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

This new transformative agreement will apply retrospectively to articles accepted after January 1, 2021 and will run through December 31, 2023.  The agreement achieves both of UC’s key goals for transformative open access journal agreements: controlling costs and providing for open access publishing in the full portfolio of Royal Society journals, including hybrid (subscription-based) and open access journals.   

The agreement includes open access publishing of an unlimited number of articles by corresponding authors at the nine participating UC campuses (all except UCSF). Under the agreement, the UC libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of the open access fee, or article processing charge (APC), for authors at the participating campuses who choose to publish in a Royal Society 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 Royal Society journals. 

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

“Working with scholarly societies to facilitate a sustainable transition to open access is a key goal at the University of California,” says Ivy Anderson, associate executive director of UC’s California Digital Library.  “We are delighted to be piloting our shared funding model with the Royal Society in support of the many UC authors who publish in Royal Society journals.”  

The agreement also provides researchers on nine UC campuses with unlimited access to the full portfolio of Royal Society journals.

“I am pleased that we are working with UC  on this pilot, and for the support they have shown to working with The Royal Society,” said Graham Anderson, Royal Society global sales manager. “This new model has potential to work at other institutions facing the challenge of building sustainable open access models, by combining both library subscription fees and, where possible, authors’ research funds in the funding process to make articles openly available. UC researchers have a strong history of publishing with the Royal Society and the agreement will strengthen this further.”

For more detail about the agreement please see our overview of the Royal Society open access agreement and Royal Society’s press release.

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

About UC’s Transformative Open Access 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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