Opening up open access

New Big Ten Academic Alliance library agreements offer authors more opportunities to publish articles without barriers for readers

There are clear benefits to open access — increased reach and impact, and that open access publications can be read for free by anyone with an internet connection. Yet publishers often require authors to pay article processing charges (APCs) to make their articles open access. And these fees, some of which exceed $5,000 per article, continue to increase.

Benefits of OA

• Read our interview with Gail Ferguson, who makes a strong case for open sharing of research results.

Now there’s help for avoiding or reducing these fees. The Big Ten Academic Alliance Library consortium has negotiated two new agreements that allow U of M authors to publish their manuscripts open access in select journals from Cambridge University Press and PLOS — at no additional costs to the author. The Libraries also has negotiated agreements with other publishers for discounts on article processing fees.

How it works

PLOS

The agreement with PLOS is part of their new Community Action Publishing Model, which  includes PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine. From 2019-2020, University of Minnesota authors published 16 articles in these two journals. In cross-institutional collaborations, U of M authors must be the corresponding authors at the time of submission to obtain open access at discounted or zero fees. Even if you’re not the corresponding author, our participation in the model offers a 25% discount off the APC. This agreement is for all University of Minnesota campuses.

Cambridge University Press

Through the Cambridge University Press agreement, authors can publish OA at no cost for more than 370 journals. Five University of Minnesota corresponding authors have already benefited from the agreement. Professor Peter Olver (School of Mathematics) was our first author to take advantage and had this to say about the experience:

“The new agreement between Cambridge University Press and the University of Minnesota is a significant development for the future of academic journal publishing, providing a viable means to transition from the traditional subscription-based agreements to the new world of open access. Through it, open access publication is now possible in fields like mathematics that do not enjoy large grant support that can also be used for the associated publishing fees. Making research available throughout the world, especially to those who can least afford it, is a major improvement, and one that I fully support. I was pleased to already use the agreement twice: one paper that was recently accepted in a Gold Open Access Cambridge journal, and another in a hybrid journal, retroactively converting an accepted paper to open access.”

More information and questions

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