As of March 9, 2021, the University of California (UC) has a three-year open access agreement with The Company of Biologists. The agreement enables corresponding authors at all 10 UC campuses to publish an unlimited number of research articles immediately open access, and provides researchers on all UC campuses with access to Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology and their archives dating back to 1853. 

The 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 UC-authored publications open to the world, and (2) to maintain journal affordability. As with UC’s other transformative open access agreements, the UC libraries are providing funding to help cover open access publishing fees for UC authors who publish in The Company of Biologists’s journals.

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Agreement Basics

What are the basic terms of the agreement?

This new agreement runs from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023 and covers open access publishing in The Company of Biologists’ three hybrid journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology) and two open access journals (Disease Models and Mechanisms and Biology Open).

How does the agreement work?

Under the agreement, the UC libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of the open access fee, or article processing charge, for all UC authors who choose to publish in a Company of Biologists journal. Authors who do not have research funds available can request full funding of the article processing charge from the libraries, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish open access in The Company of Biologists’ journals. 

In addition to providing the $1,000 subsidy for open access publishing costs, the UC libraries have negotiated a 10 percent discount on all Company of Biologists article processing charges, so the amount that authors with available grant funding are asked to contribute is further reduced.

Impact for Authors

Am I affected by this agreement?

Yes, if you are (1) a UC affiliate (faculty, lecturer, staff, graduate student) at one of UC’s campuses, (2) you are the article’s corresponding author, and (3) you choose to publish your article open access in one of The Company of Biologists’ journals.  Authors affiliated with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab are included in this agreement.

If you want to publish your article open access in The Company of Biologists’ journals, UC has negotiated an agreement that will make it more cost effective for you to do so. If you want to publish in one of The Company of Biologists’ hybrid (subscription) journals but do not want to publish open access, you can still publish your article as paywalled content. 

UC faculty, lecturers, staff, and students on all 10 campuses will continue to have reading access to all of The Company of Biologists’ journals.

Only corresponding authors are covered by the publishing aspects of this agreement. 

Who is considered a corresponding author?

The corresponding author is the person who oversees the manuscript and correspondence during the publication process – from manuscript corrections and proofreading, to handling the revisions and re-submission of revised manuscripts up to the acceptance of the manuscripts. The corresponding author has the authority to act on behalf of all co-authors in all matters pertaining to publication of the manuscript including supplementary material. The corresponding author acts as the point of contact for any inquiries after the paper is published.

Which articles and types of publications are covered by this agreement?

The following article types are covered by this agreement:
  • Research Article 
  • Research Report
  • Techniques and Resources Article       
  • Techniques and Resources Report
  • Short Report
  • Tools and Resources
  •  Methods & Techniques
  •  Short Communication
  • At a Glance articles
  • Review articles

Articles accepted on January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2023 are included in the agreement.

For articles accepted after January 1, 2021 but before the launch of this workflow March 10, 2021, The Company of Biologists will reach out to authors to ask them retrospectively about this choice, and the steps will follow as laid out below under “Article Payment Process.”

Which of The Company of Biologists’ journals are included in this agreement?

All of The Company of Biologists’ journals are included. A complete listing is located here

Article Payment Process

If I choose to publish open access, how do payments work?

The way the process works: If you are a UC corresponding author and you confirm the open access default publishing option through The Company of Biologists’ article submission system after your article has been accepted, you will be asked to log into their payment processing system called CCC RightsLink.

(It is necessary to set up an account in RightsLink first; if you do not have an account, you will be prompted to create one within RightsLink during the payment process.) 

Then it’s just a matter of clicking through the following steps in the RightsLink system, including: 

1. Select the option to receive funding from UC libraries.

Your selection initiates the UC libraries’ contribution of at least $1,000 toward your article processing charge. Once you select this option, you will see a summary of charges that breaks the fee into two components: the $1,000 that the UC libraries will automatically pay, and the remainder that you will be asked to pay if you have research funds available.

2. Indicate whether you have research funds available to pay the author’s portion of the article processing charge.

Choose whether you have research funds available to pay the remaining balance due, or whether you do not have such funds available and need the UC libraries to cover any remaining balance.

3. If you indicated that you do not have research funds available for the balance of the article processing charge, identify the reason full funding is needed.

Choose from a menu of options about why full funding is needed (e.g., the research is not grant-funded and you have no other sources of funding available; the grant budget did not include money for publishing; etc.)

After making these choices, you will still see the two components of the article processing charge (first $1,000 funded by UC, and balance funded by UC) on the charges estimate screen. Click “Payment Options” to proceed to the next step, where you will submit a request for full funding from the UC libraries. Your request will be reviewed within one business day and if approved, your charge will be paid in full by the libraries. You will be contacted if your request is denied for any reason.

4. If you indicated that you do have research funds available for the balance of the article processing charge, you will be invoiced.

If you select this option, you will see your portion of the article processing charge disappear from the charges estimate; you will pay this charge later in the process.  Click “Payment Options” to proceed to the next step.

You will first be asked to submit the UC libraries-funded component ($1,000) for approval. Then you will be prompted to pay the remaining balance. You can make this payment via credit card or request an invoice.

What if I don't have a grant or other research funds?

  • If you don’t have grant funds and you want to publish open access, the UC libraries will pay your full article processing charge. See #3 above under “Article payment process.”

What if I don't want to publish open access? Can I still publish with The Company of Biologists?

  • Yes. Where and how you publish is your decision. The agreement with The Company of Biologists does not mandate open access publishing, nor does it dictate your journal selection. Rather, it makes open access publishing in The Company of Biologists’ journals a more affordable option. You can opt out. 

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What if I have questions or need help?

Last updated April 30, 2021.
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