The University of California, via the California Digital Library, maintains an institutional membership with BioMed Central. As a result, UC-affiliated corresponding authors are entitled to a discount off of the article processing charge (APC) to publish in a BMC journal.  In addition, as of January 2021, UC libraries are providing further support, including at least the first $1000 of the APC.  More information is provided below and at the FAQ page about the Springer Nature agreement.  

Who is covered?

Corresponding authors who are affiliated with any UC campus, UC Office of the President, or Lawrence Berkeley Lab are covered by the membership.  The additional Springer Nature agreement discount described below under “What is the discount?” is not applicable for Lawrence Berkeley Lab.

What journals are covered?

All journals published by BioMed Central, a fully Open Access publisher.

What is the discount?

15% off of the cost of any APC.   In addition, as of January 2021, the first $1000 of the cost of the APC after the discount is applied is covered by the UC libraries.  For unfunded authors, the remainder of the APC is also covered.  Details are provided on the FAQ page about the Springer Nature agreement.     

APCs vary by journal, and can generally be found on each journal’s About page. 

How can I apply this discount?

If you submit your manuscript from an on-campus computer, BioMed Central will recognize your IP address and automatically apply the discount.

If you submit your manuscript from a different location, then select the option “I believe that I am covered by an institutional membership arrangement” on the APC agreement page, and select your institution from the drop-down list.  BMC’s customer service will handle applying the discount before proceeding with the submission.

Please note that this workflow may change in 2021 with the beginning of the Springer Nature open access agreement

What licenses are available?

All content in BMC journals is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).

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

What is the business model behind this arrangement?

The UC Libraries pay a yearly fee for membership with BioMed Central to secure this discount for UC-affiliated authors.  Publishing with BioMed Central and using this discount does not directly impact this fee.  Also part of the model is the open access agreement with Springer Nature that the UC libraries negotiated, which incorporates the BioMed Central titles as of January 2021.

For more information about BioMed Central, see About BioMed Central.

Last updated August 23, 2023.