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Open Research

Introduces the open research movement, and goes into more detail about different aspects of this movement, including open access.


Ensuring open access to research publication is a key priority for UK universities and research funders. In recent years, this priority has begun to be mandated immediately on publication by research funders via cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is part of cOAlition S, and is therefore committed to cOAlition S' principles for achieving full and immediate access to publicly funded research. These principles are known as Plan S. The UKRI's open access policy reflects Plan S, illustrating and contributing toward a shift in the UK publishing landscape to immediate open access publication.

Alongside this, JISC, as representatives of the UK Universities' sector, have been negotiating deals with academic publishers that allow UK researchers to publish their work open access in a way that is more cost-efficient and straight-forward. These deals aim to reduce institutional spend with academic publishers, whilst increasing the amount of UK research that is published open access. 

This page gives a summary of, and provides updates on, current and past negotiations with academic publishers around open access publishing.

Springer negotiations

Following extensive negotiations led by Jisc, Essex researchers can now benefit from a three-year read and publish deal with Springer Nature. This deal includes:

Full details are available on our open access publishing page.

Read access to Springer content remains unchanged by this deal.

For an explanation of the journal partitioning at Springer Nature, see the Springer Nature website.

Elsevier negotiations

Over the past few years, the UK Universities sector negotiated with academic publishing giant Elsevier to reduce subscription costs for Universities, and to ensure full and immediate open access to UK research published by Elsevier.  

On 23 March 2022, these negotiations were announced as successful, meaning Essex researchers now benefit from a read and publish deal with Elsevier that complies with cOAlition S funder requirements. These requirements mandate that publicly funded research be publicly available to everyone, for free. 

The new agreement provides unlimited open access publishing for Essex researchers in eligible Elsevier subscription journals, including the Lancet and Cell Press titles. The agreement also allows for a discount on APCs for Elsevier’s fully gold open access titles, as well as a price cap on APC price increases. Finally, the agreement provides a reduction on subscription spend to all UK universities. 

As a University, we support this publication model, and provide resources on open access publishing in our open access guide, and in the University's open access guidance.

Current read and publish deals / transformative agreements

Publishing your work via the gold route means that the final version of your work is made freely available via the publisher's website. In order to fund this, an article processing charge (APC) is required. In fully gold open access journals, all papers within those journals are freely available online. In hybrid journals, some research will be made open access through an APC payment, whilst other papers will remain behind a paywall.

The cost of APCs varies, but is often between £1500-£2000. However, if the journal you're looking to publish in is covered by one our read and publish agreements there will be no added cost to yourself. The tab "What are read and publish agreements?" explains this further.

If the journal you're looking to publish in is not covered by a read and publish agreement, there are a few options:

  • For hybrid journals, you will need to follow the green route (self-archive) to achieve open access.
  • For fully gold open access journals, contact us to make use of the open access fund for unfunded research, and the UKRI block grant for UKRI-funded research. 

Read and publish agreements (also known as "transformative agreements") have evolved as a result of changes in the open access landscape. In particular, these changes have been brought about by Plan S. Read and publish deals are blanket agreements with academic publishers that cover both the subscription to the journal (the "read" aspect), and the open access publishing cost (the "publish" aspect). These deals therefore allow authors from the University of Essex to publish gold open access at no extra cost, regardless of whether their work is funded.

At Essex, we offer range of deals with several publishers. Select the publisher tabs above to find out more about these deals, and how to make use of them.

You may also come across transformative journals when looking to publish open access. Transformative journals are subscription/hybrid journals that do not fall under transformative agreements, but which have committed to becoming fully open access.  Unlike when publishing under a transformative agreement, authors are not eligible for free open access publishing in transformative journals. However, Plan S funded authors may be able to use their block grants for APC payments in these journals. Plan S funded researchers can use the Journal Checker Tool to check compliant routes for open access publishing. If you are unsure about this, please do get in touch.

A read and publish agreement with ACM enables corresponding authors at the University of Essex to publish research articles in ACM’s magazines, conference proceedings, and journals open access with no added costs. ACM's website has a full list of titles covered by this deal.

