As 2020 begins, the University of California is making notable progress in advancing open access to UC research in partnership with a diverse range of publishers. 

UC and Elsevier 

After formal negotiations stalled last year, UC and Elsevier have remained in informal conversations and are looking forward to continuing that dialogue. The parties are planning to hold a meeting to explore reopening negotiations within the first quarter of 2020. 

Over the past year, Elsevier has signed other transformative agreements, and we are hopeful that this suggests that the publisher is ready to discuss deals that align with UC’s goals.

Wiley and Springer Nature

UC is in cordial negotiations with Wiley and Springer Nature to renew contracts that expired on Dec. 31, 2019. In each case, UC and the publisher have a shared desire to reach a transformative agreement that combines UC’s subscription with open access publishing of UC research. Both publishers have extended UC’s access to their journals, under the terms of their prior contracts, while negotiations are underway. 

New agreements: Association for Computing Machinery and Journal of Medical Internet Research

UC has announced two new publisher agreements, each with a different model to provide financial support for UC researchers who choose to publish their work open access.

  • As part of a new two-year pilot with JMIR Publications — a native open access publisher of more than 30 digital health-related journals including its flagship Journal of Medical Internet Research — the UC Libraries will pay the first $1,000 of the open access publishing fee for all UC authors who choose to publish in a JMIR journal. Authors who do not have research funds available can request financial assistance from the libraries for the remainder of the costs, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish in JMIR journals.

“Each agreement expands UC’s portfolio of options for its authors who wish to make their research open access,” said Dennis Ventry, Chair of the UC Academic Senate’s University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC) and professor of law at UC Davis. “As UC’s first such agreements with a society and a native open access publisher, respectively, the two new pilots reflect the university’s commitment to finding ways to work with publishers of all types and sizes to advance open access to UC research.” 

Cambridge University Press: Agreement now fully implemented

After an initial kickoff phase in 2019, UC’s first transformative open access agreement, with Cambridge University Press, is now fully in effect. Starting this month, when UC corresponding authors submit their accepted manuscript for publication with Cambridge, they will be prompted to consider making their article open access. The open access fee will be discounted by 30%, and the UC Libraries’ $1,000 subsidy will be applied automatically. Authors who have research funding available will be asked to use those funds to pay any remaining amount, under a cost-sharing model designed to enable the UC Libraries to stretch their available funds and help as many authors as possible. As with UC’s agreement with JMIR, if an author does not have research funds available to pay the remainder of the open access publishing fee, they can request that the libraries pay their portion, as well. Learn more about the agreement and what it means for UC authors.

More to Come

Conversations with other publishers are also in the pipeline. News will be shared in UC’s Publisher Negotiations Press Room, and via the local campus libraries, when there is further progress or a new agreement to share.


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