Jisc broadens open access with new agreements

The digital solutions provider has signed OA deals with a number of educational publishers

Jisc, the digital solutions provider for UK research and education sectors, has signed a number of agreements helping boost open access (OA) publishing.

In the first, an arrangement between Jisc and IOP Publishing (IOPP) will mean science researchers at up to 58 UK universities will benefit from a new (OA) ‘read and publish’ deal.

From January 1, affiliated authors in 44 of IOPP’s subscription journals will enjoy OA publishing without barriers or fees. Reading access will also be granted to 75 IOPP journals, covering physics, materials science, biosciences, astronomy and astrophysics, environmental sciences, mathematics and education.

Copies of OA articles published under the agreement will be automatically deposited in institutional repositories, via Jisc’s publications router.

Together we’ll continue to explore new ways in which small learned societies can transition to OA in a sustainable way
 – Kathryn Spiller, Jisc

“The agreement constitutes an important next step towards rapidly increasing immediate access to scientific research under transparent conditions and pricing,” said Anna Vernon, Jisc Collection’s head of licensing.

“The contract offers highly optimised workflows for different institutions, giving access to even more open access journals and removing administrative burdens for libraries and academics.”

In related news, Jisc has seen the first fruits of its negotiations with smaller publishers to offer a sustainable transition to OA.

Five UK-based society publishers have signed pilot transitional (OA) agreements, namely the Microbiology Society, Portland Press, IWA Publishing,  the Company of Biologists and the European Respiratory Society.

The two-year ‘read and publish’ pilots allow 100% of UK scholarly output to be published OA in the societies’ hybrid journals.


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The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF), a partnership between six health research charities –  including the Wellcome Trust – invested £1.3m in OA publishing fees with UK-based self-publishing learned societies between 2016 and 2018, with the five society publishers accounting for just under a third of the funding.

“We are delighted to offer smaller publishers a chance to negotiate with a national consortium,” said Kathryn Spiller, licensing manager at Jisc.

“OA publishing is becoming within reach, especially now Wellcome  has confirmed that these agreements are in compliance with their policy and that their funds can be used to support these agreements. Together we’ll continue to explore new ways in which small learned societies can transition to OA in a sustainable way.”

The agreements steer the sector away from hundreds of individual article processing charges to a fixed annual payment between the institution and the publisher, significantly reducing admin for all involved.

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