Anneliese Taylor
Anneliese is the Head of Scholarly Communication. Contact Anneliese for help evaluating journals and publishers, assessing research impact, and for scholarly publishing resources.

Open Access Publishing Deals with PLOS and JMIR

The University of California recently signed two new publishing agreements with the open access publishers PLOS and JMIR Publications. These agreements will make it easier and more affordable for UC authors to publish scholarly articles that are free for all to access in the publishers’ journals. Under both agreements, the UC libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of the open access publishing fee for articles with a corresponding author affiliated with a UC campus. Authors who have grant funding available will be asked to pay any fee remainder, and authors who do not have research funds available can request financial assistance from the libraries through the publisher for the remainder. This ensures that a lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish in JMIR and PLOS journals.


JMIR Publishing began publishing its flagship title the Journal of Medical Internet Research in 1999, and now publishes more than 30 open access journals related to digital health, including titles popular with UCSF authors such as JMIR Research Protocols and JMIR mHealth and uHealth. JMIR is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and a founding member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), which sets standards for open access publishers. One of JMIR’s innovative offerings is its new JMIRx series of “superjournals” which select preprints from the bioRxiv, medRxiv, and PsyArxiv repositories to be peer reviewed and published. The UC-JMIR agreement applies to articles in all JMIR journals with a UC corresponding author that are accepted or submitted for publication between December 23, 2019 and December 31, 2021. See the full press release and get more details.


The Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a non-profit open access publisher that was founded by Nobel Laureate and former UCSF faculty member Dr. Harold Varmus and Professors Michael Eisen of UC Berkeley and Pat Brown of Stanford. It is one of the most prominent open access publishers internationally, producing several highly ranked journals such as PLOS Medicine, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, and PLOS Computational Biology. Many of PLOS’ innovations in research communication have subsequently been adopted by mainstream publishing, such as the PLOS ONE broad- scope journal model, which accepts all scholarly articles that pass peer review based on scientific rigor. PLOS was the first publisher to use article level metrics in order to highlight attention received by each article, and it was a leader in open data through its data sharing policy for accepted articles. The UC agreement with PLOS will be implemented in Spring 2020, and will run for two years. See the full press release and get additional details.

Leveling the playing field

The University of California signed these two deals with native open access publishers because they build upon UC’s commitment to a level playing field that supports all authors and all publishers in alignment with the university’s guidelines for evaluating transformative agreements. If you have any questions, contact the Library.

Featured image by Pamela Heckel on Unsplash