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New Read & Publish pilot agreed with Jisc


The Biochemical Society and Portland Press are delighted to announce an agreement with Jisc for a ‘Read & Publish’ transition pilot spanning all Portland Press journals over 2020 and 2021.  

Portland Press publishes seven journals. Two are fully open access (OA) titles, with one of these currently sustained by article publishing charges (APCs) at an article-by-article level; in addition, there are five hybrid journals where content is usually published behind a paywall, but authors may choose to pay an APC to have their article published OA. 

Building on the principles announced in our Open Scholarship position statement (October 2019), the transformative Read & Publish agreement, co-developed between Portland Press and Jisc, is all-inclusive in nature, offering researchers at participating institutions access to all paywalled content from 2018 onwards, as well as unlimited, APC-free OA publishing across all seven journals (five hybrid and two fully OA journals).   

With tailored fees based on respective institutions’ historical APC and subscription spends, this agreement with Jisc represents a cost-neutral Read & Publish offering that will convert all outputs in 2020 and 2021 from corresponding authors based at participating institutions to OA as a default. 

Professor Richard Reece, Chair of Portland Press Board, says:

“Our agreement with Jisc sets out an ‘all-inclusive read-and-publish transition pilot’, providing an opportunity for Portland Press to pilot our transformative business model in a robust manner. For every OA article published in our journals by a UK-based corresponding author in 2019, a paper from another UK-affiliated corresponding author was published behind a paywall. We want to change that through this model that makes frictionless ‘APC-free’ OA the norm in a way that is cost-neutral for participating UK institutions and seamless for their researchers.” 

Professor Sir Pete Downes, President of the Biochemical Society, says:

“I am delighted to see the completion of this important agreement that builds on the principles described in the Biochemical Society and Portland Press’ joint open scholarship position statement. Transitioning scientific publishing to OA presents an exciting challenge and opportunity. As the Society’s publisher, Portland Press has adopted a positive and proactive approach, opening up research in the biosciences to a much wider community.” 

Working alongside researchers, institutions, and funders, the Biochemical Society and Portland Press are committed to sustainably transitioning from paywalled research to full OA publishing, evolving policies and practices in line with the changing needs of researchers. This agreement represents a positive step towards a more ‘open’ scholarly future for the UK’s academic community.  

Kathryn Spiller, Licensing Manager at Jisc, who worked with Portland Press to develop the agreement, adds:

“We are delighted that Portland Press is the second of a small group of learned society publishers who are pushing the open access agenda in offering an affordable ‘read and publish’ pilot agreement to UK universities for 2020-2021.” 

The aim is for this pilot to inform Portland Press’ future activities in OA publishing, and we look forward to continued dialogue with Jisc about evolving the model beyond 2021 in a mutually sustainable way. 
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