CAUL signs the first transformative agreement with Portland Press

Topics CAUL Business

The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) is the first library consortium to sign a transformative agreement with the Biochemical Society (Portland Press), the wholly-owned publishing subsidiary of the Biochemical Society. This is CAUL’s second such agreement following announcement of the first transformative agreement with the Microbiology Society.

Celebrating the completion of this deal, Richard Reece, Chair of Portland Press Board and a Trustee of the Biochemical Society said, “The Biochemical Society is a forward thinking, self-publishing learned society that is actively and visibly commencing a transition of business models towards open access. We are delighted to have signed our first transformative agreement with CAUL. This offer paves the way for corresponding authors at Australian and New Zealand-based institutions to start to transition all accepted articles to open access over the next three years.”

The opportunity for a consortial transformative agreement with the Biochemical Society arose through the SPA-OPS program (Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S). The resulting agreement is a transitional pilot for three years (2020-2022) on an opt-in basis. Under this deal, participating institutions will see accepted articles between 2020 and 2022 published open access (OA), transforming their historical subscription licensing and facilitating a shift towards OA.

This transformative agreement will provide participating institutions with:

  • Uncapped OA publishing in all seven Society journals by corresponding authors in Australian and New Zealand universities.
  • No transactional article publishing charges (APCs) or other service charges for publishing OA in these seven journals (5 hybrid titles that the institutions will have subscription access to are the Biochemical Journal, Clinical Science, Biochemical Society Transactions, Essays in Biochemistry and Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, as well as two full-OA journals – Bioscience Reports and Neuronal Signaling).
  • Streamlined submission and publication workflows supporting APC-free OA publishing including Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence terms.
  • Reporting on published articles including notification of the version of record for institutional repositories.

For 2020, the offer, co-developed by Portland Press and CAUL, faces 19 CAUL institutions that currently subscribe to the five-journal Biochemical Society package and have affiliated corresponding authors currently publishing, on average, over 30 articles per year across the Society’s seven journals. Australian and New Zealand university libraries can continue with subscriptions if they choose not to opt-in. Those universities that have previously not subscribed or published with the Biochemical Society are being offered a discounted rate for the full journal package in 2020 and will be able to join in 2021.

The licence agreement with the Biochemical Society is based on the Jisc Model Licence for Society Publishers and SMPs. The open access publishing provisions have been based on the ESAC Open Access Service Level Agreement Template.

Download the media release (PDF)


For comment

Mark Sutherland, Executive Director of CAUL,; (02) 6125 2990

About the Biochemical Society & Portland Press

The Biochemical Society promotes the future of molecular biosciences; facilitating the sharing of expertise, supporting the advancement of biochemistry and molecular biology, and raising awareness of their importance in addressing societal grand challenges

As the Biochemical Society’s publisher, Portland Press works in partnership with researchers, institutions, and funders to share knowledge and advance the molecular biosciences. Publishing world-leading research and reviews across a portfolio of seven journals, it returns all of its profits to the life science community in support of the Society’s charitable activities. With more than five million worldwide article views in 2018 alone, Portland Press journals cover the depth and breadth of the molecular biosciences, from observational work to elucidating mechanisms, from translating basic research into medical insights to foundational overviews of new and emerging topics.

Author Harry Rolf
Last modified 1 November 2019