Majority of Cambridge Research Papers Now Open Access

  • Milestone in open access publishing
  • Thousands of institutions sign up with Cambridge University Press

CAMBRIDGE, England--()--Over 50 percent of Cambridge University Press research articles are now published open access (OA) and so freely available to read.

Having passed the 50 percent threshold for last year – approximately 10,000 papers being fully open – Cambridge University Press is aiming for the vast majority of its research papers to be published fully open access by 2025.

OA research has a significantly higher readership and impact. Such articles published by Cambridge alone - and freely available online via Cambridge Core – receive about 3.5 times more full text views and on average 1.6 times more citations. Under traditional subscription models, readers, or their institutions, pay to access research.

Transformative agreements for thousands of institutions

Cambridge, the world’s oldest academic press, has signed transformative agreements covering 2,000 institutions worldwide: enabling researchers at those universities and research institutes to publish open research at no additional cost.

Cambridge hitting this open access milestone is especially remarkable, as about 60 percent of its research publications are in the humanities and social sciences - fields where research funding constraints have historically held back open research adoption, relative to science, technology and medicine.

Cambridge open access papers meet the highest standards, undergoing thorough peer review, before becoming permanently available for anyone to read and use.

Over 400 Cambridge journals offer open access options to publishers; 66 with fully open access and 340 hybrid.

Mandy Hill, Managing Director, Academic at Cambridge University Press & Assessment, said: “Two years ago, we set a bold ambition to transition our research publishing to open access by 2025 and this is a major milestone towards that goal. As an academic publisher we are committed to maximising the dissemination and impact of high-quality research and open access is a sustainable route to support that mission.

“That’s why we will not stop at half of our journal papers being open access: we are working to make the vast majority of such research fully open by 2025.

“Transformative agreements have provided an important route towards open access for all authors, irrespective of their funding. We are building on this momentum to exploring a range of business models to take us beyond the Transformative Agreement and establish innovations to ensure the world’s academics, students and citizens can enjoy open access in a sustainable manner.”

Sustainable and open

Cambridge has adopted, and in some cases pioneered, financial models to make open research sustainable.

In the United States alone, Cambridge signed more than 300 such agreements within the last two years, including with the University of California, the world’s leading public research university system.

The publisher has developed its own open research platform, Cambridge Open Engage, to accelerate dissemination and collaboration.

This has led to a partnership with ChemRxiv, as well as major conferences like Climate Exp0 and has extended our existing relationship with the American Political Science Association (APSA).

The open approach is bolstered by Cambridge Prisms, a series of fully open access journals that map out and build connections in cross-disciplinary subject areas to address real-world challenges. Coastal Futures, Precision Medicine, Global Mental Health and Extinction launched in January 2023, with Plastics and Water set to launch in early summer.

Beyond journal papers, Cambridge is experimenting with new models to publish open research monographs, such as Flip it Open, which makes the most popular books freely available online once they have met a revenue threshold.



Sophie White
07913 076426

Andrew Scheuber
+44 7748 272171

Release Summary

Majority of Cambridge research papers now open access


Sophie White
07913 076426

Andrew Scheuber
+44 7748 272171