In recent months, CCC has been working closely with Open Access publisher PLOS in the context of PLOS’s Community Action Publishing (CAP) program, and the more I learned about it, the more I thought that a short post about CAP fits right into the Agents of Change series on Velocity of Content.

As one of the world’s leading open access publishers, PLOS has led the way for two decades in developing business models that make even its most selective open access journals truly open to read and open to publish. Their focus is ensuring the PLOS portfolio includes the broadest range of researcher voices globally. This includes developing new business models to enable more equitable and regionally appropriate ways to support open access and open science.

In brief, beginning with the journals PLOS Biology, and PLOS Medicine “…ensures publication fees for accepted manuscripts at PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine will automatically be covered if the authors’ institutions are members of our journal communities.” This laudable endeavor serves to enhance the equity and accessibility of these publications, reducing the economic impediments to publication encountered by researchers in less-developed countries and increasing access to their findings in the rest of the world. This initiative is part and parcel of PLOS’s Global Equity Model, about which readers can learn more at this link.

CCC is fortunate to play a small role in PLOS’s evolution, as we had occasion to discuss recently. We are proud to have worked alongside PLOS to deliver a flexible, sophisticated workflow that enables authors to easily publish OA, whether they are funded under a formal PLOS publishing agreement or not.

Niamh O’Connor, chief publishing officer at PLOS, explains that the publisher’s focus is ensuring its portfolio includes the broadest range of researcher voices globally:

“Separate from our business models – but towards the same goal – is our work to expand our presence so that the members of PLOS staff who work with research communities understand the context and culture and the experience that researchers have and are much closer to them.”

CCC’s RightsLink for Scientific Communications supports PLOS’s CAP model by automating the management of institutional agreements, funding workflows for authors, and associated  reporting of manuscripts. In partnering with PLOS on this important initiative, CCC helps provide the scale and automation required to support the needs of a growing community of stakeholders.  CCC has been working with PLOS throughout the year in support of CAP’s overall goals.

The constructive boldness of the CAP initiative was recently recognized by ALPSP, which awarded PLOS one of its Awards for Innovation in Publishing, calling out “PLOS’ aim with non-APC-based business models is to ensure that the open access business model ecosystem doesn’t get “stuck” with APCs in the long term.”

It’s been an exciting and challenging year for CCC as we work with PLOS on this innovative and socially-aware initiative, and we’re greatly looking forward to what comes next.


Author: Dave Davis

Dave Davis joined CCC in 1994 and currently serves as a research consultant. He previously held directorships in both public and corporate libraries and earned joint master’s degrees in Library and Information Sciences and Medieval European History from Catholic University of America. He is the owner/operator of Pyegar Press, LLC.
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