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Open Access Publishing Pilot for PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine

March 5, 2021
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The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and the Public Library of Science (PLOS) have entered into an agreement for BTAA members, including Rutgers University, to participate in PLOS' Community Action Publishing (CAP) program. CAP is PLOS' effort to sustain highly selective journal publishing without Article Processing Charges (APCs) for authors. The agreement ensures time to test and evaluate this new community-based model and allows BTAA researchers to publish in PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine without incurring fees. The BTAA and PLOS will also collaborate on future data, metrics, and tools for institutions to evaluate Open Access publishing agreements.

Under the umbrella of the BTAA's BIG Collection, this is a focused pilot in collective action to create a sustainable, scalable open knowledge ecosystem across BTAA. The pilot is a three-year, one-time agreement (January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2023), with no ongoing obligation and the ability to opt out at any time. The agreement covers all BTAA universities with one cost, rather than an institution-by-institution breakdown.

The publishing pilot covers uncapped, no-fee publishing for authors for three years in two journals, PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine. All published articles are immediately Open Access and are available globally to read at no charge. There is no change to workflow for authors or librarians and it automatically extends to all authors from participating campuses who submit to either PLOS Biology or PLOS Medicine. The benefits extend to authors of all system, regional, and branch campuses of Big Ten universities (with the exception of University of Illinois at Chicago and Maryland system campuses besides College Park).

The financial benefits of collective action are flat costs for all three years (0% price increase) and a 1% consortial discount. The purpose is to pilot a new business model for sustainable, open scholarly communication that can scale to additional journals and publishers. Frequent reporting and metrics will be provided by PLOS for assessment and insight into the pilot.

BTAA Participating Institutions:

  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois
  • Indiana University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Maryland–College Park
  • University of Michigan
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nebraska
  • Northwestern University
  • The Ohio State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Wisconsin