The scholarly publishing ecosystem continues to rapidly evolve due to continued pressure from research funders and academic institutions to accelerate Open Access (OA), Open Research, and Open Science. In response, publishers are hurriedly working to transform their publishing models to succeed in this increasingly complex landscape. As part of CCC’s on-going work supporting publishers in managing their OA institutional agreements through RightsLink for Scientific Communications, we spend a lot of time with them and their stakeholders as they navigate these unchartered waters.

During our continued collaboration with OA publishers of all types and sizes, we often hear common themes around the challenges they are facing. One thing we hear consistently is that the practice of preparing agreement offers to propose to institutional customers is fraught with challenges. Modeling deals with consortia and institutions is extremely complex and manual and this makes it difficult for publishers to scale their agreement programs. The manual work primarily comes from the data gathering and analysis efforts that are needed to move agreement offers forward. As these processes are not automated, they can be lengthy, error-prone, and lead to a lack of data transparency between publishers and their partners, making it complex to expand, model and negotiate agreements. Many publishers want to do more but are finding it just takes too many internal resources to effectively scale and grow.

Hearing these challenges, and with CCC’s expertise in OA workflow and agreement management, we worked directly with publishers to explore how we could help them cut back on the manual data gathering and analysis and optimize collaboration with their partners, and started to conceptualize an automated, data-driven agreement modeling tool.

Working closely with publishers throughout the development process was essential to the creation of this new tool. A key part of that collaboration, was the creation of a pilot group comprised of four publishers in various stages of transitioning to OA business models. Their insights and input were instrumental in developing our new solution and designing it to work optimally for the intended users. Based on our early research, we knew there were challenges with the way publishers were bringing agreement offers to their institutional partners. In working with this group of publishers, we found out quickly how much data analysis was needed, how manual it was, and how an agreement modeling tool was needed to help solve the core challenges they faced. 

With an understanding of their current processes and where the challenges lie, OA Agreement Intelligence was born. From weighing in on the conceptual modeling workflow to testing the in-development product, publisher feedback was the backbone of the product development. This is not new to product teams at CCC, as market and product feedback is crucial for all development planning, but in this quickly evolving space, we knew it was more crucial than ever to integrate publisher feedback from the start. 

With this collaborative effort, we are excited to continue to watch this product grow based on direct user feedback. Click here to learn more about OA Agreement Intelligence. 


Author: Casey Pickering

Casey Pickering is a Product Marketing Manager in CCC’s Publisher Business Unit. Casey develops go-to-market strategies, conducts market research, creates customer personas, drives strategic marketing efforts, and develops product positioning to drive interest in our product offerings. A passionate Boston sports fan, Casey is a graduate of Northeastern University and enjoys spending time outside with her family including her Bernese Mountain Dog, Riggins.
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