Stirling to join Public Library of Science Community Action Publishing: free Open Access publishing

From 1st January Stirling will be joining the three-year ‘Public Library of Science’ JISC negotiated Community Action Publishing Agreement. The Agreement enables free uncapped open access publishing for our authors in two highly selective journals:

Alongside our previous announcement about joining the PLOS Flat Tier Agreement, this now means Stirling authors can publish in any of the PLOS journals for free at the point of submission.

The Community Action Publishing Agreement is an innovative approach to the financial challenges of keeping costs for open access publishing in highly selective journals at reasonable levels.  The aim is to avoid expensive APC charges as seen for example in the recent announcement by Nature that their fee will be 9,500 euros (approx. £8,500) per article.

In the Community Action Publishing approach Stirling will become part of a collective supporting PLOS, a not for profit open access publisher, to make highly selective open access journals sustainable through a community-based funding model.

The community goal is to cover the costs of the journals by equitably distributing cost, rather than have individual authors pay high APCs.  Stirling will pay a fixed annual membership fee and as members of the collective will receive the “private benefit” of publishing in both journals with no fees. Whereas, authors from non-member institutions will be subject to “non-member fees” which increase considerably year-on-year to encourage participation in the collective.

The only requirement for any article will be that a Stirling author is a contributing author (they do not have to be the corresponding author). The agreement streamlines workflows by removing individual APC payments and monthly approval checks. Eligible authors will be automatically identified in PLOS’s submission system There will be no need for our authors to apply to Stirling’s APC Fund or inform the Library when publishing in these journals as the corresponding author.

The Agreement commences on 1st January 2021 and runs until 31st December 2023.

The University is a member of a number of agreements supporting the move to greater open access for our research, in cost efficient ways – see our Publisher memberships and discounts page.

Clare Allan
Senior Research Librarian

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