The Royal Society signs open access agreement

The 359-year-old learned society has for the first time agreed a ‘read and publish’ deal with Jisc

The Royal Society has signed an agreement that grants researchers at participating universities the ability to read and publish an unlimited number of articles.

The 359-year-old learned society – formally known as The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge – has for the first time agreed a ‘read and publish’ deal with Jisc. Participating universities will pay for subscriptions to paywalled content and article processing charges with just one yearly fee.

Many researchers are required by their funding agreements to publish their research ‘open access’. The deal means the Royal Society’s publishing policies are compliant with the requirements of major funders including UKRI, Research England, the Wellcome Trust, NIH, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, HHMI and the European Commission.

The deal also removes the need for researchers to pay an article processing charge (APC) to publish their work ‘open access’; a requirement which became cost prohibitive for researchers in niche or less well-funded disciplines.

The deal is also compliant with Plan S, a publishing initiative that requires all scientific publications that result from publicly funded research to be released via open access journals from 2021.

Publishing director at the Royal Society Stuart Taylor said: “The Royal Society actively supports open access publishing through its gold OA journals, green OA policy, OA membership programme and now through this Read & Publish option for 2021.

“We see Read & Publish deals as a key mechanism in the transition to open access and aim to reach agreements with as many of our customers as we can. We are therefore delighted to have reached agreement with Jisc on a Read & Publish deal for UK institutions as this is clearly a key market for us.”

Kathryn Spiller, licensing manager at Jisc, said: “We at Jisc are happy that the Royal Society is offering a global Read & Publish product in line with Plan S requirements which are coming into force next year.

“We are delighted to reach an agreement that offers our members discounts on their standard pricing for 2021. The arrangement will enable large amounts of UK authored content to be converted to open access, in line with our mission.

“This is the first of a series of agreements with society publishers which will offer a variety of routes to compliance with new funder mandates.”

Read more: Journal subscriptions: Jisc pledges to help universities cut costs

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