Read & Publish: Frequently asked questions
- Why has The Company of Biologists launched a Read & Publish Open Access initiative?
- What are Read & Publish agreements?
- How does Read & Publish pricing work?
- Are multi-year agreements available?
- Which libraries are participating in The Company of Biologists’ Read & Publish initiative?
- Have Read & Publish agreements been signed with library consortia?
- What are the benefits of Read & Publish agreements for researchers and libraries?
- The Company of Biologists’ Read & Publish agreements are said to be “cost neutral”. What does this mean?
- My institution has a Read & Publish agreement. How do I submit a fee-free Open Access article?
- Free OA publication of research articles is available to corresponding authors at institutions with Read & Publish agreements. How is the corresponding author identified?
- Will The Company of Biologists deposit my manuscript in PubMed Central?
- How has The Company of Biologists engaged with Open Access?
- Are Read & Publish agreements for the long term?
- Who do I contact to find out more?
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.
Our Read & Publish agreements have considerable benefits for researchers and their institutions. Our initiative supports researchers in complying with funder mandates. Authors at participating institutions can publish Open Access articles in our subscription-based journals without having to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs).
We look forward to working with libraries and library consortia to accelerate a cost-neutral transition to Open Access and to increase submissions and usage.
Read more in our Open Access story.
What are Read & Publish agreements?
Read & Publish agreements are an alternative to traditional subscriptions. Read & Publish agreements between a publisher and institution have two components – a read fee and a fee for Open Access publishing.
How does Read & Publish pricing work?
Pricing is based on an institution’s subscription spend (Read), plus the average annual Article Processing Charge (APC) spend (if any) over the prior 3 years (Publish).
A competitive read fee is offered to institutions that have not previously subscribed to our journals. This will include unlimited access to Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology (including back files), plus unlimited fee-free publishing of Open Access research articles.
For library consortia, we apply the same pricing structure, i.e. the member institutions’ previous year’s subscription spend (Read), plus the average annual Article Processing Charge (APC) spend over the prior three years (Publish). The total consortium price will depend on the number of institutions within the consortium wishing to participate in the agreement.
Are multi-year agreements available?
Yes, two- and three-year agreements are available and, for agreements starting in 2021, the total Read & Publish price per annum will be fixed for the duration of the contract.
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?
Yes, a list of participating consortia is available here.
What are the benefits of Read & Publish agreements for researchers and libraries?
Read & Publish agreements benefit libraries, researchers and science.
Benefits for libraries include:
- transparent cost-neutral pricing plus ease of administration – single annual fee covering “read” and “publish” with no separate Article Processing Charges (APCs) to manage
- Open Access reporting as part of our workflow
- multi-year agreements with low renewal pricing
Benefits for researchers include:
- unlimited access to Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology including back files dating from 1853 – even if your library does not currently subscribe to them all
- unlimited immediate and fee-free Open Access publishing of research articles in our subscription journals for all corresponding authors under CC-BY licence terms, with authors retaining copyright
- easy compliance with funders’ Open Access mandates
- automatic deposition to PubMed Central
- higher visibility of articles
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
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Read our Open Access story.
Are Read & Publish agreements for the long term?
The Open Access landscape is changing fast, and it’s hard to predict what the future will bring. We have demonstrated our commitment to the Open Access movement since 2004, and we believe that our Read & Publish initiative has the potential to be a long-term, transformative solution that will work for us as a not-for-profit publisher as well as for our community.
Who do I contact to find out more?
If you have any questions about Read & Publish agreements, or if you would like a quote, please contact:
Richard Grove, Commercial Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org