Read & Publish for librarians

A Read & Publish agreement, much like other transformative deals, allows librarians to purchase both content and open access publishing with one simple yearly fee.

Our Read & Publish customers can access Royal Society journal content and accepted articles are published open access with no APC fees to pay at the point of use. Over 390 institutions have taken advantage of this simplified process for their researchers and signed a transformative agreement with us for 2024. You can read more about our 2023 open access results in a recent blog post.

This page helps librarians to understand the agreements. If you are a researcher, then you'll find more relevant information at Read & Publish for authors

Supporting open access publishing

Many researchers must publish open access as part of their funding agreement. The Royal Society actively supports open access publishing through our gold open access journals, green open access policy, Open Access Membership programme, and now through our Read & Publish agreements. Royal Society publishing policies meet the guidelines set down by a range of major funders including the Wellcome Trust, Research England, NIH, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, HHMI, UKRI, and the European Commission. All Royal Society journals are Plan S compliant and compliant with US federal public access policies under the 2022 OSTP ‘Nelson Memo’.

Enabling researchers to cover APCs

You may have researchers at your institution who have wanted to publish open access but not been able to raise the funds to cover an APC. Because our scope is so broad, a Read & Publish agreement with the Royal Society allows these researchers to publish open access in subjects where this has previously been very difficult. We publish across all of science including Astronomy, Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, Earth and Environmental Science, Ecology, Conservation, Engineering, Genetics and Genomics, Mathematics, Evolutionary Biology, Physics and Biophysics, Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, and over a hundred other scientific subjects. And there’s our History of Science of journal; Notes and Records.

A transparent model

For several years our transparent pricing model has prevented us from ’double dipping’ subscription and open access income. We’re committed to providing a fair deal for our library partners and authors. Based on market research with librarians and library consortia we have created a model that is simple to understand and provides the features librarians and researchers have told us are important.

Ethical principles

We are a founding member of The Society Publishers’ Coalition (SocPC); a group of likeminded, not-for-profit learned societies, community publishers and charities who share the common ambition to see an orderly and sustainable transition to open scholarship. Our Read & Publish agreements follow the following principles.

 The Society Publishers’ Coalition

Moving to a Read & Publish agreement

If your institution subscribes to our journals and your researchers regularly publish with us, you may well gain extra value from moving to a Read & Publish model. And if your researchers have found that APCs have been a barrier to publication then a transformative agreement means you can support them to publish in our high impact, well respected journals.

For researchers:

  • only the corresponding author needs to belong to an institution with a Read & Publish deal
  • no fees or invoices, just pick your institution when you submit
  • uncapped open access publishing either across the portfolio or within physical or life sciences.

For librarians:

  • one simple annual fee tailored to your institution based on current subscription spend, average APC spend over 2 years to stabilise peaks and troughs, and Open Access Membership fee if applicable
  • full access to journal articles
  • perpetual access to content published in a year when the deal was in place
  • one-year deal reviewed and revised for following year.

Contact us and we’ll be happy to calculate your tailored Read & Publish agreement cost for 2023 or discuss any other transformative business model that you wish to explore.

Library partners in the UK can also look at details of our offer through JISC Transitional Open Access Agreements.

Open Access Membership

We have authors and readers all over the world and we know that not everyone is ready to move to the Read & Publish model. We’ll continue to offer institutions the option to purchase subscriptions and pay for APCs separately. For those customers our Open Access Membership can offer cost savings and insight into the number of open access articles published.