UC authors can take advantage of the open access publishing agreement the University of California (UC) and the Public Library of Science/PLOS have entered into. PLOS is a non-profit organization that publishes several fully open access journals. 

The UC libraries are providing funding to help cover open access publishing fees, also known as article processing charges (APCs), for UC authors who publish with PLOS. This agreement has two goals: (1) to support UC’s mission as a public university and advance the global shift toward sustainable open access publishing by making more UC-authored publications open to the world, and (2) to make the author choice to publish with a native open access publisher an affordable and attractive option.

Agreement Basics

PLOS charges authors whose articles are accepted for publication an article processing charge (APC) in order to cover the costs of publishing its journals. Under the UC agreement, which covers articles submitted from April 1, 2020 through May 2, 2022, the UC libraries will pay at least the first $1,000 of the APC for articles with a UC corresponding author. If there’s any remaining balance due on the APC, PLOS’ payment system will ask UC authors if they have grant funding available to cover the balance. If an author does not have grant funds to cover that difference, the UC libraries will pay the entire APC on their behalf, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish in PLOS’ open access journals.

Article Payment Process

During the manuscript submission process, in the Publication Fees section, authors should choose “Institutional Account Program” and indicate their UC campus. Once an article with a UC corresponding author is accepted for publication by PLOS, the publisher will charge the first $1000 of the the article processing charge (APC) to the UC libraries. For APCs exceeding $1000, the author will be asked to indicate whether they have grant funds available to pay the remainder of the APC. If the authors indicate that they do not have grant funds available, PLOS will then charge the full APC to the UC libraries. This transaction will be handled directly between UC libraries and PLOS; authors do not need contact their campus library to request funds.

See the Impact for Authors section of our FAQ for additional details.


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Last updated April 27, 2022.