Read & Publish agreements allow researchers to access all our content and publish open access articles without paying APC fees.

Man working on laptop

Royal Society Publishing actively supports open access (OA) and a recent development has been our transformative Read & Publish agreements with institutional libraries. 

Read & Publish agreements allow librarians to purchase both content and OA publishing with one simple yearly fee. Researchers can then access all our content and accepted articles are published with no APC fees to pay at the point of use.

We launched our transformative agreements for 2021, and it has been a fascinating year so far with over 170 institutions taking advantage of this simplified process. Discussions have brought us closer to institutions and given us great insights into the challenges this transformation brings to librarians and researchers. In an environment where publishers are now offering many different models and routes, we have kept our transformative agreements simple and transparent.


The standard model we use globally is Read & Publish, although we are piloting Publish and Read with Max Planck Digital Library, and a shared funding model with the University of California. Having our standard model provides clarity for librarians, as well as making the submission process simple and straightforward for authors. 

As we approach the 2022 cycle, I am pleased to see further engagement from institutions all around the world on our OA options. Different countries are working to different timescales for increasing OA output depending on their institutional, state, or national OA mandates and funding policies. Whether you are an early adopter, budget constrained, or want to experiment with OA, The Royal Society has an option for you.

Read & Publish

One invoice combining subscription and publishing spend
Full access to journals and backfiles
Uncapped OA publishing in the journals
Simple submission system
Perpetual access is retained for period of the deal
Reporting available via OA Switchboard
Plan S compliant

OA Membership Scheme

Tailored membership fee
25% off APCs on a ‘pay as you go’ basis
Available even if you do not have a journal subscription
Regular reporting to help keep track of how the membership is working

Developing world access

 Free access to journal content
APC waivers available for Royal Society Open Society, and Open Biology via the Research4Life initiative

Journal subscriptions and our archive remain available

Royal Society Publishing is a not-for-profit publisher, and to support a sustainable transformation to OA we announced earlier this year that our four main research journals are now Transformative Journals. This means that, once they reach 75% OA content, they will become fully OA journals, another exciting step forward for The Royal Society’s commitment to an OA future. 

Wherever you are in the world, and wherever you are in your own OA journey, get in touch to find out more about partnering with the world’s oldest scientific publisher.


  • Graham Anderson

    Graham Anderson