The University of California (UC) and Frontiers today announced a one-year open access pilot agreement that will make it easier and more affordable for UC researchers to publish in one of twenty selected Frontiers journals in the humanities, social sciences, and sustainability. The new agreement with Frontiers, one of the world’s leading native open access publishers, advances the university’s efforts to empower more of its authors to share their research freely with the world.

“I applaud UC’s new pilot agreement with Frontiers and, in particular, its acknowledgement of the need for increased funding and support for UC authors who publish open access in the humanities and social sciences,” said Maria DePrano, Professor of Art History at UC Merced and Chair of the UC faculty Academic Senate’s University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication. “This pilot points to a future in which humanities and social science researchers play a central role in the open access movement and the shift to a more equitable scholarly communication system.”

Under the pilot agreement, the UC libraries will automatically cover the open access fees, also known as article processing charges (APCs), in full for all UC corresponding authors who choose to publish in one of the twenty journals included in the pilot.

“As a native open access publisher, Frontiers is a natural ally in our efforts to advance a more open, equitable, and transparent publishing landscape,” said Miranda Bennett, Director of Shared Collections at UC’s California Digital Library. “This pilot allows us to collaborate with a major publisher of UC-authored research as we explore new models for partnerships between institutions and native open access publishers.”

Many institutional open access agreements have so far focused on subscription publishers that are transitioning to open access. UC and Frontiers believe that these types of agreements can and should include native open access publishers since they are already aligned with current and emerging open access policies and mandates. 

Kamila Markram, CEO of Frontiers states: “This agreement with the University of California, one of our major institutional partners, underscores the mutual trust in our relationship and represents a milestone in our shared mission to make all science publications openly available, while fostering author choice within the community.”

See our FAQ for more details about the Frontiers pilot agreement.

Open access agreements support UC’s mission as a public university by making more UC-authored research freely available to people across California and around the world. 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.

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


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