Open Access Publishing Agreements: What are they and why do they matter?


The Ohio State University has ongoing efforts to transform scholarly publishing and alleviate barriers such as article processing charges (APCs). Open access publishing agreements provide Ohio State faculty, staff and students with support to cover journal article publication fees and also allows Ohio State scholarship to be shared freely worldwide without barriers to access. Open Access Publishing

The Health Sciences Library (HSL) has joined University Libraries and OhioLINK in these efforts through participation in a growing number of new open access publishing agreements with top scientific publishers. Joseph Payne, MLIS, collection development librarian at the HSL, answers some frequently asked questions about open access publishing and why it matters.

Q: What do these new agreements entail?
A: Traditionally, libraries have paid for subscriptions that only allow “read” access to journal content. These newer agreements have a “publish” component that covers open access APCs for affiliated authors at subscribed institutions.

Q: What open access agreements are available for Ohio State authors?
A: There are currently agreements in place with nine publishers that cover open access publishing fees for Ohio State corresponding authors. These publishers are Cambridge University Press, The Company of Biologists, De Gruyter, Institute of Physics, Microbiology Society, PLOS, Royal Society, Taylor & Francis and Wiley Hybrid Journals.

Q: What is a corresponding author?
A: A corresponding author is the publishing author who takes primary responsibility for manuscript submission and communication with the publisher, including all related correspondence before and after publication. To have open access publication fees covered by these agreements, the corresponding author must be affiliated with Ohio State at the time their article is accepted for publication in a participating journal. For example, if there are student co-authors or co-authors from other institutions, ensure that the author listed as the corresponding author is someone who is affiliated with Ohio State at the time the article is accepted for publication.

Q: What journals are covered by the agreements?
A: Information about journals and FAQ pages are available for each agreement on the HSL’s open access publication support webpage. While there is no comprehensive list of journals available in one place, information on eligible titles can be found on each publisher’s FAQ page.

Q: Are you working on agreements with additional publishers?
A: Since the first of these agreements began in 2020 with Taylor & Francis, additional agreements have been added through partnerships with Ohio State University Libraries, OhioLINK, The Big Ten Academic Alliance and others. As subscriptions are renegotiated, open access publishing options are regularly discussed. Any new agreements will be communicated through the HSL website and newsletters.

For help finding a participating journal or to learn more about open access publishing, please visit the HSL’s open access publication support webpage or reach out to Joe at