Open Access Publishing Pilot for PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine

The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and the Public Library of Science (PLOS) have entered into an agreement for BTAA members, including The Ohio State University, to participate in PLOS' Community Action Publishing (CAP) program. CAP is PLOS' effort to sustain highly selective journal publishing without Article Processing Charges (APCs) for authors. The agreement ensures time to test and evaluate this new community-based model and allows BTAA researchers to publish in PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine without incurring fees. The BTAA and PLOS will also collaborate on future data, metrics, and tools for institutions to evaluate Open Access publishing agreements.

Details of the BTAA and PLOS Community Action Publishing Agreement…

Under the umbrella of the BTAA's BIG Collection, this is a focused pilot in collective action to create a sustainable, scalable open knowledge ecosystem across BTAA. The pilot is a three-year one-time agreement (January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2023), with no ongoing obligation and the ability to opt out at any time. The agreement covers all BTAA universities with one cost, rather than an institution-by-institution breakdown.

The publishing pilot covers uncapped, no-fee publishing for authors for three years in two journals, PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine. All published articles are immediately Open Access and are available globally to read at no charge. There is no change to workflow for authors or librarians and it automatically extends to all authors from participating campuses who submit to either PLOS Biology or PLOS Medicine. The benefits extend to authors of all system, regional, and branch campuses of Big Ten universities (with the exception of University of Illinois at Chicago and Maryland system campuses besides College Park).

The financial benefits of collective action are flat costs for all three years (0% price increase) and a 1% consortial discount. The purpose is to pilot a new business model for sustainable, open scholarly communication that can scale to additional journals and publishers. Frequent reporting and metrics will be provided by PLOS for assessment and insight into the pilot.

BTAA Participating Institutions:

  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois*
  • Indiana University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Maryland–College Park*
  • University of Michigan
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nebraska
  • Northwestern University
  • The Ohio State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Wisconsin

* The University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Maryland system campuses (besides College Park) are not covered by this agreement.

I am an author at Ohio State. What do I need to do to benefit from this agreement?

Through the BTAA, The Ohio State University is a member of the PLOS Community Action Publishing program. Community Action Publishing takes into account the contributions of every author — not just corresponding authors — to help distribute publishing costs equitably among the institutions who support them.

Upon submitting your manuscript to either PLOS Biology or PLOS Medicine, be sure to list your Ohio State institutional affiliation in the PLOS submission system, Editorial Manager. If your work is accepted for publication, PLOS will check this field and ensure that your benefits are applied to any publication fees. 

If you are the corresponding author, or if all authors of the manuscripts are members, your publication fees are automatically covered. If the corresponding author is not a member, but at least one of the manuscript's co-authors is a member, you will receive a 25% discount towards the non-member fee. 

After submission, corresponding authors receive an estimate from PLOS billing system, Copyright Clearance Center, indicating the expected publication fees based on the current membership status of each author. If any author's institution joins the PLOS Community Action Publishing program before your work is accepted, your actual publication fee could be less.

More information about the PLOS Open Access Publishing Pilot is available in the FAQ below.

Please contact us, TransformPublishing@osu.edu, with any questions about the PLOS BTAA agreement.


BTAA and PLOS Community Action Publishing Agreement FAQ

How does this agreement work?

Beginning January 1, 2021, PLOS Community Action Publishing (CAP) ensures publication fees for accepted manuscripts at PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine will automatically be covered if the authors' institutions are members of the PLOS Community Action Publishing (CAP) program.

Community Action Publishing takes into account the contributions of every author — not just corresponding authors — to help distribute publishing costs equitably among the institutions who support them. This ensures institutional members are charged a fair fee based solely on their authors' publishing history. Their membership guarantees funding for their authors' future publications.

What journal titles are included in this agreement?

This pilot covers PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine.

When will Ohio State authors be able to benefit from this agreement?

Ohio State authors with articles accepted in PLOS Biology or PLOS Medicine between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2023 are eligible to benefit from this agreement.

Are there costs for authors to participate in the pilot?

If an Ohio State author, or an author from a member institution (including participating BTAA institutions), is the corresponding author, there are no membership fees (APCs) to publish in PLOS Biology or PLOS Medicine during this pilot. If an Ohio State author, or an author from a member institution (including participating BTAA institutions), is not the corresponding author, but some or all of the contributing authors are members, there is a 25% discount on the non-member fee (APC).

Do all manuscript authors need to be members of the PLOS Community Action Publishing (CAP) program?

Both corresponding and coauthor membership plays a role in assessing non-member fees (APCs). If all authors of a manuscript are members, their publication fees are already covered. If the corresponding author's institution is a member, the non-member fee is waived. If the corresponding author is not a member, but some of the coauthors are, the corresponding authors will be subject to the non-member fee, with a 25% discount.

How long will Ohio State authors be able to benefit from this agreement?

The new PLOS agreement is a three-year pilot beginning in January 1, 2021 and ending December 31, 2023.

How are articles published for Ohio State authors under this agreement?

All published articles are immediately Open Access - available globally to read at no charge.

Does PLOS have information available about the Community Action Publishing (CAP) program on their site?

For more details about the Community Action Publishing (CAP) program visit the PLOS resources page for institutions and the PLOS Community Action Publishing FAQ.

Whom can I contact with questions?

For questions about the PLOS pilot, please contact us at TransformPublishing@osu.edu


Questions?

Please contact us, TransformPublishing@osu.edu, with any questions about the BTAA and PLOS Community Action Publishing Agreement.


More Information about Transforming Scholarly Publishing @ Ohio State is available on the home page for our Transforming the Scholarly Publishing Economy Initiative.