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Open Access Publishing with Cambridge University Press Begins Today

If you have submitted an article for publication in a Cambridge University Press journal in 2019, you now have the opportunity to make that article open access — freely available for anyone, anywhere to read — without any cost to you, thanks to a new agreement between UC and Cambridge. (Some society journals managed by Cambridge do not have an open access publishing option at this time, and are thus not eligible.) The agreement also increases UC’s access to include all of Cambridge’s more than 400 journals.

Here is an explanation of the changes you’ll see after Cambridge accepts your article for publication, and how these changes will help advance UC’s mission to make knowledge more broadly available and facilitate new discoveries. 

Who and what is covered by this agreement?

This open access publishing benefit applies to all research and review articles with a UC corresponding author in most Cambridge journals.

What’s new in 2019?

When Cambridge accepts your article for publication, their system will ask you whether you wish to make your work available open access or keep your article behind the paywall. 

If you wish to publish open access, you can do so for free in 2019. 

  • Step 1. Select the open access option on the author form Cambridge asks you to fill out.
  • Step 2. You will receive a follow-up email from RightsLink, the open access fee payment system used by Cambridge. Since the UC Libraries will pay the full cost of your open access fee during the launch phase in 2019, you won’t actually owe anything — but you do need to log into RightsLink and select the UC libraries as the payment provider.
  • Step 3. When you enter RightsLink, choose the option to “Seek Funding from University of California Libraries.” The RightsLink system will then indicate a zero balance for your open access fee. 
  • Step 4. Confirm you have a zero balance, then click “NEXT” and “SUBMIT FOR APPROVAL.” You’ll be notified when your UC affiliation is verified, and Cambridge will alert you when your article is published.

If you do not wish to publish open access, you can opt out by selecting a non-open access license on your author form. If you do so, please note that Cambridge will send you a follow-up email to confirm your choice and to make sure you are aware of the UC Libraries’ open access funding option. This follow-up email is simply intended to ensure that each UC author knows that open access publishing funds are available.

If you’ve already published an article in an eligible Cambridge journal in 2019:

  • We will retroactively pay the open access charge for you if you’ve already paid one.
  • We can retroactively make your article open access if you didn’t initially choose that option, but would like to take advantage of the funding support now available.

Either way, please wait to hear from Cambridge University Press later this fall about your options.

Looking ahead to 2020

In 2020, the standard open access publishing process will be in place. If you select the open access publishing option:

  • Cambridge will apply a 30% discount on open access fees for every UC author.
  • The UC Libraries will pay $1,000 toward your discounted open access fee. (If the total charge is less than $1,000, the library will cover the total amount due.)
  • You will then be asked whether you have research funds to pay any remaining balance. If you do not have funds to cover that difference, no problem: The library will pay the entire open access charge for you.

How will this advance open access publishing?

By making open access publishing the default pathway for authors, and offering discounted open access fees and financial support from the library towards each open access fee, UC hopes to enable and encourage more authors — particularly those in disciplines without significant grant funding — to publish open access. 

Learn more

We encourage you to check out UC’s Frequently Asked Questions about publishing with Cambridge to learn more about what the agreement means for you.


If you have questions or we can be of assistance as you go through the publishing and payment process, or if you have feedback on how the new process worked for you, please contact Michael Ladisch, the library’s Scholarly Communications Officer.


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