Royal Society enters new Open Access transformative agreement with the University of California

09 March 2021

In a major step forwards for open access publishing in the United States, the Royal Society has signed a three-year transformative pilot agreement with the University of California (UC) to support open access publishing in all Royal Society journals.

Under the agreement, the UC libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of the open access fee, or article processing charge (APC), for all UC authors who choose to publish in a Royal Society journal. Authors are asked to pay the remainder if they have research funds available to do so. Authors who do not have research funds available can request full funding of the APC from the libraries, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish open access in Royal Society journals. By combining funding from the libraries with authors’ grant funds, the agreement provides a model for how institutions in the United States can create a sustainable and inclusive path to full open access. 

Once an article is accepted for publication in any Royal Society journal, and the corresponding author has selected the open access option, it will be made open through existing workflows. Reporting for the new agreement will be supported by a pilot involving the Open Access Switchboard.

The agreement also covers continued access to the full portfolio of Royal Society journals for the nine University of California campuses taking part. 

Publishing Director at the Royal Society, Dr Stuart Taylor, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the University of California to help each other deliver our open access goals. The Society sees open access agreements as a crucial driver of the transition and, with such a diverse landscape for open access around the world, we are pleased to be working with UC on their innovative multi-payer model.”

Graham Anderson, Royal Society Global Sales Manager, said: “I am pleased that we are working with UC on this pilot, and for the support they have shown to working with The Royal Society. This new model has potential to work at other institutions facing the challenge of building sustainable open access models, by combining both library subscription fees and, where possible, authors’ research funds to make articles openly available. UC researchers have a strong history of publishing with the Royal Society and the agreement will strengthen this further. Piloting this model for OA publishing will deepen our knowledge of Transformative Agreements over the coming years as we progress on our OA journey.”

“Working with scholarly societies to facilitate a sustainable transition to open access is a key goal at the University of California,” said Ivy Anderson, Associate Executive Director of UC’s California Digital Library.  “We are delighted to pilot our shared funding model with the Royal Society in support of the many UC authors who publish in Royal Society journals, as well as to jointly explore new open access infrastructure with the Society through the OA Switchboard.”