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When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

Community Action Publishing

A new phase of Open Access designed for selectivity.

Winner of the ALPSP Award for Innovation in Publishing 2021 


Partner with us to make selective publishing more equitable

We want to ensure all authors have the same freedom in choosing the best venue for their research. Our Community Action Publishing (CAP) model aims to eliminate author APCs in order to make our most selective Open Access journals truly open to read and open to publish. PLOS CAP will change the way we think about selectivity and authorship for a more equitable Open Access future.

Learn more about this new model at one of our past webinars. 

  1. Cost to publish is assessed based on publication needs of both corresponding and contributing authors so the cost of publishing is distributed more equitably among representative institutions
  2. Institutions commit to a yearly flat fee, ensuring their researchers receive access to unlimited publishing opportunities in PLOS BiologyPLOS Medicine, and PLOS Sustainability and Transformation.
  3. Revenue exceeding the community targets goes back to members at renewal. Our margins are capped so the more institutions who join in this effort, the lower costs become for all. 

For more information about Community Action Publishing, membership fees, and how you can participate, read our FAQ

Publishing Terms of Service

All PLOS partnership models are subject to PLOS’ Master Publishing Terms of Service. Institutions or consortia that wish to partner with us should contact us for further information.

We have a responsibility to dismantle the standards, policies, practices, and procedures that have been designed to exclude many from reaping the full benefits of the scholarly publishing system. The scholarly communications systems needs to change and we must have the courage to act now
Elaine Westbooks
Elaine L. Westbrooks
Vice Provost for University Libraries & University Librarian University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Why we need YOU

Our collective action model is the first sustainable Open Access solution that protects authors from the rising costs of selectivity. Eventually, we hope to eliminate APCs for all authors. But we need your help for it to work. 

In order to provide truly equal access, we need a majority of our partner institutions to participate to hit each community’s revenue target. Revenue beyond that target will be redistributed to community members the following year.


We want to make Open Access more accessible.

Since highly selective publishing is resource intensive, APCs associated with making that content open can be very high. Because we believe every researcher should have the freedom to publish in the Open Access venue of their choice, we’ve used a cross-subsidy model to keep APCs of our most selective journals lower than their true publishing cost. Community Action Publishing will more equitably remove barriers to publication by covering journal costs, capping margins, and redistributing revenues beyond the target back to community members.

PLOS Biology

PLOS Biology has always put research and researchers first in order to push boundaries in the life sciences. Research questions and scientific rigor, not just positive results, define how we select significant research. And we provide authors diverse open science options to tell the fully story of their research.

PLOS Medicine

Authors who publish in PLOS Medicine ensure their research–which is of global importance–is not part of a closed system. Our journal reflects the diversity of medicine and makes significant advances equally available to doctors, teachers, policymakers, and patients with the highest levels of transparency.

PLOS Sustainability and Transformation

PLOS Sustainability and Transformation will empower leaders and policy-makers in every sector to take evidence-based action to protect the future of our environment, economy, and society. Our journal will work alongside researchers to facilitate an exchange of knowledge and shape Open Science practices to facilitate trust, transparency, and discoverability of research in these fields.

Our journals have always been Open and we value transparency in all stages of the publication process; from published peer review to open data. We’ve approached our collective action business model the same way. We’re committed to openness regarding our prices and our progress in reaching our goals.

PLOS Biology

 Direct + Indirect Costs $1,997,015
 10% Operating Margin    $199,700
 Community Cost Recovery Target $2,196,715

PLOS Medicine

 Direct + Indirect Costs $1,422,930
 10% Operating Margin    $142,295
 Community Cost Recovery Target $1,565,225

PLOS Sustainability and  Transformation

 Direct + Indirect Costs      $947,768
 10% Operating Margin        $94,776
 Community Cost Recovery Target $1,042,544

As of January 1 2021 authors will only incur fees if their institutions are not members of the journal’s collective action community. For work submitted in 2022 these non-member fees are $3,000 for PLOS Sustainability and Transformation articles, $5,300 for PLOS Medicine articles and $4,500/ $3,000/ $5,300 respectively for PLOS Biology’s Discovery Reports, Update Articles, and all other primary research articles. See our FAQs page for more details

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