Emory Libraries announce First Read and Publish Agreement with Cambridge University Press

Scholarly publishing business models have undergone radical changes in the past couple of decades, mainly with a shift toward open access, defined as “the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.” Because open access publishing is not supported by subscription fees, authors have been charged article processing charges (APCs) to publish openly in selected journals. These APC costs can range quite widely from $500 to over $10,000 and are usually paid partially or fully out of authors’ departmental or grant funds or special library funds, such as Emory’s Open Access Publishing Fund.

Recently, several major academic publishers have been considering and offering so-called “transformative agreements” that seek to dedicate traditional subscription payments made by academic libraries to funding open access. Instead of depending on authors for open access funding, these contracts shift the responsibility to institutions and/or libraries.

In late 2021, Emory Libraries signed a transformative agreement with Cambridge University Press (CUP). The CUP deal is known as a “read and publish deal” since it continues our access to the same content we have now (the “read” part) and it supports open access publishing (the “publish” component). The agreement was very attractive to Emory, both in terms of financial and administrative costs. This deal eliminates APCs for Emory authors publishing in CUP journals AND is relatively cost-neutral for the Libraries. CUP places no caps on the number of articles Emory authors can publish for the first three years, and inflationary increases are kept at a minimum for the package (1.5% per year). Since Emory is a research-intensive institution, the lack of restrictions on the number of open access articles is a substantial benefit for our researchers/authors.

Starting January 1, 2022, all Emory University researchers (i.e., anyone with an emory.edu email address) can publish open access in all Cambridge Journals with no APCs to maximize the accessibility, availability, and impact of Emory research. The Libraries’ Cambridge package includes over 380 peer-reviewed journals across the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields. Emory joins over 1,000 prestigious research institutions across the globe in formalizing this agreement with Cambridge, whose goal is to make all their journals fully open access by around 2025. When you are accepted for publication in a CUP journal, you will be asked if you wish to publish your research open access. Respond in the affirmative, and no further action is required on your part. The agreement applies to all articles authored by Emory University researchers that are accepted for publication between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2024. 

Emory Libraries have an active Open Access Collection Development Policy that outlines criteria and parameters for financial support of open access initiatives, such as the Global Press Archive, the MIT Direct to Open monograph program, and SCOAP3 high particle physics journals. For more information on the value of open access and Emory’s support and promotion of open access, see our Open Access at Emory site.

For more information on this recent open access publishing agreement, please contact the Head of our Scholarly Communications Office Jody Bailey or the Head of Collection Management Christopher Palazzolo