Publish in open access: the transformative agreements

The UOC has a number of credits available to cover the fees (known as article processing charges or APCs) charged for open-access publication in the journals of the leading publishers. 


In 2021, the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) reached an agreement with the major publishing groups to improve the terms of access to their journals. Under these agreements, the fees paid by institutions cover not only reading articles but also open-access publication in certain journals, something that was previously only possible by paying an APC. 

As a result of these agreements, the universities have a set of credits available for open-access publication of articles in certain journals.

The UOC, as a member of the Catalan University Services Consortium (CSUC), can benefit from the agreements with Elsevier, Springer Nature, Wiley, Emerald and IEEE.

These new contracts, whose main aim is to promote open science, are designed to provide a starting point for academic open-access publication to be free by default.

The publishing sector contains a great number of journals that offer their articles in open access as the default option, making them available to everyone. The Institutions (for example universities, public bodies or non-profit organizations) that are responsible for many of these journals cover the publication costs.

However, this system exists in parallel with another: some publishing groups charge researchers a fee (known as an Article Processing Charge, or APC) to publish in open access.

At the same time, they also charge universities to read their content, typically though subscription packages.

This is what is known as double dipping, where universities end up paying both for publishing (APCs) and reading (subscriptions).

Similar to negotiations that have been conducted in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) have been in talks with three major publishing groups, seeking to put into practice their commitments to open science.