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Read & Publish – our ongoing commitment to fair and transparent pricing

As a not-for-profit publisher with a mission to support biologists and inspire biology, The Company of Biologists has been committed to Open Access (OA) since 2004 as we believe it benefits science.

The OA landscape has undergone a significant transformation since then, and this has created many challenges for small, independent publishers such as The Company of Biologists, as well as our library customers.

At every stage in our OA journey, we have consulted with the library community on the best way forward, as well as with authors and funders. In addition to embracing change, we have also been at the forefront of OA innovation. For example, our hybrid journals were the first in the world to be afforded Transformative Journal status by Plan S.

What does Transformative Journal status mean? 
  • We have made a public commitment to transitioning to OA
  • We are required to meet transition KPIs each year and are on track to reach the first milestone on 1 January 2022
  • We have committed to flipping our hybrid journals to full OA as soon as possible and in any event once 75% of research content is OA
  • The subscription price for our hybrid journals is subject to a “double-dipping” policy which takes account of the % of OA content

Read & Publish agreements
As part of our commitment to increasing the proportion of OA content in our journals, we were one of the first not-for-profit publishers to launch a Read & Publish initiative – and we have had excellent feedback from libraries and library

From the outset, we have offered transparent and cost-neutral pricing. We took the decision to be generous in our approach by offering – as standard – unlimited access to our hybrid journals and their archives, plus uncapped APC-free publishing for corresponding authors. Our clear “double-dipping” policy also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to fair and transparent subscription pricing.

What next?
In this fast-moving landscape, it is hard to predict the future. But, whatever happens, maintaining our excellent relationships 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 OA targets, and we will keep customers regularly updated via email and the Library Hub section of our website.

We are also looking at a range of options for multi-year agreements which run beyond the end of 2024 to allow for journals to flip if the 75% target is met by the Plan S deadline of 1 January 2025. These include opt-out clauses and the conversion of Read & Publish agreements to publishing agreements.

Read & Publish: participating institutions

Read & Publish for researchers

Step-by-step guide for authors

What do authors say?


Visit our journal websites

Development Journal of Cell Science The Journal of Experimental Biology Disease Models & Mechanisms Biology Open

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