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Open Access

The Company of Biologists recognises that authors have different needs when it comes to how they publish their research. This may be dependent on funder mandates, regulations from their institute, or an author's personal preference. The Company of Biologists allows and encourages Open Access (OA) publishing in all of its journals.

We have three Transformative Journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology) and two fully OA journals (Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open).

Our Open Access journey



Transformative Journals

The Company of Biologists publishes three Transformative Journals:

These three journals were the first journals ever to be awarded Transformative Journal status according to Plan S criteria.

The Transformative Journal approach helps us to balance the following priorities:

  • making research accessible to everyone, as quickly as possible
  • supporting our whole author community – whatever their funder or financial status
There are currently three options to publish in our Transformative Journals, whilst complying with funder mandates, such as Plan S:

Transformative Journals proactively champion Open Access publishing and have OA growth targets. Over the 2021-2024 transition period, the journals aim to grow the proportion of OA research content by at least 5% year-on-year in absolute terms. For 2021, these targets were not only met, but they were exceeded. Watch our video announcement below to find out more.


Fully Open Access journals

The Company of Biologists publishes two fully Open Access journals:

These journals are 100% OA, making your research easily and immediately available to everyone to read and share.

From 2022, libraries can also choose to include our two fully OA journals in their Read & Publish agreement.


Read & Publish agreements

Available to libraries and library consortia for a single annual fee, our Read & Publish agreements offer unlimited “read” access to all our content plus uncapped fee-free Gold Open Access publishing of research articles. Check to see if your institution is on our list of participating institutions.

It is very important to us that the benefits of Read & Publish agreements are available to a wide range of authors and readers. We are proud to partner with Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), reaching scientists in 30 developing and transition economy countries.

We review our subscription pricing policy annually to ensure that our customers do not pay twice for access to this content via article processing charges (APCs) and subscription fees – also known as “double dipping”.


Transparent metrics

All of our journals provide transparency around costs, APC pricing and publishing metrics in line with the Plan S Price and Transparency Framework developed by Information Power. More details can be found on the journals' transparent metrics pages:


Benefits of Open Access publishing

Compliancy with funder mandates

Many funding bodies require research to be published Open Access. Our various publishing options provide all of our authors with a route that is compliant. You can find more journal-specific information on the following rights and permissions pages:

Fast access to your research for everyone

Publishing Open Access means that your work is accessible to everyone as soon as it is published. And our continuous publication model ensures that your accepted manuscript is immediately released online rather than waiting for articles in the issue to be completed, resulting in faster access to the final version of the article.


Besides compliancy and speed, we can also see other advantages on an article-level.

Benefits of OA publishing

Usage increase

Across our journals, usage is generally higher on OA articles than on non-OA articles, with average usage in the first 12 months after publication at least two times higher.

Citation advantage

Though numbers currently vary widely for different journals, there is an early indication that OA articles tend to receive more citations than non-OA articles.

Altmetrics boost

Alternative metrics, tracking how much attention research receives on different platforms including news outlets, blogs and social media, tend to be higher on articles that have been published OA.


APCs and waivers

The cost of publishing Open Access tends to be covered by charging the authors or the research supporters a fee called the article processing charge (APC). On some of our journals, the APC does actually cover the costs involved, but on other journals, the APC doesn't fully cover costs. Costs of publication include, but are not limited to: costs relating to quality peer review; support for academic editors; plagiarism and image manipulation checks; text editing; layout; and online hosting, dissemination and archiving.

Our two fully OA journals, DMM and BiO, grant full APC waivers for corresponding authors based in low-income and lower-middle-income economies, as classified by the World Bank. Authors who genuinely have no funds to cover APCs may also apply for a full or partial waiver on the basis of financial hardship.

You can find more information about APCs and waivers on the journal pages:

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