Why hybrid journals do not lead to full and immediate Open Access | Plan S

“In this brief note, we formulate 6 arguments that articulate why cOAlition S Organisations will not financially support the hybrid model of publishing. We define a hybrid Open Access journal as a subscription journal in which some of the original research papers are Open Access while others are only accessible via payment or subscription. …

Argument 1: Hybrid has not facilitated a transition to Open Access (OA)…

Argument 2: The research community pays twice (double dipping)…

Argument 3: Hybrid journals are more expensive than fully OA journals…

Argument 4: Hybrid journals provide a poor quality of service…

Argument 5: Hybrid journals crowd out new, full OA publishing models…

Argument 6: Reader access: a hybrid journal is a “random OA” journal…

The arguments developed here provide the rationale for why cOAlition S Organisations have decided not to financially support hybrid journals unless these journals adopt a transformative arrangement that will lead them towards full and immediate OA by December 2024. In the meantime, these arrangements must ensure that OA publication fees are properly offset against subscription fees, so as to avoid any double-dipping. Publishers will only “bite the bullet” and start exploring new OA publishing models when they realize that the hybrid model is no longer a viable option.”

Cureus | Scientometric Data and Open Access Publication Policies of Clinical Allergy and Immunology Journals

Abstract. Introduction

The scientific merit of a paper and its ability to reach broader audiences is essential for scientific impact. Thus, scientific merit measurements are made by scientometric indexes, and journals are increasingly using published papers as open access (OA). In this study, we present the scientometric data for journals published in clinical allergy and immunology and compare the scientometric data of journals in terms of their all-OA and hybrid-OA publication policies.


Data were obtained from Clarivate Analytics InCites, Scimago Journal & Country Rank, and journal websites. A total of 35 journals were evaluated for bibliometric data, journal impact factor (JIF), scientific journal ranking (SJR), Eigenfactor score (ES), and Hirsch index (h-index). US dollars (USD) were used for the requested article publishing charge (APC).


The most common publication policy was hybrid-OA (n = 20). The median OA publishing APC was 3000 USD. Hybrid-OA journals charged a higher APC than all-OA journals (3570 USD vs. 675 USD, p = 0.0001). Very strong positive correlations were observed between SJR and JIF and between ES and h-index. All the journals in the h-index and ES first quartiles were hybrid-OA journals.


Based on these results, we recommend the use of SJR and ES together to evaluate journals in clinical allergy and immunology. Although there is a wide APC gap between all-OA and hybrid-OA journals, all journals within the first quartiles for h-index and ES were hybrid-OA. Our results conflict with the literature stating that the OA publication model’s usage causes an increase in citation counts.

Six Questions (with Answers!) about UC’s and Elsevier’s New Transformative Deal – The Scholarly Kitchen

“As is so often the case with transformative deals, this one is complex; it’s also somewhat controversial, and the scholarly communication discussion space has been buzzing with questions. The good news is that the UC-Elsevier MOU is publicly available and it answers quite a few of them — while also fully illustrating the complexity of the deal.

Here I’d like to focus on six questions that I’ve had about the new UC-Elsevier deal, and share the answers I was able to find….”

Open Access Publishing in the EJVES: a Hybrid Solution for a Hybrid Specialty (and How ‘Hybrid’ Helped the Dinosaurs Survive) – European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

“Scientific publishing in scientific media such as the EJVES faces similar challenges. Funding of publishing mechanisms and accessibility of research findings have become moving targets asking for (hybrid) survival tactics.

Many of our readers may not be aware that the EJVES is already a Hybrid Journal!…


Where does the money come from to cover these ‘technical costs’? We have three main income streams. First, individual subscribers: Most are members of the ESVS, or of other vascular surgery societies with a linked membership with the ESVS, such as the Vascular societies of Australia/New Zealand, India, Lebanon or South Africa. Second, institutional subscribers (mainly university libraries): They subscribe to journals on behalf of their associated researchers. Such agreements may be quite complex since hundreds of scientific journals may be involved. Individual journals receive subscription fees, depending, amongst other factors, on the number of published articles and the journal impact factor (JIF). The EJVES 2019 JIF increased by 46% to 5.328,
 the 2020 JIF will be released in June 2021.

