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As the United Kingdom Embraces Open Science, its Academic Network Signs an Agreement to Boost Open Access Journals

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Use of Colour, Library and Learning Centre, UEL, Greater London, England, UK, September 21, 2006 | © Courtesy of Jisc infoNet /Flickr.

On October 4, 2018, Jisc Collections, a non-profit organization that negotiates the terms of access to electronic resources of British higher education and research institutions, has signed a comprehensive agreement with De Gruyter that is expected to facilitate a transition to Open Access in the sector of article and journal publishing.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.


In the framework of the agreement between Jisc and De Gruyter, research universities and institutes of the United Kingdom (UK) will be receiving access to De Gruyter journals, while transitioning their article publishing processes to Open Access. Since this agreement represents an institutional membership for participating institutions, it will also provide discounts on article processing charges (APCs) on which its journals using the models of Gold Open Access depend for their financial sustainability.

According to the press statements released in this connection, this institutional membership agreement can be expected to accelerate a transition to Open Access in the UK, while addressing the issue of rising APC costs, as it ensures their affordability. Notably, this agreement supports both Gold Open Access and hybrid or Green Open Access as journal publishing models with significant market presence. This is particularly significant in view of Jisc’s general endorsement of the Plan S proposed by cOAlition S that envisions making Open Access a default article publishing model by 2020 in European countries.

In this respect, the agreement between Jisc and De Gruyter broadly conforms with the goals of the Plan S without restricting Open Access to a single publishing model, while increasing the efficiency with which third-party funding is used for the purposes of Open Access publishing. In other words, while Europe-wide initiatives, such as the Plan S, create macro-level conditions for the adoption of Open Access among educational and research institutions, it is publishing houses, such as De Gruyter, that propose solutions in the framework of which the corresponding Open Access goals are implemented.

Thus, British researchers that in the framework of this institutional partnership will be publishing their research results at De Gruyter journals utilizing various Open Access models can be expected to be able to choose Gold Open Access that does not involve a delay in accessibility for articles published without being limited a single Open Access model.

Given the wide variety of Open Access funding bodies in the UK, such as the Wellcome Trust, the agreement of Jisc with De Gruyter will enable British scholars and researchers to have flexibility, while complying with various Open Access policies.

By Pablo Markin


Featured Image Credits: Use of Colour, Library and Learning Centre, UEL, Greater London, England, UK, September 21, 2006 | © Courtesy of Jisc infoNet /Flickr.

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