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Transformative options supporting open access 


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The Biochemical Society and Portland Press are committed to transitioning towards open access (OA).

To support and accelerate this transition, we are offering transformative Read & Publish pilots to both institutions and consortia. We already have agreements in place with The Max Planck Society, CSIC, CAUL and Jisc covering hundreds of institutions worldwide.

For a single annual R&P fee we offer participating institutions:

  • Unlimited gold OA publishing for corresponding authors across all of our seven journals, without the need for any payment of article publishing charges.
  • Read access to all journals across our portfolio.
  • Simple R&P workflow for authors. Our editorial submission system has been updated to ensure that publishing in our journals means OA publishing, by default, for all affiliated corresponding authors.
  • Real-time reporting on agreements and publications for librarians through the RightsLink institutional portal.

Find out more 

To find out more about our transformative pilots and get a quote please get in touch. If you are a researcher and think our R&P could benefit your institution please forward this page on to your librarian.

To see a full list of the hundreds of institutions worldwide who have already signed up click button below. 

To learn more about our commitment to open scholarship take a look at our open scholarship site.


Read & Publish with Portland Press: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What license are the OA papers published under?
Articles published under our Read & Publish deals will be covered by a Creative Commons license – in most cases the corresponding author may choose between CC BY or CC-BY-NC-ND licenses; if the institution is based in the UK and is subscribing as a member of Jisc then a mandatory CC BY licence will apply.

2. What about Plan S compliance?
The Portland Press Read & Publish offerings are ‘transformative’ in nature and allow a Plan S compliant route for corresponding authors affiliated with the above list of institutions. Plan S compliance for corresponding authors at the institutions listed above is therefore assured (at least until the end of 2024). 

The Biochemical Society/Portland Press Read & Publish offerings are also in compliance with current MRC, UKRI and Wellcome policies on OA, as well as remaining compliant with NIH, HHMI, COAF policies and dozens of other funder policies from around the world. 

3. How many papers can be published on an APC-free basis by each author and/or each subscribing institution taking up a Read & Publish deal?
As pilot offerings for 2021, the Read & Publish offerings are ‘all-inclusive’ in nature, meaning an unlimited number of papers can be published OA on an APC-free basis under Portland Press’ Read & Publish offerings.

4. Which journals does this offering apply to?
These Read & Publish pilots are ‘all-inclusive’ meaning that APC-free OA publication can take place in all seven Portland Press journals:

Research journals:

Biochemical Journal
Clinical Science
Neuronal Signaling*
Bioscience Reports*

*These are fully OA journals where every paper is published via the Gold OA route. There is, therefore, no option for authors to opt out of OA publishing; however, the papers will be published OA without requirement for payment of any APCs if the article is eligible for OA under a Read & Publish deal.

Review journals:

Biochemical Society Transactions
Essays in Biochemistry
Emerging Topics in Life Sciences 

5. Why are these deals being described as ‘transformative’? 
Evolving the business model: The initiative for Efficiency and Standards in Article Charges (ESAC) broadly defines transformative agreements as “temporary and transitional” contracts negotiated between institutions and publishers “that transform the business model underlying scholarly journals from subscription to open access”. In practice, there is variation in how such agreements are interpreted by research funders and other bodies such as cOAlition S and Jisc, and variation in the offerings under these agreements from different publishers. 

Sustainable rewiring in support of OA: All articles in our journals that are submitted by corresponding authors based at Read & Publish institutions will ‘flip’ to OA. Therefore, with increasing uptake of the Portland Press transformative offerings described here, we expect to be able to publish a higher proportion of OA content in the Biochemical Society journals. This could lead to a transition away from the paywalled model in a way that rewires existing subscription spend and is sustainable for our institutional partners and us. 

Easy, charge-free OA for researchers: This Read & Publish approach is also transformative in that, depending on institutional uptake, it makes OA publishing easier and hassle free for authors and ensures that ability to publish OA is not linked to an individual researcher’s ability to pay for OA.

6. Why are these offerings badged as ‘pilots’?

The Biochemical Society and Portland Press are working to a joint strategy for 2019 – 2021 announced in July 2019. As part of this, Portland Press is scoping a transition of business models in support of a more open future and is trialling these transformative Read & Publish offerings for the first time with the aim of rewiring current income from institutional subscriptions in favour of OA publishing. 

Our Read & Publish offerings are ‘all-inclusive’ pilots. All-inclusive in that an unlimited number of OA articles can be published under the deals across all seven Portland Press journals, including Portland Press’ two full-OA journals. These offerings, given their all-inclusive nature, are not industry standard, and represent early steps with a new and transformative model. We hope and expect to evolve the model based on an initial run of these pilots to the end of 2022. 

7. How will researchers/authors know about eligibility?
Portland Press is scoping a transition of business models in support of a more open future and is trialling these transformative Read & Publish offerings for the first time with the aim of rewiring current income from institutional subscriptions in favour of OA publishing. We hope and expect to evolve the model based on an initial run of these pilots to the end of 2022. 

8. What determines eligibility of an article to be published OA without APCs?
Eligibility for OA under a Read & Publish deal is dependent on affiliation of the corresponding author at the time of manuscript acceptance. Our automated R&P workflow ensures that authors are notified immediately of their eligibility and kept updated throughout the editorial process.

9. What about the peer review process?
OA publication will in all cases remain subject to the article clearing peer review and being deemed acceptable for publication as per the Portland Press editorial policy and peer review process. Portland Press therefore reserves the right to reject (not to publish) articles from corresponding authors based at institutions taking a Read & Publish deal. 

10. Can institutions take up a Read & Publish deal via a subscription agent?
Yes – ‘transformative’ Read & Publish renewal options were surfaced to existing subscribers in partnership with subscription agents such as EBSCO. Institutions can choose to come direct or take up these deals via any subscription agent of their choice. Please write to Sales department if you need more information.

11. How will an institution know about the level of APC-free OA publishing under a Read & Publish deal?
An annual report of articles published under our Read & Publish deals will be sent to subscribing institutions.

12. Will authors be able to opt out if they choose NOT to have their article published OA?
Yes – Article workflows will give authors the chance to let the editorial team know if they wish to opt OUT of automatic, APC-free OA offered under a Read & Publish deal with any institution. 

If you have further questions, please write to Sales department. If you are currently a subscribing institution OR an author with a manuscript in process, it would be helpful to know this, along with the manuscript ID number if relevant.
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