Company of Biologists

Agreement ID compbio2021cdl
Agreement labeling Company of Biologists transformative agreement
Has the agreement been disclosed and published? No
URL (Memorandum of Understanding)
Agreement period 01/01/2021 – 12/31/2024
Consortia / Institution California Digital Library (University of California)
Country United States

Approximate range of annual corresponding author publications


How do the costs of the agreement relate to previous subscription-only agreements with the publisher?

Cost decrease
Comments on cost development Cost-neutral, based on previous UC system-wide expenditure (including prior APC spend by authors from UC campuses and library expenditures). The agreement includes mechanisms to control and cap costs throughout the term of the agreement and a negotiated APC rate.

Transformative agreements vary by their transformative mechanisms, meaning the way in which financing is shifted from the subscription side to open access publishing. What are the characteristics of this agreement to this regard?

Subscriptions fully converted to OA publishing fees (access related costs 5% or less)

How do entitlements for open access publishing correlate to the anticipated article output? Which mechanisms for risk sharing have been agreed in cases of exceeding or not reaching the number of OA publishing entitlements?

The agreement features the following risk-control mechanisms: There is a minimum and maximum set for the total fees that will be billed to UC in each year of the agreement. In addition, APC rates are negotiated.

Are all journals relevant to your affiliated authors (in which you expect them to publish) eligible for OA publishing under the agreement?

Are fully open access journals covered by the agreement? Yes
OA LICENSE CC-BY mandatory
Publisher offers only CC-BY for open access articles
Original research articles
Review articles

What is the approximate share of access related costs of the overall agreement?

Comments on access costs Agreement is structured to include access as well as publishing but the finances are structured without any access fee

Are all read relevant journals covered by the agreement?

WORKFLOW ASSESSMENT Too early to assess
Comments on workflows The agreement is implemented using the multi-payer model, which provides a mechanism to combine funding from the libraries with authors’ grant funds, if the author so chooses. More details appear below in the Overall Assessment and Comments section.
OVERALL ASSESSMENT AND COMMENTS This agreement is an important step in the overall transition, particularly for not-for-profit publishers.

The cost-neutral agreement achieves both of UC’s key goals for transformative open access journal agreements: controlling costs and providing for open access publishing in the full portfolio of Company of Biologists journals, including hybrid (subscription-based) and open access journals.

The agreement enables UC corresponding authors to publish an unlimited number of research articles immediately open access. Under the agreement, the UC libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of the open access fee, or article processing charge (APC), for all UC authors who choose to publish in a Company of Biologists journal. Authors are asked to pay the remainder if they have research funds available to do so. Authors who do not have research funds available can request full funding of the APC from the libraries, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish open access in The Company of Biologists’ journals.

By combining funding from the libraries with authors’ grant funds, the agreement provides a model for how institutions in the United States can create a sustainable and inclusive path to full open access.

Request contact to the licensee contact [at] esac-initiative [dot] org