PLOS has doubled its non-APC deals since 2020

As one of the leading voices in enacting transformational change to the Article Processing Charge (APC) business model beginning in February, 2020, PLOS is pleased to announce that as of today, 181 institutions in 26 countries have partnered with us., that’s up from 93 and 6, respectively from last year.

Many research funders, institutions, and governments now require research to be made available under Open Access licensing and provide funds that can be applied to authors’ Open Access publication costs. But the ways in which Open Access is supported varies across different fields and global regions. There are gaps that leave many researchers who want to publish in Open Access journals without funding for APCs.

That’s why we embarked on this journey nearly three years ago. We were the vanguard of publishers who demonstrated that Open Access publishing could be sustainable, but we only had half the equation right. In short, we weren’t fulfilling our entire vision for an open and inclusive research ecosystem that facilitated the exchange of free and unrestricted knowledge. Anyone could read the research we published, but the cost of publishing in an Open venue was–and continues to be–a barrier for many authors.

This year, we have signed three large consortia deals. Bibsam, CSAL, and IReL. They join a growing list of institutions including the Sachsen Consortia led by the Saxon State and University Library, the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the University of California system, CRL and NERL, Jisc (including University College London, Imperial College London, University of Manchester) and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network among others

“The uptake in our APC-alternative business models is incredible,” said Sara Rouhi, Director of Strategic partnerships, PLOS. “Doubling the number of institutions is gratifying, but I take greater pride in spreading Open Access publishing worldwide. This is great for institutions and PLOS, but even better for researchers.”

At PLOS we are committed to co-creating pathways to Open Access and Open Science as we carry our mission forward. A piece of that is ensuring our approach to Open Access solutions are not one-size-fits-all. It’s the reason we don’t have just one institutional partnership model for all of our journals, but several that cater to the needs of the journal research communities, and the bodies who financially support researchers’ work. These include CAP, which keeps costs low for selective journals;  Global Equity, which reflects regional economic differences; and our Flat Fee model that aims to make Open Access publishing easier and more accessible for researchers.

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) recently honored PLOS as the 2021 co-winner for Innovation in Publishing for its Community Action Publishing model.