The University of California, via the California Digital Library, has reached an agreement with the open access publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS) which makes it more affordable for UC authors to publish open access in all of PLOS’s journals.

Who is covered?

Corresponding authors who are affiliated with any UC campus, UC Office of the President, or Lawrence Berkeley Lab.

What journals are covered?

All journals published by PLOS.  A complete listing of PLOS  journals is located here.

What is the discount?

UC Libraries will pay the first $1,000 towards the article processing charge (APC) for all articles with a UC corresponding author that are submitted for publication between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022. Authors with grant funding available will be asked to pay any remaining amount. Authors who lack research funds will have the APC fully funded by the libraries.

How can I apply this discount?

During the manuscript submission process, PLOS asks you how you will cover the article processing charge (APC), should your manuscript be accepted for publication.  On the Additional Information screen, in the Publication Fees section, indicate that your institution will fully or partially pay the fee as a member of the PLOS Institutional Account Program.

  • If you indicate that you have research funds available to pay the balance of the publication fee, PLOS will invoice you the publication fee minus $1000 if and when your article is accepted for publication. 
  • If you indicate that you do not have research funds available to pay the balance of the publication fee, PLOS will invoice the UC libraries directly for the full amount if and when your article is accepted for publication, and you will not receive an invoice.

For further details on the process, see the FAQ on the PLOS  agreement.

What licenses are available?

Your article will be published  under  the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) license, as is the case for all PLOS  journal articles. 

For more information about the importance of Creative Commons licensing in open access publishing, see this NEJM Perspective.

What is the business model behind this arrangement?

Through this agreement, the UC libraries have committed to making a partial or full payment on each article published by a UC corresponding author.  As articles are published, these payments are deducted from an account funded up-front by the libraries.

For more information on the specifics of this agreement, see the UC libraries’ PLOS FAQ page.

Last updated May 15, 2020.