We’re delighted to announce that as of March 9, UC authors will be able to begin making research they publish in The Company of Biologists’ journals  freely available for anyone to read by taking advantage of the university’s new transformative open access agreement with the publisher.

This new cost-neutral transformative agreement – which runs from January 2021 through December 2023 – covers open access publishing in The Company of Biologists’ three hybrid (subscription-based) journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology) and two open access journals (Disease Models and Mechanisms and Biology Open). 

“As a UC researcher who has published in The Company of Biologists’ journals for the last 20 years and more recently as one of the academic editors of the journal Development, I’m thrilled that UC has reached this landmark and transformative open access agreement with The Company of Biologists,” said Benoit Bruneau, PhD, professor of pediatrics at UCSF and Director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease. “The Company of Biologists’ journals are truly run for the community and by the community. As such, this agreement will go a long way in helping the work of UC authors achieve its greatest impact without any barriers to sharing or reuse, all the while providing free world-wide access to extraordinary content.”

The agreement enables corresponding authors at all 10 UC campuses to publish an unlimited number of research articles immediately open access.  Under the agreement, the UC libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of the open access fee, or article processing charge (APC), for all UC authors who choose to publish in a Company of Biologists journal. Authors are asked to pay the remainder if they have research funds available to do so. Authors who do not have research funds available can request full funding of the APC from the libraries, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish open access in The Company of Biologists’ journals. 

By combining funding from the libraries with authors’ grant funds, the agreement provides a model for how institutions in the United States can create a sustainable and inclusive path to full open access.  

“UC couldn’t be more delighted to partner with The Company of Biologists on an open access agreement,” says Ivy Anderson, associate executive director of UC’s California Digital Library.  “As a leading scientist-led non-profit publisher of high-quality journals that shares our mission of transitioning the research literature to open access, The Company of Biologists is an important and valued outlet for UC authors. We appreciate their willingness to instantiate UC’s shared funding model and are pleased to partner with them on their first large-scale open access agreement in the U.S.”

The agreement also provides researchers on all UC campuses with access to Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology and their archives dating back to 1853.

“Open access has been central to our mission and publishing strategy since 2004. We are very pleased to sign our first open access agreement with a consortium in the USA with the University of California,” said Richard Grove, commercial manager at The Company of Biologists. “The agreement reflects our willingness to collaborate with library consortia to pilot new transformative models which we hope will accelerate a sustainable transition to open access.”

For more detail, please see our overview of The Company of Biologists open access agreement, and The Company of Biologists’ press release.

If you have questions, please contact your UC campus library:

About UC’s Transformative Journal Agreements:

Transformative open access agreements support UC’s mission as a public university and advance the global shift toward sustainable open access publishing by making more UC-authored research articles open to the world, while maintaining journal affordability. UC seeks to partner with publishers of all types, sizes and disciplines to jointly advance a worldwide transition to open access across the entire landscape of scholarly journal publishing. For more on these aims and principles, see UC’s Call to Action for Negotiating Journal Agreements at UC, the UC faculty Academic Senate’s Declaration of Rights and Principles to Transform Scholarly Communication, and UC’s priorities for publisher negotiations.


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