Library hub – frequently asked questions
This FAQ is divided into the following sections:
- Which journals do you publish?
We publish three specialist peer-reviewed subscription journals which have provided access to the latest, high-quality biological science research since 1853:
- Journal of Cell Science
- Journal of Experimental Biology
We also publish two fully Open Access journals:
- Disease Models & Mechanisms
- Biology Open
- When did your journals move from the HighWire platform to the Silverchair platform?
Our five journals moved to the Silverchair publishing platform on 15 April 2021.
Moving to the Silverchair publishing platform has resulted in enhancements to user experience, discoverability, accessibility and admin functionality. We also took the opportunity to review and improve the services that we provide to our library and discovery partners more generally.
- Do you offer Read & Publish agreements?
Yes, Read & Publish agreements are available to libraries and library consortia worldwide. You can find out more here.
- Do you work with library consortia?
Yes, we have negotiated subscription and Read & Publish agreements with library consortia in many parts of the world. We are also piloting variations of our Read & Publish agreements with the Max Planck Digital Library and University of California.
You can find out more about our agreements with library consortia here.
- Do you work with agents?
We have exclusive agents in Brazil, China and Japan. We also work with agents in other countries on a non-exclusive basis.
All enquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
- Do you offer personal subscriptions?
No, we no longer offer personal subscriptions.
- Do you offer free trials?
Free trials are available to institutions. Please contact our subscriptions team for details at email@example.com.
- Who do I contact if I have questions about subscriptions or Read & Publish agreements?
Please contact our subscriptions team:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone +44 (0) 1223 632850
- What is your policy on “double dipping”?
We are committed to ensuring that institutions do not pay twice for access to OA content included within hybrid journals via author publishing charges (APCs) and subscription fees.
Details of our commitment to transparent pricing can be found here.
- What is your policy on Open Access?
We have participated in OA since 2004 because we believe OA publishing is good for science as it leads to wider dissemination, higher readership of articles, content reuse, and an acceleration in the sharing of quality research.
We support Open Access via three main routes:
- High quality Open Access publishing
- Cost-neutral Read & Publish Open Access agreements with libraries and library consortia
- Our commitment to the Transformative Journal approach
Read our Open Access story.
- Where can I see your Copyright and Permissions policy?
Our Copyright and Permissions policy can be viewed here.
- What preservation arrangements do you have in place to ensure content is available for the long term?
We fully support the LOCKSS programme, a multi-institutional, multi-publisher initiative to create a permanent web publishing and access system. Content preserved by libraries through LOCKSS becomes a part of their collection and they have perpetual access to 100% of titles preserved in their LOCKSS box.
We have also partnered with CLOCKSS, the community governed and supported digital preservation archive for scholarly content. This gives libraries the assurance that they will have a secure preservation solution and permanent access to our journals should a ‘trigger event’ ever occur.
- Are special terms available to libraries and researchers in developing and transition economy countries?
Following our landmark Read & Publish agreement with EIFL, researchers in 30 developing and transition economy countries can publish Open Access research articles free of charge in our subscription journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology. Libraries in these countries can also register for free institution-wide access to the journals and their archives via IP address.
In addition, online access to our subscription journals has been available free to researchers in many developing economy countries for many years through the following initiatives:
- How do I know if my institution has a subscription?
If your institution has a subscription, and you are accessing our journals via your institutional network, you will automatically have access to the tables of contents, abstracts, full text searching, full text display, PDFs, Medline and GenBank links, and tables of contents in progress.
You may also see your institution’s name or logo on webpages.
- My institution has a subscription - why am I prompted for a password when I try to access full text?
If this happens, the IP address for your machine is not being recognised by our server. This could be because:
- your institutional subscription has expired or has not yet been activated
- all valid IP addresses may not have been registered in your institution’s account
- some subnets of your institution may be routed through a proxy server that has not been authorised by The Company of Biologists
- cookies may need to be cleared
In the first instance talk to your librarian and let them know you are having difficulties or contact our subscriptions team at email@example.com.
- How can I access your online journals if I don’t have access through an institutional subscription?
If you do not have access through an institutional subscription, you can search the full text of our journals and access table of contents, abstracts and the full text of articles published more than six months previously. You can also purchase access to individual new articles.
- How can I purchase a single article from one of your journals?
If you do not have access to our journals through an institutional subscription, you can purchase short-term access to an article where a PDF link is available on the Journal’s website.
