Open Access publishing comes in many forms, but they are most commonly broken down into Gold and Green Open Access. With Green Open Access, authors directly publish their work to a repository or a preprint server, like ArXiv. Doing this can help you quickly get feedback from peers, or even skip the traditional publishing process altogether. Gold Open Access is Open Access publishing that is facilitated by a traditional publisher. Depending on the process of that particular publisher, the costs of publishing may be taken on by the author, the publisher, or a combination of both. With transformative agreements, some or all of these costs may be covered by your institution.
Transformative agreements are contracts negotiated by academic libraries and institutions. In exchange for subscription to a journal, people connected to the paying institution (in this case, students and faculty at the University of Iowa) are able to publish their articles Open Access without paying article processing charges (APCs). In addition, the University of Iowa Libraries has negotiated discounts on those APCs with a few publishers. For a full list of transformative agreements and APC discounts, visit the new Open Scholarship Toolkit. If you’re not sure if an agreement applies to you, get in touch with the Scholarly Impact Department or your liaison librarian for help.