San Francisco- The Universidad Nacional Autonoma Mexico (UNAM) and the Public Library of Science (PLOS) today announced a one-year agreement, brokered by Accucoms (PLOS’ regional representative),that will allow UNAM researchers to publish in PLOS ONE and other select PLOS journals without incurring article processing charges (APC). Flat fee agreements and PLOS’ other models shift publishing costs from authors to research institutions based on prior publishing history and anticipated future growth with PLOS. The agreement with UNAM starts on January 1, 2023.
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with UNAM, our first flat fee institution in Mexico, which furthers our global outreach that will continue on through Latin America,” said Sara Rouhi, Director of Strategic Partnerships for PLOS. “As the largest research institution in Mexico, UNAM is uniquely well-positioned to demonstrate the benefits of Open Access publishing and Open Research practices.”
Dr Susana Lopez Charreton, a virology researcher from the Biotechnology Institute of the UNAM, comments, “This agreement is great news for UNAM researchers as it helps to bring their findings to a wider audience in excellent OA journals. It is not uncommon to resort to publishing our work in other, less prestigious journals due to APC payments that are often too high for the budgets we have. The opportunity to publish in the PLOS family will greatly benefit our research.”
Dr. Alejandro Zentella-Dehesa, a cancer cell biologist and principal investigator of the department of Genomic Medicine and Environmental Toxicology of the Institute for Biomedical Research of the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM), said “Incorporation of UNAM to this agreement with PLOS will help a lot to communicate the results generated in original research as the final step of the academic activity of university researchers. UNAM is one of the most prominent and productive academic institutions in Latin America with an active and significant number of publications in all fields of scientific and humanistic research. However, publication of high-quality manuscripts in international journals with demanding peer review committees is frequently hampered by a combination of high publication fees and budget limitations. This agreement between UNAM and PLOS represents a valuable opportunity for UNAM researchers to publish high quality results in journals from this prestigious editorial group, free from budget limitations. All this will contribute to make knowledge generated at UNAM available to the international community.”
“It is exciting to see and be part of the early developments towards OA publishing agreements in Latin America, and to work closely with UNAM as a pioneer institution in the region in this aspect. I’m happy to have been able to facilitate conversations between PLOS and UNAM to reach this important and unprecedented agreement, that will undoubtedly serve as an example for many other institutions in Mexico and Latin America in the years to come,” said Anouk Snijders, Commercial Manager Latin America at Accucoms.
PLOS’ Flat Fee model enables APC-free publishing with many of PLOS’ titles, which creates efficiency and reduces administrative overhead for managing gold APC funds. UNAM and PLOS will also collaborate on future data, metrics, and tools for institutions to evaluate Open Access publishing agreements.
UNAM joins a growing list of institutions to sign agreements with PLOS. Others include the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries (CSAL), the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the University of California system, Jisc (including University College London, Imperial College London, University of Manchester), NorthEast Research Libraries (NERL) and the Center for Research Libraries, the Canadian Research Knowledge Network among others to support their researchers through publishing deals with PLOS.
The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) last year honored PLOS as the co-winner for Innovation in Publishing for its Community Action Publishing model.
 PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, PLOS Pathogens and PLOS Digital Health.