To make use of the deal, ensure that you use your University of Essex email address on submission to your chosen ACM publication. FAQs are available via ACM's website, and if you have any questions please get in touch.

An open access publishing pilot agreement with APA is in place until 31 July 2024. The OA Publishing Pilot includes a total of 87 APA hybrid journals, and 15 Hogrefe hybrid titles. The agreement also gives us a 25% discount on APCs in 3 fully gold OA Hogrefe journals: European Journal of Psychology Open, Psychological Test Adaptation and Development (PTAD), Sports Psychiatry - Journal of Sports and Exercise Psychiatry.

A UK-wide cap of 531 articles has been set for the sector, and this cap will run on a first come, first served basis. If this cap is reached, green open access (self-archiving) with a zero-month embargo period will still allow immediate open access on publication. See APA's website for their specific policy. We also recommend using rights retention to ensure you retain control over your publication.

If you have any further questions about the process for using this agreement, please get in touch.

This agreement with American Physiological Society enables Essex corresponding authors to publish an unlimited number of papers open access within all APS' 12 research journals with no author-facing fees. In addition, faculty who serve as corresponding authors will be offered a one-year APS membership to the Society, with no added costs (this applies to new members only).

To make use of this agreement when publishing, ensure that you select the University of Essex from the dropdown field on submission, and through the peer review process make sure to choose the open access option "I wish to publish OA as part of an institutional agreement". More information on the process for authors is available via APS' website.

A publish and read agreement with BMJ allows funded* corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Essex to publish original articles reporting primary research (not reviews, commentaries or rapid communications) open access in BMJ’s hybrid journals. 

For a list of the hybrid titles, and more information about this deal, please go to BMJ’s website. At the bottom of this page, please select the University of Essex beneath “select your institution”, and then view the drop-down list beneath “how you can publish with fees covered by your institution” for a list of all included titles.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with BMJ, or with the team here at the University.

*Funders: UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Innovate UK, Research England), British Heart Foundation, Blood Cancer UK, Cancer Research UK, Parkinsons UK, Versus Arthritis or the Wellcome Trust.

Corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Essex can publish articles open access with Brill with no extra costs. Submit your article to your journal contact at Brill with the request to publish open access and indicate that you are an author affiliated with the University of Essex. Once the article is accepted it will be published open access free of charge.

If you submit your article through Editorial Manager, you will be asked during the submission process whether you are eligible for the agreement. Once the article is accepted, it will be published open access free of charge.

For questions on open access publishing at Brill please contact, or get in contact with us. More information is also available via Brill's website.

Our read and publish agreement with Bristol University Press / Policy Press allows corresponding authors at Essex to publish original peer reviewed research open access within their hybrid journal titles. To make use of this deal, once your paper has been accepted email to claim open access. Please include details of your submission in the email, use your University of Essex email address, and confirm your affiliation within your message. More information for authors, including the journals that are covered by the deal, is available via Bristol University Press' FAQ page. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with us.

Our read and publish deal with Cambridge University Press allows you to make your publication open access in gold and hybrid CUP journals at no extra cost to you. To be eligible, you must be a corresponding author, and must be accepted for publication in one of these CUP journals. You must also have been accepted for publication between 1 January 2021, and 31 December 2024.

In order to use this deal, you must use your institutional affiliation when you submit your research. For more information about the submission process, head to CUP’s read and publish agreement page.

If you have any questions about this or any of our other read and publish deals, please get in touch with us.

Our read and publish deal with De Gruyter allows University of Essex researchers to publish open access for no added fees in De Gruyter hybrid journals, and fully gold open access journals. Under this deal, the University has unlimited access to publishing in De Gruyter hybrid and fully gold open access journals. A list of De Gruyter journals is available on their website

If you are a corresponding author publishing in a De Gruyter hybrid or fully gold open access journal, we would encourage you publish open access. Using your affiliated institutional email address on submission with De Gruyter means they will automatically check on acceptance if the publishing fee is covered by the deal. Head to De Gruyter's website for more information on their submission process. If you have any further questions, please contact us.

new agreement with Elsevier provides unlimited open access publishing for Essex researchers in eligible Elsevier hybrid journals, including the Lancet and Cell Press titles. The agreement also allows for a discount on APCs for Elsevier’s fully gold open access titles. You will need to be the corresponding author of the publication to make use of this deal, and your article must have an acceptance date between 1/1/2022 and 31/12/2024. Head to Elsevier's website to find the journals that are participating in this deal.

