Frontiers pilots ‘flat fee’ publishing partnership with the University of California

Gold open access publisher Frontiers has announced its first consortium partnership in North America with the University of California (UC). The one-year agreement will also pilot a novel partnership model: UC will receive unlimited publishing in 20 specified Frontiers journals for a pre-agreed annual flat fee.

Credit: Frontiers

The eligible journals have been selected by UC from Frontiers’ Humanities and Social Sciences and Sustainability titles as being from underrepresented and under-funded disciplines. The deal will allow corresponding UC authors at any of the University of California’s 10 campuses, including the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), to publish in these journals without limit and without APC.

“As a native open access publisher, Frontiers is a natural ally in our efforts to advance a more open, equitable, and transparent publishing landscape,” said Miranda Bennett, director of shared collections at UC’s California Digital Library. “This pilot allows us to collaborate with a major publisher of UC-authored research as we explore new models for partnerships between institutions and native open access publishers.”

For Frontiers, the agreement with UC is an important opportunity to develop and refine its ‘flat fee’ partnership models. Kamila Markram, CEO of Frontiers states: “This agreement with the University of California, one of our major institutional partners, underscores the mutual trust in our relationship and represents a milestone in our shared mission to make all science publications openly available, while fostering author choice within the community.”

“I applaud UC’s new pilot agreement with Frontiers and, in particular, its acknowledgement of the need for increased funding and support for UC authors who publish open access in the humanities and social sciences,” said Maria DePrano, professor of art history at UC Merced and chair of the UC faculty Academic Senate’s University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication. “This pilot points to a future in which humanities and social science researchers play a central role in the open access movement and the shift to a more equitable scholarly communication system.”

Ronald Buitenhuis, head of institutional partnerships at Frontiers said: “The partnership with UC is a significant step for Frontiers, both as our first consortium agreement in North America and as the first pilot of our new partnership model. We look forward to working with UC as we refine and develop this new model, which will simplify budgeting and reduce the administrative burden at all levels. Ultimately, institutional-level agreements of this type, at a global scale, will accelerate the transition to full open-access.”

Frontiers has already established more than 690 partnerships with institutions across the world who are committed to covering some or all publication fees. The new flat-fee model is a natural progression that will ultimately contribute to improved transparency and reduced administrative effort in the publishing market.

The following institutions are included in the University of California (UC) agreement: 

  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of California, Merced
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

The agreement between Frontiers and UC provides full APC funding support for articles accepted for publication in any of 20 Sustainability, Humanities and Social Science journals.

For more information, contact Thomas Romano, global sales manager – Institutional Partnerships (

The list of the journals included in this agreement with a link to the journal’s information page:

Humanities and Social Sciences:

Frontiers in Behavioral Economics     
Frontiers in Communication     
Frontiers in Digital Humanities     
Frontiers in Education     
Frontiers in Environmental Archaeology
Frontiers in Environmental Economics     
European Journal of Cultural Management and Policy     
Frontiers in Human Dynamics     
Frontiers in Political Science     
Frontiers in Sociology     


Frontiers in Climate     
Frontiers in Forests and Global Changes     
Frontiers in Ocean Sustainability
Frontiers in Sustainability     
Frontiers in Sustainable Cities     
Frontiers in Sustainable Energy Policy     
Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems     
Frontiers in Sustainable Resource Management     
Frontiers in Sustainable Tourism     
Frontiers in Water  

About the University of California Libraries and the California Digital Library

Individually and collectively, the University of California libraries provide access to the world’s knowledge for the UC campuses and the communities they serve, directly supporting UC’s missions of teaching, research, and public service. The California Digital Library, situated within the UC Office of the President, was founded in 1997 to provide transformative digital library services that amplify the impact of the libraries, scholarship, and resources of the University of California.

About Open Access at the University of California

Open access publishing supports the mission of the University of California by transmitting knowledge more broadly and facilitating new discoveries that build on the university’s research and scholarly work. In 2013 the systemwide faculty Academic Senate endorsed an Open Access Policy that affirmed its commitment to “disseminating its research and scholarship as widely as possible.” Learn more about open access at UC. 

About Frontiers

Frontiers is the 3rd most-cited and 6th largest research publisher. We publish groundbreaking discoveries by the world’s top experts. Scientists empower society and our mission is to accelerate scientific discovery by making science open. We place the researcher at the center of everything we do and enable the research community to develop the solutions we need to live healthy lives on a healthy planet. Featuring custom-built technology, artificial intelligence, and rigorous quality standards, our research articles have been viewed more than 2.1 billion times, reflecting the power of research that is open for all.

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