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Press Release

PLOS announces newest joiners to the CRL/NERL Agreement

By Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO – The Public Library of Science (PLOS) welcomes several new participants to its ongoing three-year consortial agreement with Center for Research Libraries (CRL) and the Northeast Research Libraries (NERL) program. Joining twenty fellow member institutions who signed on during the first year, newly participating institutions for the second year include Duke University, Macalester College, University of Arizona, University of Denver, University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Washington.

This agreement provides researchers with unlimited publishing privileges in PLOS journals without incurring fees. All PLOS journals are underpinned by institutional business models that move beyond article processing charges (APC) to ensure more equitable and regionally appropriate ways to support Open Access publishing. PLOS’ institutional models are Community Action Publishing (CAP)[1]Flat Fees [2], and the Global Equity model[3]

“These additions to our NERL/CRL agreement represent more momentum in our mission to advance Open Science,” said Sara Rouhi, Director of Strategic Partnerships for PLOS. “These institutions share our commitment to building business models that will move researchers and journals toward a more equitable and barrier free form of publishing.”

“This agreement will allow all researchers at Duke to publish their work in any PLOS journal without having to worry about article processing charges,” said Elena Feinstein, Head of Collection Strategy & Development, Duke University Libraries. “It also aligns with Duke University’s commitments to equity and knowledge in the service of society.”

“The CRL/NERL partnership with PLOS continues to support members’ desire for innovative models that make publishing and research more equitable and inclusive. This collaboration supports mutually beneficial progress toward fair and accessible publishing. We are thrilled to see the continued growth of this meaningful partnership,” said Lanette Garza, Director of NERL & CRL Licensing.

Alongside CRL/NERL members, a growing list of institutions including the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the University of California system, Jisc (including University College London, Imperial College London, University of Manchester), the Sachsen and TIB consortia’s in Germany, and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network among others have decided to support their researchers through publishing deals with PLOS.

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) recently honored PLOS as the 2021 co-winner for Innovation in Publishing for its Community Action Publishing model.

[1] Participating journals include PLOS Biology, PLOS Medicine and PLOS Sustainability and Transformation

[2] Participating journals include PLOS Digital Health, PLOS ONE, PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Pathogens, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and PLOS Genetics

[3] Participating journals include PLOS Climate, PLOS Water, PLOS Global Public Health

CRL Hires Lanette Garza as NERL Program Manager

By Press Release

The Center for Research Libraries is pleased to announce the appointment of Lanette Garza as the NERL Program Manager. Garza comes to this new position at an important moment in NERL’s history as the NERL community has renewed energy and purpose, having issued its “Demands a Better Deal” statement in March 2021 and having recently concluded innovative, successful negotiations that will make research more openly available.

Garza was appointed through a robust community-engaged process led by a search committee consisting of Erin Haddad-Null (CRL), Jeff Kosokoff (outside consultant, chair), Jessica Morales (Notre Dame), Yelitza Mendoza (CRL), and Maggie Saponaro (U. Maryland). Garza brings to the role deep experience working with designing and maintaining workflows for the acquisition, licensing, and maintenance of all aspects of the licensed resource life cycle. She has worked in multiple library environments. Previously, Garza spent eight years working at Trinity University where noted accomplishments included developing the library’s first data center dashboard to highlight resource and library use, creating a licensing checklist to ensure fair and equitable licensing terms, establishing an E-Resources Playbook for routine assessment, and co-authoring an ALA and NEH grant to facilitate discussions and events about Latino American history. 

Garza is passionate about foregrounding equity in her work and the work of research libraries, and the new energy and perspectives she provides will benefit NERL. “Lanette brings an exciting set of skills and experience to this important role,” said Greg Eow, President of CRL. “I was particularly impressed with how Lanette brought a passion for data analytics and assessment together with a passion for making the scholarly publishing more diverse and equitable.” Sarah Forzetting, Chair of the NERL Program Council Executive Committee and Associate Director, Acquisitions & Collections Services at Stanford Libraries, commends the members of the search committee and the NERL community for their contributions to the successful search. According to Forzetting, “Program Council is energized by Garza’s appointment, and we look forward to leaning on her expertise in building solid operational structures for the creative and impactful work NERL has planned.” 

Garza began her appointment on February 28 and will be based in Texas.

NERL and Cambridge University Press Strike Open Access Agreement

By Press Release

The NERL consortium has entered into an agreement with Cambridge University Press to support open access publishing in Cambridge journals.

From January 1st 2022, corresponding authors affiliated with participating NERL institutions can publish an unlimited number of research articles open access in Cambridge hybrid and gold journals at no additional cost. For participants this agreement also expands the number of journals licensed or otherwise sustains access to the complete package of journals offered by the publisher.

The NERL Program Council project team, led by Brigitte Weinsteiger, Gershwind & Bennett Family Associate Vice Provost for Collections & Scholarly Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, worked closely with Cambridge to establish the terms of the partnership, and interrogate the publisher’s transformative agreement model against NERL’s core values. The result is a financially sustainable agreement for both parties that furthers a number of shared priorities around the transition to a more equitable and open research landscape.

Research from NERL members accounts for over 25% of Cambridge’s US originated output, and this agreement ensures a new and significant portion of research in Cambridge journals can now be published open access.

Weinsteiger said, “I am delighted that NERL and Cambridge could arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement that not only expands global access to the important research coming out of NERL institutions, but also secures the necessary funding for Cambridge’s publishing while remaining financially sustainable for all parties.”

Greg Eow, President of the Center for Research Libraries, the administrative host of NERL, added: “This agreement marks an important moment for NERL. By signing its first Read and Publish Open Access agreement, NERL further demonstrates its commitment to partner with publishers to foster a healthy academic publishing environment for the good of all.”

Kellie O’Rourke, Head of Library Sales, Americas for Cambridge, said: “We have a long history of collaboration with NERL, and are delighted to bring this influential group of institutions into a transformative agreement. This partnership has huge potential to advance us toward our goal of becoming a majority open access journals publisher by 2025, and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to working with organizations of all types and sizes to secure sustainable open futures for the research we publish.”

Participating Institutions (correct as of 1st March 2022)


Amherst College North Carolina State University
Boston College Northeastern University
Brandeis University Princeton University
Brown University Providence College
Central Connecticut State University Stanford University
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
College of the Holy Cross Syracuse University
Columbia University University of Delaware
Cornell University University of Georgia
Dartmouth University University of Kentucky
Duke University University of Maryland – College Park
Emory University University of Massachusetts – Amherst
George Washington University University of New Hampshire
Georgetown University University of Notre Dame
Georgia Institute of Technology University of Pennsylvania
Georgia State University University of Pittsburgh
Johns Hopkins University University of Virginia
Mount Holyoke College Wesleyan University
New York University Yale University


About NERL: A national leader in negotiated licensing, NERL maximizes effective and sustainable access to content for its member institutions. By building and supporting alliances between higher education and the information industry, NERL serves as an advocate for the collective power and influence of academic libraries and their parent .

The NERL and Cambridge project was chaired by Brigitte Weinsteiger of the University of Pennsylvania with contributions by Sarah Forzetting of Stanford University, Jessica Morales of the University of Notre Dame, Ken Peterson formerly of Dartmouth University, Lindsay Cronk of the University of Rochester, Jesse Koennecke of Cornell University, and Scott Warren of Syracuse University.

About Cambridge University Press: Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge and is the academic publishing group of Cambridge University Press & Assessment. It publishes academic books and journals and serves customers in higher education through the provision of world-leading research and education products and services.