Once your article has been accepted for publication in a participating journal, you will receive an email containing a link to the “post-acceptance author journey”. Upon selecting your publishing options, your affiliation will be validated by your institution, and you will be informed if the APC will be covered by the agreement.

If you have any questions about using this deal, please contact our team.

The University of Essex has signed a read and publish deal with John Benjamins covering all of their journals. All University of Essex affiliated corresponding authors can publish Open Access in included journals without any extra cost to themselves. There is no limit on the number of papers that can be published under this deal.

Authors must use their University of Essex email address and enter University of Essex as their organisation on submission. Articles will then be published open access. More information about this deal is available via John Benjamins' website.

Corresponding authors from the University of Essex can publish open access Optica's hybrid and fully gold open access journals with no extra fee required for publishing. Please note that extra payment is required for colour and overlength articles. Get in touch with the our team if you require payment of these fees.

Please see Optica's website for the journals included with this deal. You will need to select "United Kingdom" on this webpage.

If you have any questions about the agreement with Optica, please contact us.

As part of a new read and publish deal, there is now an opportunity to publish research and review articles at no extra cost in over 400 Oxford University Press (OUP) fully open access and hybrid journals.

Corresponding authors from Essex submitting to an OUP journal should use their institutional email address on submission, and list the University of Essex as their affiliation. Following this, on acceptance you will receive an email from OUP with a link to their online licencing and payment system. Head to OUP’s website for further guidance on what to do from there. If you have any questions about this, please get in touch with us.

A deal with PLOS allows unlimited publishing in ten PLOS journals for authors at the University of Essex. These include: PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Pathogens, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and PLOS ONE. In 2021, PLOS launched five new journals, expanding the publishing opportunities for authors from Essex. These journals include: PLOS Global Public Health, PLOS Digital Health, PLOS Water, PLOS Sustainability and Transformation, and PLOS Climate.

Eligible authors are identified through PLOS’s submission system. As the agreement is for uncapped publishing no approval check is required. More information can be found on PLOS' website, and please contact our team if you have any questions.

PLOS is a purely open access publisher, meaning this deal does not include a 'read' element as all PLOS content is freely available online.

A one-year agreement with Portland Press enables corresponding authors at Essex to publish open access within all seven of Portland Press' titles. These are:

Research journals: Biochemical JournalClinical ScienceNeuronal Signaling*, Bioscience Reports*

*These are fully OA journals where every paper is published via the Gold OA route. There is, therefore, no option for authors to opt out of OA publishing; however, the papers will be published OA without requirement for payment of any APCs if the article is eligible for OA under a Read & Publish deal.

Review journals: Biochemical Society TransactionsEssays in Biochemistry Emerging Topics in Life Sciences 

Under the agreement, there are no limits on the number of papers Essex authors can publish open access. More information about the agreement is available via Portland Press' website, and the workflow for publishing under this agreement is available in this document. If you have any questions please get in touch with us.

A read and publish agreement with the Royal Society allows for unlimited open access publishing in any of the Royal Society's hybrid and fully gold open access titles. To be eligible to use this deal, the Essex author must be the corresponding author for the paper. During the submission process, simply state your affiliation is the University of Essex, use your University of Essex email address, and then select the 'Read & Publish' option. Further details of the author workflow are available via the Royal Society's website:

For more information about this deal, head to the Royal Society's website. If you have any questions, get in touch with our team.

