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Open-access journal publishing: Change to Biomed Central

09 Jun 2009

University will fund Supporters Membership from 25 June

Since 2003 the John Rylands University Library has supported University of Manchester staff publishing in BioMed Central journals through a Prepay Membership. This type of membership allows authors to submit articles with the option of indicating that the entire Article Processing Charge (APC), due at the time the article is accepted for publication, would be paid by the University Prepay Membership.

The current arrangement where the Library covers 100% of the author article charges has proved to be unsustainable as the cost has increased from £3,000 in 2003 to approximately £80,000 in the current academic year. These year-on-year increases now pose serious challenges for the JRUL Content Budget.

After careful consideration The University Research Group (chaired by the Vice-President for Research, Professor Simon Gaskell) has agreed that, from 25 June 2009, The University of Manchester’s membership will change from a Prepay Membership to a Supporters Membership. This type of membership allows JRUL to pay a fixed annual fee and secure a 15% discount on the APC for all our researchers publishing in Biomed Central journals, but the remainder of the charge must be covered by the submitting author.

Any articles submitted to BMC journals prior to 25 June will still have the APC covered by the Prepay Membership, even if the article is accepted for publication after this date. From 25 June, authors submitting to BMC journals will benefit from the 15% discount as a result of the JRUL supporters subscription.

An increasing number of research funders now make additional funds available for publication in open access journals, or in one of the hybrid journals set up by some publishers. These include the Wellcome Trust, Arthritis Research Campaign, British Heart Foundation and all of the Research Councils. The availability of funds and how they are accessed varies depending upon the funding body. Further information is available at: