New transformative Open Access agreement between The Company of Biologists and University of California

The Company of Biologists is delighted to announce a three-year Open Access agreement with the University of California (UC).

This new cost-neutral transformative agreement – which runs from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023 – covers Open Access publishing in The Company of Biologists’ three hybrid journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology) and two Open Access journals (Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open).

The agreement enables corresponding authors at all ten UC campuses to publish an uncapped number of research articles immediately Open Access. The agreement also provides researchers on all UC campuses with unlimited access to Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology and their archives dating back to 1853.

By combining funding from libraries with authors’ grant funds, this landmark agreement provides a model for how institutions in the United States can create a sustainable and inclusive path to full Open Access. 

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 one of The Company of Biologists’ journals. 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. This ensures that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish Open Access in The Company of Biologists’ journals.

The agreement with UC is the first to be announced between The Company of Biologists and a library consortium in the United States. It follows recent agreements with the Max Planck Digital Library in Germany, Jisc in the UK, IReL in Ireland and MALMAD in Israel.

Ivy Anderson, Associate Executive Director of UC’s California Digital Library, says:

“UC couldn’t be more delighted to partner with The Company of Biologists on an Open Access agreement. As a leading scientist-led non-profit publisher of high-quality journals that shares our mission of transitioning the research literature to Open Access, The Company of Biologists is an important and valued outlet for UC authors. We appreciate their willingness to instantiate UC’s shared funding model and are pleased to partner with them on their first large-scale Open Access agreement in the United States.”

Benoit Bruneau, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, and Director, Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, says:

“As a UC researcher who has published in The Company of Biologists’ journals for the last 20 years and more recently as one of the academic editors of the journal Development, I’m thrilled that UC has reached this landmark and transformative OA agreement with The Company of Biologists. The Company of Biologists’ journals are truly run for the community and by the community. As such, this agreement will go a long way in helping the work of UC authors achieve its greatest impact without any barriers to sharing or reuse, all the while providing free world-wide access to extraordinary content.”

Richard Grove, Commercial Manager at The Company of Biologists, says:

“Open Access has been central to our mission and publishing strategy since 2004 and we have a track record of innovation. Our journals were the first from any publisher to be awarded Transformative Journal status by Plan S and we were one of the first not-for-profit publishers to launch a Read & Publish Open Access initiative.

We are very pleased to sign our first Open Access consortium agreement in the United States with the University of California. The agreement reflects our willingness to collaborate with library consortia to pilot new transformative models which we hope will accelerate a sustainable transition to Open Access.”

Further information about the agreement with UC is available here.