Individual print copies may also be ordered via document supply services such as the British Library Document Supply Centre.
Alternatively, we can supply you with a print copy of the journal issue in which the article appeared, if it is from the current or previous two volumes. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Why has The Company of Biologists launched a Read & Publish Open Access initiative?
We are a not-for-profit publisher with a mission to support biologists and inspire biology. We have been committed to Open Access since 2004, as we believe immediate and free access to the latest research is important for the advancement of science.
In November 2019, we were one of the first not-for-profit publishers to launch a cost-neutral Read & Publish initiative and our journals were the first in the world to be awarded Transformative Journal status by Plan S.
Read & Publish agreements support researchers and institutions in complying with funder mandates. They also reduce the barriers to reading, publishing and sharing articles.
Read more about our Open Access journey.
- What are Read & Publish agreements? How do they differ from traditional subscriptions?
As is the case with traditional subscription agreements, Read & Publish agreements are typically negotiated and signed by institutional libraries.
However, whereas subscription agreements cover access to content, Read & Publish agreements (which can vary between publishers) also cover Open Access publishing.
The Company of Biologists’ Read & Publish agreements are cost neutral, and offer generous terms:
- researchers at participating institutions get unlimited access to our three hybrid subscription journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology – and their archives dating back to 1853
- corresponding authors at participating institutions also benefit from uncapped Open Access publication of research articles in our hybrid subscription journals OR, from 2022, our hybrid subscription journals PLUS our fully Open Access journals – Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open
- How is Read & Publish pricing calculated?
Initial pricing for Read & Publish agreements is based on an institution’s subscription spend on one, two or three of our hybrid journals (“Read” fee), plus the average annual Article Processing Charge (APC) paid (if any) over the prior 3 years (“Publish” fee).
If your institution does not currently subscribe to any of our journals, a flat-fee Read & Publish price applies.
For library consortia, we apply the above pricing structure as standard, i.e. the member institutions’ previous year’s subscription spend (“Read” fee), plus the average annual Article Processing Charge (APC) spend over the prior three years (“Publish” fee). The total consortium price will depend on the number of institutions within the consortium wishing to participate in the agreement.
We have an ongoing commitment to fair and transparent pricing – find out more here.
- Are multi-year agreements available?
Yes, two- and three-year agreements are available in addition to one-year agreements.
- Which libraries are participating in your Read & Publish initiative?
A list of participating libraries is available here.
- Have Read & Publish agreements been signed with library consortia?
A list of participating library consortia is available here.
- Where can I see a sample licence agreement?
- Are resources available to help libraries promote awareness of Read & Publish agreements?
- The Company of Biologists' Read & Publish agreements are said to be "cost neutral". What does this mean?
The principle of “cost neutrality” to describe Read & Publish agreements was agreed between libraries and publishers in the SPA OPS (Society Publishers Accelerating Open Access and Plan S) project which was funded by the Wellcome Trust, UKRI and ALPSP. See the final project report.
Read & Publish agreements can be termed “cost neutral” if:
- pricing is based on the current “read” (i.e. subscription) fee plus the average annual “publish” fee (i.e. article processing charges) paid by the institution over the previous two or three years
- there is no uplift for the institution as a whole, even if the number of Open Access being published under the agreement increases
- What are the benefits of Read & Publish agreements for researchers and libraries?
- unlimited access to our three hybrid subscription journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology – including archives dating back to 1853
- uncapped, immediate and fee-free Open Access publishing of research articles for corresponding authors in our hybrid subscription journals OR, from 2022, our hybrid subscription journals PLUS our fully Open Access journals – Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open
- transparent cost-neutral pricing
- ease of administration – single annual fee covering “read” and “publish” with no separate article processing charges (APCs) to manage
- switching from a subscription to a Read & Publish agreement is easy, in many cases via a simple addendum
- regular reporting of Open Access articles published under the agreement
- bespoke multi-year agreements
- easy compliance with funders’ Open Access mandates
- straightforward submission process (see our guide for authors) and automatic identification of corresponding authors
- automatic deposition to PubMed Central
- articles published under CC BY licence terms, with authors retaining copyright
- higher visibility of articles
- Where can I download information about Read & Publish agreements and individual journals?
- Is The Company of Biologists participating in the OA Switchboard?Yes, we are participating in the OA Switchboard and connectors are now in place. This means that we can provide real-time publishing information on a regular basis to libraries that have signed up to the OA Switchboard, and reporting is available from 1 January 2022. Find out more.
