Most Plan S “transformative journals” fail to meet their first-year open access goals

Data from Plan S shows that more than half of the journals that signed its “transformative diary” (TJ) open access (OA) promise failed their first-year goals.

The Plan S initiative, a program devised by Coalition S, an international consortium of 17 research funders, requires “full and immediate” open access to the research they have supported.

Coalition S initially considered banning academics from using their research funding to publish research in journals that were not open access. Instead, in a truce, Coalition S allowed non-participating journals to publish funded research as long as they moved to full OA by adhering to the TJ model. in any case, the latest data show that a year later, 56% of these hybrid journals did not meet their targets.

The commitment requires that journals “work to increase the share of open access content, year after year, in line with publicly agreed goals; and offset the proceeds of subscriptions from payments for editorial services (to avoid double payments) “.

The goal in the first year was to increase the share of research content on OA by at least five percentage points in absolute terms and by at least 15% in relative terms. Sixteen publishers enrolled 2,304 journals in the program.

Despite these missed goals, Plan S said it does not plan to immediately block 56% of the TJ Plan diaries. Robert Kiley, head of strategy for Plan S, said the missed goals are “perhaps understandable as the transformative diary model is new and may take some time to fully establish.”

Instead, Plan S said it will strictly enforce the 2022 deadline in one year: Publishers will have one year to catch up and hit the next target, but those that fail will be eliminated.

The figures show an annual increase in the share of open access published research of approximately five percentage points in overall terms. Figures show that 622 of Springer Nature’s 1,714 TJ titles publish 25% of free access content. Of the 233 participants in Cambridge University Press, 30 publish at least 25% of the articles as OA. Only three of Elsevier’s 133 hybrid journals hit the 25% OA mark.

Plan S believes many model TJ journals will struggle to meet the full 2024 deadline for open access given current trends, with those that have not yet hit the 25% OA mark are more likely to fail.

Read more: Jisc and the Royal Society of Chemistry extend open access agreement

Most Plan S “transformative journals” fail to meet their first-year open access goals

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