements, were introduced. The paper proposes a set of recommendations for article workflows and services between institutions and publishers, based on a draft document which was produced as part of the 2nd ESAC Offsetting Workshop in March 2017. These recommendations should be seen as a minimum set of practical and formal requirements for offsetting agreements and are necessary to make any publication-based open access business model work.