- Is The Company of Biologists participating in Jisc's Publications Router service?
Yes, we provide full-text Open Access (OA) articles for distribution to UK institutional repositories via Jisc’s Publications Router service. This means that the version of record is delivered automatically to authors’ institutions, usually within seven weeks of acceptance, together with rich and authoritative metadata.
The Jisc Publications Router Service is available free of charge to Jisc-member higher education institutions with compatible systems. Find out more.
- My institution has a Read & Publish agreement. How do I submit a fee-free Open Access article?
Please see our Read & Publish guide for authors.
- Free OA publication of research articles is available to corresponding authors at institutions with Read & Publish agreements. What is the role of the corresponding author? How is the corresponding author identified?
The corresponding author (CA) has an important role, taking primary responsibility for communication with the journal (through submission, peer review, revisions, proofs etc), ensuring that all co-authors agree to the contents of the manuscript (and any revisions) and that all matters comply with the policies of the journal, as well as signing the Publication Agreement and arranging payment of an article processing charge, where required.
The CA should also be available for any post-publication queries (correspondence from other members of the community, requests for materials and data, ethics queries etc). In addition, the role of CA is often seen to confer a level of seniority and experience.
The CA should ensure that all co-authors have agreed authorship and contributorship (using the CRediT taxonomy) before submission. The choice of CA on a manuscript should be based on the above commitments rather than any financial considerations.
The CA’s contact details (email, institute, country etc) are provided by the authors during submission, and this metadata is transferred to CCC (Copyright Clearance Center, our post-publication licencing partner) if an article is accepted for publication.
Important note for Open Access publication: CAs should check their funder mandates carefully to ensure they select the appropriate OA publishing route. If a CC-BY license is required, please select Gold OA.
- Will The Company of Biologists deposit my manuscript in PubMed Central?
Yes. All articles published via Read & Publish will automatically be deposited in PubMed Central.
In addition, we deposit in US NLM PMC for funders that mandate this repository (for release after 6 or 12 months as mandated). For funders that require deposit in Europe PMC or other publicly available repositories, we allow self-archiving of the final published PDF for release 12 months after publication or as otherwise mandated.
- How has The Company of Biologists engaged with Open Access?
We have actively engaged with the Open Access movement since 2004 because it helps us to deliver our mission to support biologists and inspire biology. Open Access publishing leads to broader dissemination and faster reuse, accelerating the sharing of quality information.
We publish two fully Open Access journals, Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open. Both are indexed in DOAJ. Authors can publish Open Access in these titles, or they can publish Open Access in our subscription-based journals, under a CC_BY licence. We also deposit authors’ articles into PubMed Central.
In November 2019, we were one of the first not-for-profit publishers to launch a cost-neutral Read & Publish initiative and our subscription journals were the first in the world to be awarded Transformative Journal status by Plan S.
- Are Read & Publish agreements for the long term? What happens at renewal?
The Open Access landscape is changing fast, and it is hard to predict what the future will bring. We believe that Open Access benefits science and we have demonstrated our commitment to the OA movement since 2004.
We believe that our Read & Publish initiative has the potential to be a long-term, transformative solution that will work for the research community internationally as well as for us as a not-for-profit publisher.
Whatever happens, maintaining our excellent relationship with our library customers will always be central to our strategy.
We will continue to be transparent regarding our pricing policies and our progress towards our public commitment to meeting OA targets as the publisher of the world’s first Transformative Journals.
- What subscription options are available?
Subscriptions are available on a calendar year (January to December).
Read & Publish Open Access agreements are also available to libraries and library consortia worldwide.
- Where can I find pricing information? How do we subscribe?
We have a 5-tier pricing model for institutional subscriptions.
2024 pricing for tiers 1-4 is available here.
Pricing for Tier 5 institutions and library consortia is negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
To request a quote and/or subscribe, please contact us at email@example.com and provide the following information:
- Journal name
- Full name and address of organisation
- Number of site locations
- Tier coding (if known)
- How are “single site” and “multi-site” defined?
A single site is a single contiguous geographic region from within which the library’s “Authorized Users” and public visitors can access the Licensed Materials over a secure network.
A typical single site would have a single billing address for all subscription purchases and all physical locations accessing the Licensed Materials would be located on the same physical campus.
If the library maintains or provides service to users that are outside of one single geographical contiguous location, or multiple departments that operate independently of the parent institution, then the library may need to obtain a multi-site or consortium license.
