Equity Position

Making the benefits of open research available to all 

At Taylor and Francis (T&F), we believe that there is no one size fits all. We consider the best path forward is to adequately support all researchers wherever they are based and whatever their circumstances, to develop a broad range of options that best suit their unique contexts. We believe the only way to achieve this, is by working very closely as partners with various parts of the scholarly community to develop, pilot, and expand initiatives, and that is indeed what we have been dedicating a lot of our work to.   

As a result of T&F’s ongoing efforts, we highlight our commitments below, which serve as the basis for encouraging equity in OA publishing moving forward. We will continue to develop further approaches and are devoted to stepping up and doing our part. However, we also fully recognise that we can only achieve these shared aims by working closely together and piloting new approaches. In this spirit, we are very eager to hear from all parts of the community with ideas of new approaches and from organisations willing to work with us, to address these complex multi-faceted challenges together.   

(1) Improving affordability for all 

T&F continues to innovate in our efforts to ease the costs and accessibility of sharing research across all regions and disciplines. In line with the STM Equity in OA Statement, we commit to: 

Making open access (OA) more affordable to researchers and institutions in low- and low-middle income countries across all disciplines:

  • Transformative Agreements (TAs): expansion of TAs has led to a rapid increase in the amount of research immediately available for all to use. This is especially significant for our humanities and social sciences research, representing 75% of our TA content. The ESAC Transformative Agreement Registry documents the negotiations of libraries and consortia in more than 70 countries (including low- and middle -income countries) to publish more than 1 million peer-reviewed articles immediately OA and without author-facing fees.  
  • APC waivers: T&F is part of an initiative whereby APCs are waived or reduced for authors who are in financial need.  
  • Non APC-based pricing models: such as the F1000 collaboration with the Gates Foundation on the launch of VeriXiv. We also have 25 journals which are funded through a diamond model, with no cost to the author. We are willing and keen to experiment in this arena with other stakeholders to further democratise open research, recognising the potential for different pricing models globally. 

Supporting equity in access to research through our diverse partners and initiatives:  

  • Research4Life: We have an ongoing partnership with Research4Life (R4L), which provides researchers and policymakers in more than 120 lower-income countries with free or low-cost access to our peer-reviewed content aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. R4L also provides in-country and online e-resource training. 
  • Get FTR: T&F is a proud partner of GetFTR. GetFTR works with publishers and discovery resources, to ensure researchers can easily discover and access the content they are entitled to read.  
  • Knowledge Unlatched Partnership: T&F has partnered with Knowledge Unlatched to make 20 of its African Studies books open access each year, via a dedicated collection which requires no funding from the authors. 
  • Green OA: Zero Embargo Green Open Access is a Taylor & Francis initiative, across our Library and Information Science journals and Archives list. It enables authors to make their work green open access, with no embargoes applied. 
  • Collaborative funding initiatives: Our international collective funding pilot, Pledge to Open, aims to publish 70 OA books on a broad range of global issues, including climate change, mental health, women’s rights, and race. We are also a longstanding partner with the Publishers Licensing Services (PLS) programme Access to Research. This service provides free, on-demand access to millions of academic articles in UK public libraries, heightening the visibility of publicly-funded research, and helping publishers share content with researchers, students and the broader community others who might benefit from it.
  • Capacity building support: We contribute to capacity building by offering numerous free training workshops and webinars targeted at African and South African authors, reviewers, editors and librarians, including supporting better understanding of publishing and open research best practice, through our T&F editorial-led program of training and resources for researchers in sub-Saharan Africa. We also have a number of free to access and use materials available in our resource hub. Our local editorial teams and co-publishing partnerships also support regional journals and infrastructures, for example in Africa. 
    • T&F has several agreements in this space including an agreement reached by South African National Library and Information Consortium (SANLiC) and T&F, where researchers in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia will be supported to publish OA articles in over 2,100 journals through a three-year agreement.  
    • T&F has a three-year transformative agreement with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), where researchers can now choose OA in over 2,500 journals, boosting the potential reach and impact of their work.  
    • T&F has signed a read and publish partnership with Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), one of Latin America’s leading institutions where researchers will also benefit from extended journal access and a new publishing training program.  
    • T&F’s open research publishing platform, Open Research Africa enables rapid sharing, discovery, use and reuse of African research for the benefit of all. 

(2) Enabling greater and more equitable participation in open research 

At T&F our very purpose – to foster human progress through knowledge – is founded on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). We believe that diversity is a strength. Bringing together a diverse range of people, communities, and opinions is beneficial to the customers and communities we serve, to our colleagues – and ultimately to humankind. We also believe it is the right thing to do. We recognise our role as knowledge distributors and the responsibility that comes with the privilege of working with knowledge producers and seekers of all backgrounds. We commit to ensuring broader participation in knowledge generation across our communities, including ensuring our peer reviewers, our editors and our editorial board members are diverse and reflective of the communities we serve. They are crucial partners if we are to successfully transition to OA and meet their needs. This is why we have been:  

  • Working towards a more diverse scholarly publishing industry. Along with STM and other publishing stakeholders, T&F is a member of C4DISC. C4DISC stands for valuing the skills and viewpoints of professionals from diverse backgrounds, who have historically had less representation in scholarly communications. As a C4DISC partner, we adopt the Joint Statement of Principles and contribute to C4DISC initiatives. T&F also entered a joint commitment with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing. As a signatory to this, we are committed to upholding the minimum standards for scholarly publishing, which launched in 2021.  
  • Working to improve diversity across editors, editorial boards, and peer reviewers. T&F continues to build on its DEI initiatives, scrutinising key parts of the business through our Social Justice Hub.  
  • Increasing transparency and taking accountability. T&F, as a member of the UK Publishers Association, has signed onto the Inclusivity Action Plan outlining 10 commitments for publishers to accomplish by 2026. We are also a contributor to the UK Publishers Association annual diversity survey. The publishing industry as a whole is striving to address diversity and inclusivity and we are firmly committed to supporting this drive.  
  • Democratising participation in publishing Open Access: including broadening participation in editing and peer review of content by rewarding contributions, such as PeerJ
  • Developing multilingualism avenues. Our Japan Institutional Gateway supports full Japanese language publishing and peer review for Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities content. Our partnership with the European Commission is now supporting abstracts in four European languages (beyond English). In addition, our AI editing services that we run across all our publications, is focused around bringing more equity to supporting authors whose first language is not English. 

Future Commitments 

At T&F, we understand that while good progress has been made, there is still much to do. We are committed to succeeding and this has meant that:  

  • In understanding our needs for accountability and growth, we are working to expand, scale, and improve on the above initiatives. We are working to ensure a stronger focus on developing partnerships as a core part of the scholarly community to work collectively on how to bring greater equity and diversity more broadly and consistently to scholarly communication.  
  • We are proactively convening initiatives and discussions to ensure we are addressing these complex multi-faceted challenges with our partners, for example during our commercial negotiations, focusing on addressing the needs of researchers from all countries. We have dedicated colleagues as members of external working groups, who support us to build coalitions with other stakeholders in the scholarly communications infrastructure, to ensure we are stepping up in our part to actualise a more equitable open research future and ecosystem. 
  • We are striving to consider output types across the research cycle that work for more disciplines and regions, such as incorporating policy briefs, case studies or essays. We have led the way in drafting a HSS data sharing policy that we have created in conjunction with partners that work for those communities specifically. We have set for ourselves targets for the number of journals offering data notes, registered reports, and method articles in both our STM disciplines and increasingly in our HSS disciplines where applicable. In this way, can look back and measure what we have accomplished so far to understand areas of progress and areas for improvement.