PLOS announce new APC-free Open Access agreements test alternative funding models

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Jisc, the digital solutions provider for education and research in the UK, and the Public Library of Science (PLOS) today announced two 3-year Open Access (OA) agreements that allow researchers to publish in PLOS journals without incurring article processing charges (APC). This is the first time that a large university consortium has provided collective agreements as an alternative to APCs at this scale. Jisc and PLOS will also collaborate on future data, metrics, and tools for institutions to evaluate OA publishing agreements.

“Jisc has always been a priority partner, given its high profile, its large existing institutional account base with PLOS, and leadership role in the library community,” said Sara Rouhi, director of strategic partnerships for PLOS. “It’s always exciting to partner with a forward-leaning organization whose values and priorities around Open Access and Open Science align with our own. We also look forward to sharing the fruits of this partnership with the broader community.”

Caren Milloy, Jisc’s director of licensing, adds: “We are pleased to have reached these pioneering agreements with PLOS, which will make it easier for researchers to publish OA and offer affordability and sustainability to institutions. These collective action agreements have the potential to help shape the future of OA funding.”

Under the flat fee agreement, which begins on January 1, 2021, annual fixed prices will cover uncapped publishing in five PLOS journals[1] for corresponding authors affiliated with participating Jisc institutions as well as custom reporting and collaboration on future reporting standards initiatives. The PLOS Community Action Publishing agreement, facilitates uncapped publishing in PLOS’ two highly selective journals[2] through a collective action model. Both corresponding and contributing authors affiliated with participating Jisc institutions are eligible. The model itself is predicated on cost recovery, capped margins, and redistributing revenues above target back to community members.

These agreements empower authors who want to participate in Open Access publishing, and support a diverse scholarly communication ecosystem for researchers and readers. 

[1] PLOS journals include PLOS Genetics, PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and PLOS ONE

[2] PLOS Medicine and PLOS Biology