Breaking: University of California agrees to ‘transformative’ open access publishing deal with Cambridge University Press

The University of California and Cambridge University Press have entered into a transformative agreement that will advance the global shift toward an open access future for research.

The agreement is designed to maintain UC’s access to Cambridge’s journals, while also supporting open access publishing for UC authors. The partnership is UC’s first open access agreement with a major publisher, and Cambridge’s first such deal in the Americas.   

“This agreement reflects the strong belief among UC faculty that our research should be available not just to the scientific community, but also to the world at large,” said Dennis Ventry, UC Davis professor of law and vice chair of the Academic Senate University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication, the UC’s faculty committee for topics related to scholarly publishing.

“We are delighted that Cambridge is enthusiastic about partnering with us to ensure that researchers around the world, the taxpayers who fund our work, and the general public will have immediate and perpetual access to the research we do here at the University of California,” Ventry added.

Under the agreement, UC will have full and permanent access to the Press’s entire collection of over 400 journals, and open access publishing in Cambridge’s journals will be available to authors across the UC’s 10 campuses. Because the subscription “reading” fee will go down as UC’s open access publishing goes up, the university will see no significant overall increase to the cost of its contract. The three-year agreement will allow UC and Cambridge to pilot this approach from 2019 through 2021.

“We are absolutely thrilled to see Cambridge’s long-standing partnership with the University of California deepen with this new agreement,” said Kellie O’Rourke, Cambridge’s Head of Library Sales for the Americas. “It’s a decisive step forward for Cambridge’s vision of a sustainable, open access future for journals publishing in North America, and globally.”

In the last two years Cambridge has also reached open access deals with the JISC consortium in the UK, the Bibsam consortium in Sweden, the UKB consortium in the Netherlands and, most recently, with the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, BSB) on behalf of higher education and research institutions across Germany.

Chris Bennett, Cambridge’s Global Sales Director, said, “We’re very excited about the significance of this agreement for a sustainable global transition to open research and service-based publishing. It underlines our commitment to delivering on what researchers need across the diverse communities we serve. As a university press we are part of the scholarly ecosystem ourselves and are  delighted to be taking this next step in strong partnership with the University of California.”

Guided by UC’s faculty-driven principles for transforming scholarly communication, the deal will be one of the first, and the largest, transformative open access publishing agreements in the United States to date. As a public institution, a central tenet of the UC’s mission is to make knowledge more broadly available and to facilitate new discoveries that build on the university’s research.

“Transformative open access agreements like this one directly support our university’s mission by making it easier for UC researchers to make their articles freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world,” said Ivy Anderson, associate executive director of UC’s California Digital Library. “We look forward to working with Cambridge and with our faculty to implement this innovative pilot, which provides a model for open access publishing that is uniquely suited to the U.S. academic environment.”