A multi-site is defined as:
A non-contiguous site, i.e. a single institution with separate branches or departments that operate independently and may or may not share IP addresses and/or network services with another site.
Affiliates, partners or franchises that may or may not operate independently of the another institution and may or may not be located on the same site and may or may not share IP addresses and/or network services with another site.
- Where can I see a licence agreement?
You can view the licence agreement (covering both single-site and multi-site) here.
- Are COUNTER-compliant usage reports available? How do we download them? Can we access legacy reports?
Our journals moved from the Highwire platform to the Silverchair platform on 15 April 2021.
The full range of COUNTER5 usage reports from this date onwards can be downloaded by library administrators who are logged into the Silverchair admin dashboard.
Institutions that have legacy COUNTER data now have an “Archive Reports” tab in their SiteManager profiles. Navigating to this view gives administrators an option to “Download legacy COUNTER reports”. The following reports are available where applicable: COUNTER4 JR1 for 2019, 2020, and January – April 2021.
Please contact us if you have any questions or need any help.
- What things can library administrators manage via the Silverchair admin dashboard? Have usernames and passwords changed?
On the Silverchair admin dashboard, Library administrators can:
- update institution details (name, address, phone number)
- upload institutional logos
- update admin contact details (name, username, password)
- manage Shibboleth and OpenURL link resolver information
- download IP addresses
Usernames have not changed but administrators need to change their passwords the first time they log in.
Please contact us if you require assistance.
- Is there a user guide for the Silverchair admin dashboard?
Yes, the Silverchair user guide can be downloaded from the bottom right of the admin dashboard.
We have also put together a brief “how-to” guide for library administrators.
- Do we need to do anything to ensure seamless access for our users following the migration to Silverchair?
Referring URLs, proxy servers, wayfless URLs, EZproxy
If you have not already done so, referring URLs, proxy settings and Wayfless URLs should be updated as they need endpoint changes to the new domains.
If you use EZprozy, the stanza needs to be updated.
The new domain URLs are:
- Development: https://journals.biologists.com/dev
- Journal of Cell Science: https://journals.biologists.com/jcs
- Journal of Experimental Biology: https://journals.biologists.com/jeb
- Disease Models & Mechanisms: https://journals.biologists.com/dmm
- Biology Open: https://journals.biologists.com/bio
If your library has a hosted EZProxy, you will need to contact OCLC to make the changes.
No changes need to be made to the Shibboleth set up as we worked closely with Silverchair to import the IDs, federations and affiliations for existing users.
Knowledgebases should have been updated by the service owners and we informed the following third parties about the platform move: Infotrieve, Reprints Desk, CCC, PLS, OCLC, Ebsco and Ex Libris/ProQuest, PubMed, CrossRef, Web of Science and Scopus.
If you hold your knowledgebase locally you may need to update it yourself.
There have been no changes to the DOIs and the DOI registry has been updated to reflect the new URLs.
The new linking syntax is as follows:
Article by DOI:
URL format: https://journals.biologists.com/[site abbreviation]/article-lookup/DOI/[ ]
Article by volume/issue/page or content ID:
URL format: https://journals.biologists.com/[site abbreviation]/article-lookup article-lookup/[volume]/[issue]/[page or CID]
There have been no changes to browser support and mobile access and the move to the Silverchair platform offers improvements to accessibility.
The new platform is optimised for modern browsers. If you are currently using Internet Explorer we encourage you to upgrade to Edge, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari (for Mac users) for a better user experience
- How do we register and update our IP addresses?
To save library administrators time and effort in having to check and update IP addresses in multiple publisher systems, we have partnered with theIPRegistry.org.
A free service for libraries, theIPRegistry.org provides librarians with a central place to check and update IP address data, and changes can be communicated to participating publishers (including The Company of Biologists) simultaneously with a single click.
The IP address data we hold for your institution – and which you can view in your Silverchair admin dashboard – has been cross-checked against theIPregistry.org’s repository of validated IP addresses covering over 70,000 organisations worldwide.
IP address data is now updated on a daily basis from information supplied by theIPRegistry.org, thereby increasing the speed and accuracy of changes.
- Log into theIPRegistry.org or register free of charge
- Find out more about how to submit updates via theIPRegistry.org
If you do not wish to register with theIPRegistry.org,
please contact us with a complete list of IP addresses to be registered and annotate any proxy IPs.
