The Royal Society of Chemistry, announcing still-more transformative [sic] agreements:

The growth of transformative agreements within the North America region includes multiple read and publish deals in the USA and new country deals in Mexico and Canada. This builds on a trend of year-on-year growth within the region, since our first deal with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, signed in 2018. […]The number of deals has grown rapidly within the region every year, with 2023 seeing 28 new deals in the region, including our first agreements with partners in Canada and Mexico.

I wonder if MIT would sign such a deal today, given MIT Libraries’ public distancing from such deals:

At MIT, we have innovated and experimented in open access models for many years. Our experience has led us to become increasingly concerned about the implications of per-article payment models that serve as the basis for the UC–Elsevier and other [read and publish] agreements. Locking in a norm where an author, funder, and/or institution must pay an opaque and often costly fee for the right to publish an article risks locking out scholars from less privileged institutions and less well funded disciplines. Equitable opportunity to contribute to scholarly literature is as important for the integrity and usefulness of scholarship as is the open accessibility to read.

MIT Libraries is a leader among the Ivy Plus institutions, who recently took a similar stand against APCs in general, and transformative/read-and-publish deals in particular.

As the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) put it in its own recent statement,

So-called “Big Deals” – “read and publish agreements” between (consortia of) research libraries, institutions, and universities on the one hand, and scientific publishers on the other – have further exacerbated these inequities and contributed to the consolidation of the already dominant market position of the major commercial publishers.

The Royal Society of Chemistry calls its transformative agreements “an essential stepping stone.” But they’re actually stepping backward.