New Cambridge initiative supports free publishing for researchers, authors

New Cambridge initiative supports free publishing for researchers, authors

Cambridge University Press has started a new open-access program to assist writers from low- and middle-income countries.

Academics from 107 countries, including Nigeria, will be able to publish their research for free in Cambridge journals with open access.

Academics from these countries who want to publish their research through open access but lack financing will be helped by the Cambridge Open Equity Initiative.

This effort will waive article processing expenses for Gold open access publications, which generally range between £2,000 and $3,000 depending on the journal.

Last year, Cambridge University Press released 50% of its articles with open access; nevertheless, the goal is to have more open-access publications by 2025.

What they said

According to a spokesman from Cambridge University Press, “This pilot period allows us to listen to scholars, editors, librarians and universities as we refine the model and ensure we can make it sustainable for the whole community”.

He further stated,

  • “Through financial support from Cambridge and collaboration with its institutional partners, over 5,000 institutions will benefit from the initiative”
  • “It will be available to authors from July 1, 2023, until December 31, 2024”.
  • “From June 2023, institutional partners can contribute and choose to do the program “as a part of their existing or upcoming transformative agreement.”

The advantages of open access

Open access was frequently linked to negative stereotypes, like the notion that “open access” equates to poor quality.

Cambridge University Press addressed some of these issues by, confirming that the Open Access submissions to Cambridge undergo the exact same “peer review and publication process as non-OA submissions”.

Additionally, some misunderstandings about open access include giving up copyrights, which Cambridge insists it does not do.

According to Cambridge, there are numerous advantages for all parties involved in the publication process of open access.

Unlocking the Potential and Visibility of Authors

The mission of the Cambridge Open Equity Initiative is to increase author visibility while providing the best learning and research solutions.

Increased public engagement and visibility are especially beneficial to authors, many of whom may not typically experience these due to a lack of funding at their respective institutions.

According to the University spokesperson,

  • “It’s a step in the right direction, and we are working with similar-minded organisations to identify further steps we can take”

To strengthen this initiative further, Institutions will also join Cambridge University Press in investing in the initiative to support peers in lower-income countries.

What this means for Nigerians 

The move will help overcome financial barriers to publishing open-access research in countries where research funding is scarce such as Nigeria.

Asides from Cambridge waiving fees from independent scholars, when a scholar’s paper is accepted, the university press will automatically recognize the eligibility of the corresponding authors.

The benefit of this is more global visibility for these researchers and authors.

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