May 18, 2022

Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and Public Library of Science (PLOS) Announce Publishing Agreement

From a Joint Announcement:

The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and the Public Library of Science (PLOS) today announced an agreement for BTAA members to participate in PLOS’ Community Action Publishing (CAP) program. The agreement ensures time to test and evaluate this new community-based model and allows BTAA researchers to publish in PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine without incurring fees. The BTAA and PLOS will also collaborate on future data, metrics, and tools for institutions to evaluate Open Access publishing agreements.

The BTAA is the largest consortium globally to participate in both CAP communities, meaning that every member has committed to the full three-year pilot. As some of the largest research institutions in the world and major contributors to both journals, the BTAA commitment ensures this new collective action-based model kicks off with a strong foundation.

The Big Ten Academic Alliance members are: Indiana University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, University of Iowa, University of Maryland–College Park, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and the University of Chicago. PLOS has extended the benefits of this agreement to include most system, regional, and branch campuses of these universities.

“The Big Ten Academic Alliance’s commitment to this community-driven model demonstrates the power of collectives to transform scholarly publishing. This collaboration has been a partnership from the beginning and BTAA’s members and administration have been vital in helping us build and execute on this new experiment in sustainable highly selective publishing.” said Sara Rouhi, Director of Strategic Partnerships for PLOS.

Maurice York, BTAA’s Director of Library Initiatives, adds: “One of the key strategic questions in front of us is how to advance the growth of open science and open scholarship through collective and intentional action. We are actively seeking pathways to create a sustainable, scalable open knowledge ecosystem for our researchers and scholars. We are pleased to join together with PLOS to take up this pilot in common cause.”

PLOS’ Community Action Publishing (CAP) is PLOS’ effort to sustain highly selective journal publishing without Article Processing Charges for authors. More details about the model can be found here and here.

See Also: Public Library of Science (PLOS) and Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) Announce Community Action Publishing (CAP) Agreement (January 18, 2021)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.