IU Open Access Publishing Partnerships

Members of the IU research community interested in the new 2021 BTAA agreements and how to participate should contact the IU Libraries Department of Scholarly Communications at IUSW @ indiana.edu.

Transformative agreements:

Maurice York, BTAA’s Director of Library Initiatives said, “One of the key strategic questions in front of us is how to advance the growth of open science and open scholarship through collective and intentional action. We are actively seeking pathways to create a sustainable, scalable open knowledge ecosystem for our researchers and scholars.”

Transformative agreements such as these newly announced deals typically work to move from subscription-based reading to contractually based publishing, where a single fee is paid that allows an institution access to read the publisher’s content along with open access publishing for the institution’s researchers. The agreements are also referred to as “read and publish."  Often these agreements protect authors' rights allowing them to retain copyright of their published research and determine how others can use it. For example, in the Cambridge deal, when an article is accepted by a journal, the corresponding author will submit an open access author publishing agreement and select a Creative Commons license that determines how readers can use the article. The article will be designated as eligible for publication under the read and publish agreement.

Leaders at Cambridge University Press say the read and publish model strives for a more equitable scholarly ecosystem. BTAA research published under these agreements will be accessible by all readers. In addition, the Cambridge contract provides the Indiana University Bloomington community with multi-year reading rights to its full journals' package. Perpetual rights are provided to all volumes published during the agreement term.

PLOS is a nonprofit open access publisher and one of the pioneers of publishing through the non-subscription model of Article Processing Charges where authors are responsible for the cost of publishing open access. In 2003, PLOS Biology, the open access alternative to leading biology journals, drew 500,000 visitors within hours of publishing its first article. It was joined in 2004 by PLOS Medicine, offering free access to high-quality, reliable medical research to the public and world’s physicians. The adoption of the read and publish model by these two PLOS journals is a step to further reduce barriers to publishing, by shifting the funding of open access publishing from individuals to institutions.


A map of the united states with Big 10 members highlighted.

BTAA and open access:

As early as 2006, the Provosts of the Big Ten Academic Alliance publicly endorsed congressional passage of federal legislation (Federal Research Public Access Act) that would mandate deposit of federally funded research findings in an openly accessible repository. Almost all BTAA university libraries manage secure repositories for digital content. Some of the country’s largest and best institutional repositories for research findings are maintained by BTAA Universities. BTAA libraries support designated scholarly communication resources to assist faculty in sorting through their publishing options, manage their intellectual property rights, and securely archive and/or share their scholarly content. At Indiana University, the IU Libraries Scholarly Communication Department fulfills this role.


The Big Ten Academic Alliance members are:

  • Indiana University
  • Michigan State University,
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers University–New Brunswick
  • University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Maryland–College Park
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • University of Chicago.

Library supported Open Access Publishing:

Researchers should also be aware of an additional funding option to support open access publishing at IU Bloomington. IU Libraries and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research offer the Open Access Article Publishing Fund for faculty on the IU Bloomington campus. Faculty may apply for up to $2,000 to cover the article processing charges associated with eligible journal articles. IU Libraries also negotiates with publishers such as Springer Open and BioMed Central for IU-specific discounts.