Extending our Open Access initiatives to China

17 January 2023

“It is important for more people to have access to others’ research results. This benefits the entire community.” Professor Wei Xie, Tsinghua University.

The Company of Biologists has had a long-standing commitment to Open Access (OA) as we believe it benefits science. Why? Because publishing articles immediately OA enables scientists in all parts of the world to read, share and re-use the latest research in our peer-reviewed journals.

To support this commitment, and to accelerate the transition to Open Access, we established a Read & Publish initiative which enables researchers at participating institutions to publish OA articles without charge.

What do Chinese researchers see as the benefits of OA? What do they think about our Read & Publish initiative? We asked members of our journal communities to share their insights.

Removing barriers to access and dissemination

“Researchers and students encounter problems getting access to the papers they want to read,” says Professor Dehua Wang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Professor Wei Xie from Tsinghua University agrees. “My colleagues in hospitals sometimes approach me for help as they have limited access to critical biomedical literature.”

Under the traditional business model for scientific journals, articles are normally only available to institutions or individuals that pay for access – either via subscriptions or pay-per-view.

Open Access publishing changes this, making articles available to everyone who wishes to access them without charge, and enabling the content to be shared and re-used. The speed and breadth of dissemination of OA articles also benefits authors.

“I found publishing Open Access to be very useful. It means that a broader range of readers are able to access my papers and discuss them,” says Dr Meng Zhu, formerly of Tsinghua University and now a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University.

The Company of Biologists has been at the forefront of innovation in OA publishing for many years. In addition to publishing two fully OA journals (Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology), our three hybrid journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology – have chosen the ‘transformative’ route towards Open Access and were the first journals to be afforded Transformative Journal status by Plan S.

Removing barriers to Open Access publishing

To support our Transformative Journal approach and to drive growth in OA content, we were one of the first not-for-profit publishers to launch a Read & Publish Open Access initiative.

The initiative has proved very popular, and researchers at over 500 institutions in 39 countries now benefit from uncapped, immediate and fee-free Open Access publishing in our journals. We are on track to exceed our targets for OA growth in 2022 as we did in 2021, and we are keen to extend the benefits of Read & Publish agreements to researchers in China.

“I think that Read & Publish agreements offer a mutual benefit to the journal and to the author,” says Professor Yi Zeng, group leader at the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Professor Wei Xie from Tsinghua University shares her enthusiasm. “From the author’s point of view, I see no reason not to like this Read & Publish initiative!”

Read & Publish in China – next steps

“The success of our Read & Publish initiative has helped us to accelerate the transition of our hybrid subscription journals towards Open Access. It has also reduced the barriers to publishing in our fully OA journals,” says Professor Matthew Freeman, Chairman of The Company of Biologists and Head of the Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford. “We now look forward to partnering with institutions in China to maximise the speed and breadth of dissemination of Chinese research output.”

Would you like to find out more about our Read & Publish Open Access initiative?

General information
Participating institutions
Video collection
What authors say
Benefits for researchers
Step-by-step guide for authors

Visit our journal websites

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

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