Transformative Agreements

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A Transformative Model for High-Quality Open Access Publishing in the Biological Sciences

“A sustainable path to open publication of biomedical research is a long-sought objective among the many science communication initiatives at Cold Spring Harbor. Our transformational offerings provide a model for any research-intensive institution whose scientists wish to make their articles openly available in these long-established, prestigious, not-for-profit journals.”

— Dr. John Inglis, Publisher of CSHL Press, co-founder of bioRxiv and medRxiv

A Unique Approach Building Upon Traditional Read & Publish Agreements

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL Press) is exploring new types of online licensing arrangements with research institutions and libraries that build upon access to its collection of leading journals by incorporating an Open Access research publishing program for authors. These agreements combine, in a single annual payment, a “Read” fee for full access to the complete collection of CSHL Press subscription journals and a pre-set “Publish” fee for corresponding authors of accepted papers in all of its research journals, including those which are currently fully Open Access. The goal, over time, is to maintain the highest standards of publishing in the biological sciences while reducing the reliance on traditional subscriptions and expanding the output of Open Access research.


Institutions receive online access to all CSHL Press research and review journals from Volume 1, Issue 1 to the present.


Corresponding authors at participating institutions may publish an unlimited number of Open Access papers with no additional fees.

CSHL Press Collection agreements typically offer combined “Read & Publish” agreements for eight of its titles. Read access includes two reviews and one methods journal:

  • CSH Perspectives in Biology (launched 2009) ranks in first quartile of journals in Cell Biology*
  • CSH Perspectives in Medicine (launched 2013) ranks in first quartile of journals in Research & Experimental Medicine*
  • CSH Protocols covering all biology disciplines (does not receive Impact Factor), includes proven, peer-reviewed recipes, techniques and protocols from legendary CSHL courses and working scientists

Unlimited open access publishing of research articles is provided for corresponding authors at participating institutions in five research titles:

  • Genes & Development (Launched 1987) ranks #2 among research (non-review) journals in the field of Developmental Biology and #7 in the field of Genetics & Heredity*
  • Genome Research (Launched 1991) ranks #2 among research journals in the field of Genetics and #3 in the field of Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology*
  • RNA (Launched 1995) ranks in second quartile of “Biochemistry & Molecular Biology” category*
  • Learning & Memory (Launched 1994) ranks in second quartile of “Neurosciences” category*
  • CSH Molecular Case Studies (Launched 2016) an open access journal of research and treatments in precision medicine

*Journal Citation Reports Impact Factor Data © Thomson Reuters


  1. How can authors tell if they are eligible for open access with a CSHL Press transformative agreement?
    • If your institution is listed below, upon acceptance your paper will be published as open access. Please also see the journal’s “author information” page for details on submissions (journal links are contained in each title name above)
  2. Is my library or institution eligible to participate?
    • Most current subscribers can transform their journal access to include the complete CSHL Press Collection as well as open access publication in our research journals for their scientists that will be corresponding authors of an accepted manuscript
  3. The high level standards to publish in CSHL Press research journals can limit acceptance of many papers. What if our authors are rejected? Is there an editorial process to publish papers of value which can save authors resubmission to other journals or publishers?
    • Yes, due to CSHL Press’s non-profit partnership with EMBO Press and Rockefeller University Press, we have established a new journal Life Science Alliance (LSA). Although editorially independent, editors at LSA work closely with editors of CSHL Press journals to offer seamless transfer of papers, including pre-peer review consultations which provide authors with a high degree of certitude for rapid review and publication in LSA.

Is your library or research institution interested?

“Read & Publish” is one example of the new trend toward “transformative agreements” that aim to reshape the relationships of publishers, authors, and subscribers to create more access to content while finding a more sustainable business model for all parties. CSHL Press works with both library consortia and with individual institutions to customize such deals to meet the specific needs of customers. If you are interested in discussing such an arrangement for your institution or group, please email Stephanie Novara.