Switzerland’s Frontiers in Flat Fee Pilot with University of California

In News by Porter Anderson

Ten journals each in fields of sustainability and social sciences are in the Frontiers-University of California open-access publishing pilot.

One of the journals included in the one-year University of California pilot with Frontiers, the Swiss science publisher, is ‘Frontiers in Sustainable Tourism.’ Image, Uttarakhand, India – Getty iStockphoto: Rupendra Singh Rawat

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Twenty Journals in the New Pilot
Based in Lausanne, the Swiss scholarly publisher Frontiers on Thursday (August 24) announced a new “consortium partnership,” its first in North America—an agreement with the University of California that’s to include a pilot of a flat-fee publishing component.

The one-year pilot offers unlimited publishing in 20 specified scientific journals published by Frontiers, the publishing being charged at a pre-agreed annual flat fee.

The university has selected the journals for the project from Frontiers’ portfolio.

Titles chosen are from the humanities and social sciences—a group that includes Frontiers in Environmental Economics and the European Journal of Cultural Management and Policy—and from work in sustainability, the latter being a collection that includes Frontiers in Forests and Global Change and the new Frontiers in Sustainable Tourism.

These are disciplines of scientific work and publishing, according to Lausanne’s media messaging, that are seen as under-funded and underrepresented.

University of California science authors can participate from any of the system’s 10 campuses, which include the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and publication within the bounds of this agreement will have no limits or article processing charges (APCs).

Kamila Markram

Kamila Markram is the co-founding CEO of Frontiers—a neuroscientist in autism research.

In the announcement of the new pilot project with California, she says, “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.”

The institutions included in this special pilot are:

  • 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)

Miranda Bennett

Miranda Bennett, director of shared collections at the university’s California Digital Library is quoted, saying, “As a native open-access publisher, Frontiers is a natural ally in our efforts to advance a more open, equitable, and transparent publishing landscape

“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.”

Ronald Buitenhuis

Ronald Buitenhuis, Frontiers’ head of institutional partnerships, says, “The partnership with the University of California 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 reports that it has more than 690 partnerships in place with institutions in many parts of the world. The company says that it sees this flat-fee model as “a natural progression that will ultimately contribute to improved transparency and reduced administrative effort in the publishing market.’

The relevant journals in this California pilot are:

Humanities and Social Sciences


More from Publishing Perspectives on open access is here, more on scholarly and academic publishing is here, more on scholarly journals is here, and more on the Swiss market is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

Facebook Twitter

Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.