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First US-based UP signs OA agreement for UK HE

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Research and education not-for-profit Jisc has signed the first transitional agreement with a US–based university press.

Non-profit publisher Rockefeller University Press (RUP), a department of The Rockefeller University in New York City, has agreed to a deal with Jisc that negotiates open access (OA) agreements with publishers on behalf of all UK universities.

The unlimited “read-and-publish” transitional agreement covers RUP’s three hybrid journals, Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM) and Journal of General Physiology (JGP).

The two-year pilot agreement, which runs from March 2020 until February 2022, enables immediate open access for all UK higher education institutions that opt in. There is no limit to the number of articles that may be published immediate open access during the agreement, as all publishing fees are included in a fixed price.

Under the Jisc agreement, participating UK institutions receive unlimited access to all content immediately after publication and articles of corresponding authors affiliated with these institutions will be published immediate open access under a CC-BY license and directly deposited in PubMed Central (PMC).

Kathryn Spiller, licensing manager at Jisc, who has worked with the university press to negotiate the agreement, said: 'We are delighted that Rockefeller University Press is the first US–based publisher to join the group of independent publishers piloting a ‘read-and-publish’ agreement this year. We hope this will encourage other US–presses and smaller publishers to work with Jisc on transformative agreements.'

'RUP has long championed sustainable public access and is delighted to partner with Jisc to reduce the administrative burden on UK faculty and students who choose to publish their research in JCB, JEM and JGP,' said RUP executive director Susan King. 'We are pleased to be the first university publisher to sign the pilot agreement in the US, and we look forward to evaluating what we anticipate being a positive impact on the authors and readers at participating UK institutions.'

Jisc is working with smaller publishers and learned societies to explore innovative ways to make the transition toward OA financially sustainable. Previously, it secured agreements with the following publishers: Microbiology Society, IoP Publishing and another five other learned societies.