A deal with SAGE allows corresponding authors to publish eligible articles open access with no added cost in 900+ hybrid journals in the current year's Sage Premier package. Those publishing an eligible article in the IMechE Journal Collection or the Royal Society of Medicine Collection which offer hybrid open access publishing (Sage Choice) can also be published open access with no added costs as part of this agreement. In addition to this, we are also able to take advantage of a 20% discount on APCs when publishing in SAGE gold open access journals.

Authors in subscription journals do not need to take any action to benefit from this offer. Sage will contact all eligible authors to inform them of the Open Access agreement with Jisc and to invite them to the Sage Open Access Portal to take up the offer as soon as their accepted article has been received into Sage’s Production department.

If you are publishing in a gold open access journal, we should also be able to cover the APC for gold open access publishing. For more information on paying APCs for fully gold open access journals or any other questions, please get in touch.

Following extensive sector-wide negotiations, the 2023-2025 Springer Nature read and publish agreement brings together Springer, Palgrave Macmillan, and Nature Research journals. There are currently two parts to the publish side of the agreement: 

There is also be a 15% discount on APCs in fully gold open access journals across the Springer Nature portfolio (BMC, SpringerOpen, Palgrave, and Nature Portfolio). Unfunded Essex researchers can make use of our institutional open access fund for APC payment in these journals. Contact if you intend to publish in one of these titles.

A new read and publish deal with Taylor and Francis allows Essex researchers to make their work open access at no extra cost to themselves. This deal covers publication in all T&F Open Select hybrid journals, which includes 2,300 subscription journal titles. (To find out if a journal is Open Select, use the T&F open access cost finder.) 

To access this deal, corresponding authors should use their affiliated institutional email address on submission. Upon acceptance, articles will be considered for open access publication under this agreement. Once funding is approved by the University, you will receive an email asking you to select the Creative Commons licence of your choice. Please note that most research funders require authors to choose Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY).

Visit the Taylor and Francis website for more information on publishing open access. If you have any further questions, please email our team.

There is currently an opportunity to publish open access with the publisher Wiley, due to a read and publish deal between JISC and Wiley. This means that there is a national pot of money available to researchers from across institutions to fund APCs for open access publishing, and we are able to use this money. The deal covers Wiley fully gold open access journals, and Wiley subscription journals with a hybrid option.

If you submit an article to a Wiley journal, and you are a corresponding author, you will see the option to use this deal after acceptance. The request then comes through to our Repository Team, who decide whether to approve the application. More information about this process is available via Wiley's website. If you have any questions about this, please email our team.

As the publishing landscape shifts towards open access, different business models for open access are developing. The following are deals we have with publishers that allow open access publishing in a different way to read and publish deals.

Annual Reviews
Annual Reviews operates under a Subscribe to Open business model. Subscribe to Open (S2O) is a business model that uses subscription payments to convert gated access journals to full open access. Under S2O, libraries continue to subscribe to the journals they wish to. If support for these journals is sufficient, new volumes are published OA under a Creative Commons license; if support is insufficient, the paywall is retained. 

If the support threshold is met, S2O provides Diamond OA, meaning that the article is immediately available with no access barrier and no author fee. S2O is endorsed by cOAlition S

If your research acknowledges funding from UKRI or any of its constituent councils, or is funded by another cOAlition S funder, you should follow the process detailed below. This applies to all titles published by Annual Reviews, including S2O titles, to ensure funder compliance in case S2O titles do not meet their annual threshold.   


  • Authors should include the following text (known as the Rights Retention Strategy statement): ‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence [where permitted by UKRI, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence may be stated instead] to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission’ . Grant details should also be added into the ‘disclosure statement’ field for submissions to all Annual Reviews titles. (NB This is because the publisher does not have a funder acknowledgement field.) This should also be included in any cover letter/note accompanying the submission. 
  • The publisher will provide the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) to the author prior to the ‘Review in Advance’ being made available online. Authors should ask the publisher to confirm when this version will be made available should this not be clear.  
  • The author should apply the CC BY licence to the AAM. 
  • The author should deposit the AAM within their institutional repository with no embargo.

If you have any queries, you can contact Annual Reviews directly via or get in touch with our team here.