The Biochemical Society and its publishing arm Portland Press are delighted to announce a three-year open access agreement with the University of California (UC).

This agreement will allow researchers from all ten UC campuses to publish unlimited open access articles across all Portland Press journals (five hybrid and two fully open access), as well as expanding full read access to all journal content to researchers across the entire UC system. The Biochemical Society and Portland Press piloted their first transformative agreements in 2020; UC signed its first transformative agreement in 2019. Both institutions look forward to their new partnership, which represents another step towards the sustainable transition to full open access publishing.          

The agreement is cost-neutral and follows UC’s multi-payer model, which is based on the premise of making scholarly publishing open, sustainable, and equitable. Running from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2024, the agreement provides unlimited open access publishing to all UC corresponding authors by default (at a reduced price), with UC libraries also covering the first $1000 of every article publishing charge (APC). Authors who have grant funding available that can be used for open access fees will be asked to contribute the remainder of the APC; for those who do not, the remainder will be covered by UC.

Under the agreement, any UC corresponding author who wants to publish open access with Portland Press will now be able to do so, regardless of whether they have funding available. Authors who prefer not to publish open access can opt out.

This agreement represents an innovative alternative to the traditional subscription model in scholarly publishing and supports the shared mission of like-minded publishers and institutions to accelerate the shift towards sustainable open access publishing on a global scale.

Frank McCormick, PhD, FRS, University of California, San Francisco, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, says:

“Having published in the Biochemical Society’s journals for many years, I know they are an important resource for the molecular-bioscience community. This transformative agreement will ensure that more content from UC researchers across all ten campuses is openly available, benefiting both UC and the wider community.”

Professor Richard Reece, Chair of Portland Press Board, Trustee of the Biochemical Society and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Kent, says:

“We are extremely pleased to launch this agreement furthering open access and sustainability goals for both University of California and the Biochemical Society. Most importantly, though, we are excited to offer researchers based at UC campuses increased, and more seamless, open access publishing through this landmark agreement for Portland Press.”

Ellen Finnie, Director of Shared Collections, California Digital Library, says:

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Biochemical Society to advance a shared strategic goal of fostering a sustainable transition to open access. This agreement expands access to the Biochemical Society’s journals at UC, makes it easier and more affordable for UC researchers to publish open access with the Society, and demonstrates UC’s commitment to working collaboratively with scholarly societies and publishers of every scale to advance open access to research.”

All UC campuses are included:

UC Berkeley
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UC Los Angeles
UC Merced
UC Riverside
UC San Diego
UC San Francisco
UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Cruz

All Portland Press journals are included:

Biochemical Journal
Clinical Science
Bioscience Reports
Neuronal Signaling
Biochemical Society Transactions
Emerging Topics in Life Sciences
Essays in Biochemistry

For further details on the agreement, please see the University of California’s website here.

About UC’s Transformative Open Access Agreements:

Transformative open access agreements support the University of California’s mission as a public university and advance the global shift toward sustainable open access publishing by making more UC-authored research articles open to the world, while maintaining journal affordability. UC seeks to partner with publishers of all types, sizes and disciplines to jointly advance a worldwide transition to open access across the entire landscape of scholarly journal publishing. For more on these aims and principles, see UC’s Call to Action for Negotiating Journal Agreements at UC, the UC faculty Academic Senate’s Declaration of Rights and Principles to Transform Scholarly Communication, and UC’s priorities for publisher negotiations.     

About Portland Press

As the wholly-owned publishing arm of the Biochemical Society, Portland Press works in partnership with researchers, institutions, and funders to share knowledge and advance the molecular biosciences. Publishing world-leading research and reviews across a portfolio of seven journals, we return all our profits to the life science community in support of our Society’s charitable activities.

The Biochemical Society and Portland Press are committed to a sustainable transition to a more open scholarly publishing landscape and our Read & Publish initiative builds on the principles set out in our Open Scholarship position statement.