Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Open Access@HKUL: Transformative Agreement

Transformative Agreement

Transformative Agreement (TA) is an agreement negotiated between institutions and publishers to enable inclusion of Article Processing Charge (APC) for open access publishing in the journal subscription fee, driving a transition of scholarly journal publishing towards open access. This new business model consists of two main components namely “Read” and “Publish”. “Read” refers to the subscription expenditure spent for accessing journal articles published behind a paywall, and “Publish” refers to the costs of open access publishing of articles produced by scholars and researchers affiliated to the institution. 

Source: Efficiency and Standards for Article Charges, ESAC (



As a researcher, you will benefit from the transformative agreement between the Libraries and various publishers:

Our Agreement Partners

Our Agreement Partners

The University Libraries has signed transformative agreements with the Cambridge University Press and Karger, providing HKU-affiliated authors full Article Processing Charge waivers for publishing articles in eligible open access and hybrid journals. Further details of the agreement terms are listed in the below section.

The Libraries will continue to negotiate with more potential partners and explore the opportunities in getting the best deal for open access publishing at HKU. Currently a number of publishers are offering APC discounts to HKU authors. The list of publishers and details of their offers can be found here.

Agreement Terms and Application Procedures

Cambridge University Press - Read and Publish Agreement

Item Description
Eligibility The corresponding author of the submitted article is affiliated with HKU, including staff and students. The manuscripts have to be accepted within the agreement period.
Agreement period 1st January 2022 - 31st December 2023
Type of publication Only applies to 5 types of article - “research article”, “review article”, “Rapid communications”, “brief report”, and “case report”. Detailed descriptions can be referred to here.
Journal coverage Over 370+ OA and hybrid journals are covered in the Read & Publish agreement. Download a list of eligible CUP journal titles via this link.
Quota limit No quota limit for individual author as long as your articles are accepted within the agreement period.

More details on the CUP Read and Publish Agreement with JULAC, Hong Kong can be found here.



Source: The Cambridge University Press (

Step 1

Manuscript Submission and Peer Review

Go to the journal homepage page on Cambridge Core and click on “Submit your article”. Then, complete a submission form on the journal’s Online Peer Review System (OPRS). After submission, your manuscript will go through the editorial and peer review process. 

Note: Please use your HKU affiliation, address, and email for manuscript submission in order to obtain the APC waiver.


Step 2

Manuscript Acceptance and Publication Decision

Once your manuscript has been accepted, follow the instructions in the acceptance email to complete an Author Publishing Agreement. On the agreement form, select your choice of Creative Commons (CC) license for your article to be published.


Step 3

APC Transaction Process

An email will be sent to you in 48 hours from Rightslink®, the third party system used by CUP to transact APCs. Follow the instructions on the email to register a Rightslink account if you do not have one. Login to the Rightslink system, choose “Seek funding from the University of Hong Kong” to apply for the full APC waiver and submit your request for approval*.

Note: Quota is unlimited. Once your eligibility has been verified by the system, you will be able to obtain the approval to proceed.


Step 4

Publication in Open Access

You will be notified once your funding request has been approved. Your work will undergo the publication process and be available online in open access.

You can also refer to the author guides by the Cambridge University Press here for more information on the workflow of open access publishing.



Karger - Publish and Access Agreement

Item Description
Eligibility Corresponding authors affiliated with HKU are eligible for full coverage of APC and Author's ChoiceTM publication fee and all additional publication costs for articles published in full Open Access and hybrid journals (subscription journals with an Open Access option).
Agreement period 1st January 2021 - 31st December 2023
Type of publication Eligible article types include: “original research articles”, “review articles”, “proceedings”, “letters”, and “editorials”, etc. 
Journal coverage Full OA and hybrid journals covering a wide range of biomedical subject areas are included in the Open Access (or Publish & Access) agreement. Details of the eligible journal titles can be found on this page.
Quota limit Unlimited free APC credits as long as your articles are accepted within the agreement period.

More details on the Karger Publish and Access Agreements can be found here.



Step 1

Go to the journal homepage page and click on “Submit Manuscript”.


Step 2

Login to the Karger manuscript manager system. If you do not have an account, create a new one. 

Note: Please use your HKU affiliation, address, and email for account registration in order to obtain the APC waiver.


Step 3

When you are filling out the submission form, under the section “Open Access Agreements”, declare your eligibility to apply for APC waiver by selecting the “Eligible” option under “Eligibility Declaration”. Then, input “University of Hong Kong” in the text box for indicating the institution’s name.


Step 4

You have already submitted your application for the APC waiver during the manuscript submission process. The corresponding author’s name and email address will be used by Karger to determine eligibility for APC waiver.


Step 5

Your manuscript will go through a rigorous peer review and the remaining acceptance and publication process. 

More information on “submit and publish open access” at Karger can also be found on this page.

Data and Scholarly Communication Librarian

Profile Photo
Jesse Xiao
5/F Main Library, The University of Hong Kong
(852) 2241 5841

Ask a Librarian

 Service Counter


 WhatsApp: 5441-5441

 Research Consultation (Eligible to HKU academic staff and postgraduate students only)