Luxembourg and Frontiers strike national Open Access publishing agreement

Luxembourg’s research community has strengthened its commitment to Open Access through a new national publishing agreement, announced this week. The Bibliothèque Nationale du Luxembourg, the country’s national library, and the open access publisher Frontiers have reached a three-year publishing deal that will run until February 2024. 

Managed by the Consortium Luxembourg national library service, participating organizations include: the Bibliothèque Nationale du Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Institute of Health, and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, as well as the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), making it the first publisher agreement to include the main funder in Luxembourg. This is also the first deal between a national consortium and Frontiers with an annual payment structure, a model designed to help streamline and simplify operations.

Eligible authors from participating institutions now benefit from reduced administration when they publish in any one of Frontiers’ portfolio of 116 open access journals at no cost to themselves. Frontiers, the Consortium and FNR will now directly manage tasks such as making payments and managing communications. Organizations benefit from online tools for eligibility verification, transparent and comprehensive reporting on expenditures, a dedicated account support manager, and publishing fee discounts.

Crucially, the agreement also means participating organizations and researchers are immediately Plan S compliant. Plan S is a multi-funder open access mandate, which from January 2021 required all scientific articles that result from research funded by public grants to be published immediately open access in compliant venues. All research published by Frontiers is inherently compliant with the policy.

Dr. Marc Schiltz, secretary general of the Luxembourg National Research Fund and President of Science Europe, said: “This agreement is another step forward in ensuring immediate open access for publicly funded research results. It also proves that open access can be easy and does not create additional administrative burdens for the parties involved.”

Annual payment model

The agreement marks Frontiers’ sixth national deal and its tenth consortium agreement, bringing the total number of agreements in Frontiers’ institutional membership program to 250, which includes more than 500 institutions worldwide. 

This deal is Frontiers’ first national agreement with a payment structure in which publishing fees are forecast and reconciled annually. The new payment model will simplify the financial administration for the deal’s stakeholders in a similar vein to the way traditional subscription or hybrid publishers operate, although all Frontiers research articles are of course Open Access and free to read regardless.

Dr. Fred Fenter, chief executive editor of Frontiers said: “Today’s announcement marks an important step for Luxembourg’s research community, for Open Access, and Frontiers. Our national-consortium partners understand the value of Gold Open Access in our common mission to achieve open science; we salute the flexibility of Consortium Luxembourg which allowed us to find an innovative, fair, and manageable membership plan including the national funder. Luxembourg’s research community joins a growing roster of countries that recognize the benefits of working at the national level with Frontiers, including the UK, Norway, Qatar, Sweden, and Austria.”