Pilot project eliminates author processing charges for all PLOS journals

The two-year project will see the elimination of author/article processing charges in all PLOS journals. 

McMaster University Libraries are partnering with the Public Library of Science (PLOS) in a pilot project to remove financial barriers to publishing research. 

The two-year project will see the elimination of author/article processing charges (APCs) in all PLOS journals. Typically, authors incur APCs to cover the cost associated with making their article publicly available for free in open access journals.

This means that McMaster faculty, staff, and students won’t need to worry about the financial implications of publishing in a PLOS journal from Feb. 1, 2023 through Jan. 31, 2025.

The pilot is an amazing opportunity for graduate students and early career researchers, in particular, to more easily disseminate their work without having to incur the costs associated with publishing,” said Jennifer McKinnell, director of Health Sciences Library at McMaster. “We hope this agreement will encourage McMaster researchers to pursue open access publishing in PLOS journals.”

PLOS is a non-profit, open access publisher focused on research in science, technology, and medicine.

McMaster University Libraries is dedicated to innovative open scholarship opportunities, and as such, will cover the cost of the two-year flat fee, based on the university’s current publication output, to allow for unlimited PLOS publishing opportunities by McMaster authors. Library staff will evaluate the effectiveness of the agreement and project future cost implications at the end to determine the project’s sustainability.

The elimination of APCs for corresponding authors will expand the publishing opportunities for all researchers regardless of their career stage, or whether they have research grants or departmental funding. It will also benefit authors who did not factor APCs into their grants or who do not have additional funds to publish in an open access journal.

“This agreement exemplifies McMaster University Libraries’ commitment to open access publishing,” said Casey Hoeve, associate university librarian, Content, Access and Open Licensing at McMaster University Library. “Publishing in an open access journal has gained traction over the years because of its potential to broaden the reach of the published research.”

Authors associated with the university should use their McMaster email address (@mcmaster.ca) when submitting an article to ensure streamlined access to this new opportunity.

Watch this PLOS video for information on how authors self-identify with the institution at the time of submission.

Visit the PLOS website for a listing of all journals.

To view all publisher discounts available through McMaster libraries, visit the library support for open access webpage.