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Library Subject Guides

Scholarly Publication: Open Access Agreements

An introduction to intellectual property, open access, current awareness, measuring impact for PBRF, and using the Research Repository.

Open Access Info: Click here for information about Open Access at UC

Library Open Access Fund: Click to learn about the Library Open Access Fund, which is available to help researchers pay article processing charges

Read and Publish Agreements

What are read and publish agreements?

A Read-and-Publish agreement is an agreement in which the publisher receives payment for reading and payment for publishing bundled into a single contract. The ‘read’ part of the agreement covers the subscriptions libraries pay so they can access closed material, and the ‘publish’ part covers APCs that authors would have paid to publish their papers as open access. This bundling together brings payment for publishing into a contractual arrangement handled by the library rather than being addressed ad hoc by individual authors who are choosing open access publishing. These agreements are 'transformative' as they seek to re-direct funds previously spent on subscription-based reading to the publishing component, often with a goal of a cost-neutral agreement in comparison with the previous subscription-based reading agreement.


Types of agreements

Community Publishing (e.g. PLOS) Transformative Agreements (e.g. Microbiology Society, CSIRO, Royal Society)
Non-profit open access publisher May be non-profit societies but will eventually include corporate publishing companies
"A community-supported model whereby members agree to share the costs of editorial and publishing services" via a community fee Still use APCs, but builds that into the cost of subscriptions
Non-members will pay fees, but idea is cost is capped at cost of production Cost of publishing versus APCs remains obscure                                                              
Publishing cost is distributed between corresponding and contributing authors  


APC-Free Journals

When you submit your paper as a corresponding author to any of these journals, remember to indicate that UC has a read and publish agreement with them.

Some publishers have a cap on the number of APC-free publications we can provide, which is managed by the CAUL collective for Australian & New Zealand Universities. Use Reports to see how many manuscripts have been approved across the collective so far.

Selected journals

Selected journals

Cambridge University Press
Selected journals

CSIRO Publishing
Selected journals

Selected journals

Institute of Physics
Selected journals

Microbiology Society
Journal of General Virology
Journal of Medical Microbiology
Microbial Genomics
International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Access Microbiology

Oxford University Press
365 Oxford University Press titles

PLOS Biology
PLOS Medicine

Portland Press
Biochemical Journal
Bioscience Reports (fully OA)
Clinical Science
Neuronal Signaling (fully OA)
Biochemical Society Transactions
Emerging Topics in Life Sciences
Essays in Biochemistry

Royal Society
Philosophical Transactions A
Philosophical Transactions B
Proceedings A
Proceedings B
Biology Letters
Interface Focus
Notes and Records
Open Biology
Royal Society Open Science

Selected journals
20% discount on Gold OA

Fully funded APCs in key high-energy physics (Elsevier, Springer, IOP, APS, Oxford) journals.  See full title list here, and ignore the % coverage column as author APCs are fully funded. 

Springer Nature
Selected journals

Taylor & Francis
Selected journals

Selected journals

Other APC Deals

Annual Review

All 51 Annual Review journals are APC free for 2023.

Elsevier ScienceDirect

Authors affiliated with the University of Canterbury receive a 12.5% discount on APCs. The corresponding author will need to specify they are affiliated to the University of Canterbury.

ICE Journals

Authors affiliated with the University of Canterbury receive a 15% discount on APCs. The corresponding author will need to use a Canterbury email address when publishing the article.


Authors affiliated with the University of Canterbury receive a 10% discount on the APCs for any paper published in an MDPI journal. More details here. A list of MDPI journals is available here.

Please see UC Library's MDPI statement.

Royal Society of Chemistry

Authors affiliated with the University of Canterbury receive a 15% discount on APCs as part of our Royal Society of Chemistry subscription.  This will be automatically applied upon acceptance of an article where the corresponding author uses their institution’s email domain.

There are also three new journals: EES Catalysis, RSC Sustainability, Industrial Chemistry & Materials and Sustainable Food Technology that will be available from 2023 that will be gold open access and free to publish in until 2025.