LAWRENCE — KU Libraries have joined a partnership with the Public Library of Science (PLOS) that waives author fees for Lawrence campus researchers.
Normally, the cost to publish in PLOS journals ranges from $800 to $5,300 per article, depending on the journal. The agreement waives fees for all PLOS journals for Lawrence campus corresponding authors. Fees are waived for KU Medical Center corresponding authors in PLOS Medicine, PLOS Biology, and PLOS Sustainability and Transformation under a previous agreement. The agreements also offer a 25% discount to contributing authors from both KU’s Lawrence campus and KUMC for those titles.
“Article processing charges are a fraught way of supporting publishing because not all researchers have access to grants or funding,” said Josh Bolick, head of the David Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright. “PLOS has been listening to community feedback and experimenting with different models for supporting the openness of their publications that don’t incur costs to researchers.”
The waiving of author-side publishing fees is supported by a flat annual fee paid for by KU Libraries with support from the Office of Research. The annual cost is based on the number of articles by KU researchers published in PLOS journals in recent history. KU librarians hope that researchers will take full advantage of this opportunity to publish their work without barriers in order to reap the benefits of open access.
“KU libraries are committed to sustainable scholarship. Our institutional partnership with PLOS supports a proven open access model and expands publishing options for KU researchers,” said Scott Hanrath, associate dean for research engagement.
PLOS is home to more than a dozen open access scientific journals with a global reach. Founded in 2001, PLOS is a nonprofit open access publisher whose mission is to support innovative research in science and medicine. This pilot program not only makes it easier for KU researchers to publish their work, but also gives KU publications more visibility.
“Anyone in the world can read their articles without having to subscribe to the journal,” said Kristin Sederstrom, acquisitions and resource sharing library manager. “These are open access journals, so it diversifies readers' ability to access that scholarship easily.”
This agreement is one of many implemented by the libraries to engage with open access publishers across disciplines. Partnerships with open access publishers lower costs for the university as well as for researchers and readers.
“I’m happy that we’re able to participate in these programs on principle because I think that nonprofit open publishing is something I would like to see more of,” Bolick said. “This is an obvious benefit to the KU researchers who would publish in these journals because they’re able to benefit from open access to their work by publishing with a well-established and well-respected publisher in increasingly well-respected journals.”
To take advantage of the waived fees, KU researchers must indicate their university affiliation on the PLOS article submission form.