2023 Open Access Publishing Agreements

Post by Dr Zachary Kendal (Scholarly Communications Consultant).

Register now for an upcoming Researcher@Library webinar exploring the 2023 open access publishing agreements. Wednesday 15 February 2023, 12:00pm. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by 30 minutes of question time. The session is open to all University of Melbourne academic staff, graduate researchers, and professional staff.

With the adoption of six new Read and Publish (R&P) agreements that commenced this year, the University of Melbourne now has 20 open access publishing agreements with journal publishers. Most of these were negotiated on behalf of Australian institutions by the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).

Under these agreements, corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Melbourne can avoid Article Processing Charges (APCs) when publishing eligible journal articles open access. Most agreements cover selected hybrid journals – that is, subscription journals that will publish open access for a fee – although some also include fee-charging open access journals. For each agreement, limitations and exclusions apply, so read agreement details carefully when deciding where to submit your research.

All of our 2023 agreements are detailed on the Open Access Publishing page of our Open Scholarship website. The page also contains advice on other open access publishing options, including APC-free open access journals and the discounts available to researchers facing APCs.

New and continuing agreements

This year we have new R&P agreements with Elsevier, SAGE Publishing, and Taylor & Francis, which can be used for eligible journal articles accepted from 1 January 2023. The Elsevier and T&F agreements cover selected hybrid/subscription journals only, so please be mindful of the included titles lists on our website. The SAGE agreement includes all SAGE Choice hybrid journals.

All 2022 agreements have also been renewed for 2023, including those with Springer Nature, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Brill, De Gruyter, and CSIRO Publishing. The renewal of the Wiley R&P agreement also brings expanded coverage, with Wiley’s Gold Open Access journals and Hindawi journals now being eligible under the agreement. Again, limitations and exclusions will apply, so be sure to check journal coverage and eligibility criteria prior to submission.

How to use the agreements

Corresponding authors must affiliate with the University of Melbourne and use their unimelb.edu.au email address upon article submission to be recognised as eligible under the agreements.

As noted above, most agreements cover a specified list of eligible journals only, and many exclude open access journals. Also, while all agreements cover original research articles, some exclude other article types, such as letters, editorials, and commentary.

Annual publishing caps are in place on six of the agreements. CAUL anticipates that the caps on the AIP Publishing, Elsevier, Oxford University Press, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley agreements are likely to last throughout 2023. The Springer Nature cap, however, will likely be reached later in the year. The Open Access Publishing page will be updated throughout the year to reflect the status of each capped agreement and when caps are predicted to be exceeded.

Diverse pathways to open access

We estimate that in 2023, over 40% of the University’s journal articles will be eligible for having open access APCs waived under our agreements. It’s important to remember, however, that there are other open access pathways that do not involve author-facing fees.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a quality-controlled index of over 18,000 fully open access journals, almost 70% of which do not levy APCs. Such journals – sometimes called “Diamond” open access journals – are free for readers and authors alike, being financially supported by institutions, organisations, societies, or grants.

Another model for APC-free open access publishing is Subscribe to Open (S2O). Under the S2O model, a journal commits to making their coming year’s content open access at no cost to authors if their annual subscription target is reached. The University of Melbourne supports several publishers in their S2O initiatives, as noted on our Open Access Publishing page.

When publishing behind a paywall in a subscription journal, authors should remember to pursue free repository open access pathways. This can be done by depositing the article’s Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in Minerva Access, the University’s institutional repository.

Open access book publishing

Unfortunately, open access publishing is not yet the norm for academic books and book chapters. To date, R&P agreements have focused on hybrid journal publishers, and few open access publishing agreements have been made between universities and academic book publishers, as different publishing models are at play.

Some publishers, however, are trying new models of book publishing that enable open access versions to be freely and immediately available online upon publication. For example, the University is supporting MIT Press’s Direct to Open program, an S2O model that facilitates the open access publishing of new MIT Press monographs and edited volumes.

There are also numerous high quality open access academic book publishers that have emerged over the years, including ANU Press. And it’s worth noting that some of these publishers do not levy Book Processing Charges (BPCs) for open access book publishing, including Open Book Publishers and Open Humanities Press.

Find out more about open access and open research by exploring our Open Scholarship website.

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