Please quote your subscriber number and list each IP address, or partial IP address, following these rules:
- The only characters allowed are numbers, dashes (-), or asterisks (*)
- There should be 4 segments (containing max 3 characters) and no segment of an IP address can be blank
- The allowed values for the first segment are 1-223
- The allowed values for segments 2, 3, 4 are 0-254
- The first segment cannot contain a range (-)
- The first and second segments cannot contain a wildcard (*)
- The third and fourth segments cannot both contain a range (-)
Example using both the wildcard character (*) and the range character (-):
Main site: All addresses beginning with 10.175.4 – use asterisk, in this case 10.175.4.*
Department: All addresses between 192.168.55.* and 192.168.60.* – use asterisk, in this case 192.168.55-60.*
Department: All addresses between 192.168.62.77 and 192.168.62.145 – use dashes, in this case 192.168.62.77-145
- Are KBART files available?
- Can your journals be cross-searched?
Yes, our journals can be cross-searched at https://journals.biologists.com/advanced-search.
- Can your journals be accessed via Shibboleth?
We are part of eduGAIN which allows us to authenticate customers from around 60 Shibboleth federations. We currently offer Shibboleth access via the following federations:
- Germany (DFN-AAI)
- United States (InCommon)
- Australian Access
- Japan (GakuNin)
Please contact our subscriptions team at firstname.lastname@example.org to request access via additional federations.
- Is access via proxy services permitted?
Yes, if your institution has deployed two factor authentication – specifically that each Authorised User is able to access the Licensed Materials by inputting either:
- a username and a password
- a staff ID and a PIN or
- an email address and a software token.
Proxy servers that only require a staff ID to log in (without password) are not permitted for authenticating users.
- Is content available in a mobile-optimized format?
Yes, all our journal websites utilise responsive design, allowing the screen to automatically resize to fit the reader’s chosen device, so they can easily read an article on their desktop, tablet or mobile.
- Can we supply interlibrary loan requests?
Authorised users may digitally transfer or print journal articles to fulfil interlibrary loan (ILL) requests for academic, research or other non-commercial libraries.
Fair Use and CONTU guidelines on the appropriate amount of ILL activity should be followed.
- Can individual articles be included in printed or electronic course packs?
Authorised users may print and store individual articles for educational purposes and private study.
All copyright and other rights of The Company of Biologists in and to the Licensed Materials are reserved.
- If we do not renew our subscription, will we continue to have access to all subscribed content?
Yes, you will have access to all journal content (including archives) with the exception of articles published in the current subscription year.
- Who from my institution can access the journals?
The subscription fee allows for unrestricted access at one location unless a multi-site licence is in place.
Any user connecting from an authorised computer on your institutional network will be allowed access to the online journals. This includes members of the public accessing via terminals located onsite and under the control of the subscribing institution.
Authorised users may also use home computers and other mobile devices provided such use can be authenticated by the institution. Institutional proxy servers must be authorised under the Terms and Conditions of the Licence.
- Do users need to create new accounts following the migration to Silverchair? Will RSS feeds created prior to migration still work?
Users do not need to create new accounts but, as our journal URLs have changed, new RSS feeds will need to be set up.
- Are articles purchased by users before the migration to the Silverchair platform still accessible?
- What are your payment terms? What methods of payment do you accept?
We require payment with order or upon receipt of an invoice.
We recommend that payment is made electronically by BACS. Please advise your bank to quote your invoice and subscriber number, in addition to sending our remittance advice to email@example.com.
Please contact us for our bank details or see the information provided on our invoices.
Unless specified otherwise, prices are applicable in the following regions:
- Euros (€) – for all European countries (excluding the UK)
- US Dollars ($) – for North, Central, South America and Canada
- Sterling (£) – for UK and ROW not covered above
Please ensure you use the appropriate currency when ordering/renewing journal subscriptions.
If you would like to make payment of your subscription via credit or debit card, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All orders are regarded as firm and subscription payments are not refundable after online access has been activated or the first issue has been despatched.
Online access is subject to the completion of a licence or addendum to a current licence.
- How do I contact you about a back issue request or claim?
Please contact email@example.com to request a back issue quotation or make a claim for missing print issues.
Claims should be made immediately after receipt of a subsequent issue or within three months of the journal despatch date.
Claims for damage should be reported within three days of receipt of the journal issue.
Please provide the following information when making a claim:
- Your subscriber number
- Your full name and address
- The journal name
- Relevant volume number
- Issue number