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In April 2019, University of California (UC) and Cambridge University Press announced that they had entered into a transformative open access agreement that will give UC authors who publish with Cambridge the opportunity to make their research freely available and advance the global shift toward an open access future for research. The agreement will also maintain UC’s access to Cambridge’s more than 400 journals. 

If you are a UC author, you will soon begin to see some changes from Cambridge after they have accepted your article for publication. Here is an explanation of those changes, and an overview of the opportunities they create for advancing UC’s mission to make knowledge more broadly available and facilitate new discoveries. 

What is changing for 2019?

Soon, when Cambridge accepts your article for publication, their workflow system will ask you whether you wish to make your work available open access. You’ll have two choices:

  • If you wish to publish open access, you can do so for free in 2019. You will receive a follow-up email from Cambridge (sent by the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink system, which manages payments for Cambridge) asking you to complete payment processing for a discounted article processing charge. But, in 2019, you won’t actually have to make any article processing charge payment; the UC libraries will be covering the entire cost of publishing your article open access. You just need to log into RightsLink and select the UC libraries as the payment provider. If you’ve already published an article open access in 2019, we can retroactively pay the article processing charge for you. (You should be hearing from the UC libraries soon about this.)
  • If you do not wish to publish open access, you can opt out by indicating in the Cambridge workflow system that you want the article to remain paywalled. 

What is changing for 2020?

In 2020, if you select the open access publishing option, the UC libraries will pay at least $1,000 toward your discounted article processing charge with Cambridge. When you log into Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink for payment processing, you will see the discounted charge and the libraries’ $1,000 contribution, and you will then be asked whether you have any grant funds to pay any balance on the article processing charge. If you do not have grant funds to cover that difference, no problem: The UC libraries will cover the balance and pay the entire article processing charge for you.

How will this advance open access publishing?

Making open access publishing the default pathway for authors, and offering the discounted article processing charges and the UC libraries’ financial support of at least $1,000 towards each article processing charge, will enable and encourage more authors — particularly those in disciplines without significant grant funding — to publish open access. In addition, because the overall spend on the agreement with Cambridge is capped — with UC’s payment for access to subscription content decreasing as payments for open access publication increase — the financial risk to UC and UC authors is limited.

We encourage you to check out UC’s Cambridge publishing Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about what the agreement means for you and how it’s structured to control costs. Cambridge also has a companion information page here.

We will also share more information with you as the article acceptance and payment processing workflows take shape under the new agreement.