The third is Open Access publishing. What is this, and who can benefit from it? Under a subscription model, newly published articles are reserved for paying subscribers (individual or institutional, see above). Although all articles are transferred eventually to an open archive, which is free to access (for the EJVES one year after being paper published in a print issue of the journal), contents remain exclusive often for up to the 18 months that may pass between e-publication and transfer to the open archive. Many papers are “hot” and are most interesting when recently published which drives the subscription model and the motivation to become an ESVS member, for example….”


Publishing in hybrid, open access journals | Press release | Wellcome

“Wellcome has updated its guidance for researchers to help them comply with our open access policy and support them when some journals have discouraged them from making their Author Accepted Manuscripts open access….

‘We are disappointed that some publishers are implementing processes that seek to discourage our researchers from exercising their right to make their Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) open access. We urge these publishers to stop these practices and instead focus their efforts on developing Plan S-aligned publishing options. 

‘Where publishers embrace this transition, we will fund fair and reasonable publishing costs. Moreover, under this model, the Version of Record will be made open access, and as such the author will not need to make use of their right to share the AAM.


‘In the meantime, when faced with an obligation to agree pay an Article Processing Charge (which we will not fund) we encourage our researchers to either contact the journal to request a waiver to this fee, or to consider submitting their manuscript to a different journal. …”

California universities and Elsevier make up, ink big open-access deal | Science | AAAS

Two years after a high-profile falling out, the University of California (UC) system and the academic publishing giant Elsevier have patched up differences and agreed on what will be the largest deal for open-access publishing in scholarly journals in North America. The deal is also the world’s first such contract that includes Elsevier’s highly selective flagship journals Cell and The Lancet.

The Biggest Big Deal  – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The University of California (UC) announced today a four-year arrangement with Elsevier that is the biggest transformative agreement in North America by article count as well as financial spend. This agreement achieves UC’s goal of an integrated contract for reading access and open access publishing. It will be a test of both the financial sustainability and the financial desirability of the multi-payer model….

In addition, because of how the UC multi-payer model is implemented in this agreement, beyond the capped library spend, Elsevier has the potential to realize revenues from author’s grant funds as well. The potential upside here for Elsevier in dealing with a major research institution could be substantial. 

Nonetheless, according to Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, co-chair of the UC negotiation team, the committed library spend plus the projected author contributions totals to less than the projected costs if the libraries had continued to pay subscriptions for reading access and authors continued to pay APCs directly from their grants. 

For Elsevier, then, this agreement means that they re-gain a substantial portion of the revenues they had lost when UC canceled its subscription in 2019, with an upside growth potential from author grant funds….”


“A real win for researchers”: UC and Elsevier sign transformative agreement

“A new 4-year agreement between the University of California (UC) and Elsevier will implement a pioneering shared-funding model at unprecedented scale. The agreement supports UC’s libraries, funders and authors in increasing open access publishing while also providing reading access to Elsevier’s extensive journal portfolio.

As with each of the 15 pilot deals Elsevier has announced over the past 24 months, the agreement is tailored to the specific needs of the institution. In this instance, that means meeting the needs of a highly research-intensive university that has a strong vision around open access and a clear sense of how to deliver it….”

Breaking: University of California strikes landmark open access deal with publishing giant Elsevier | UC Berkeley Library News

“The University of California has struck a deal with Elsevier, the largest academic publisher in the world — a landmark victory for the university and for open access publishing.

The transformative agreement comes after a much-publicized split between UC and the publishing giant, and more than two years of negotiations. The deal is the culmination of UC faculty members, librarians, and leaders coming together and standing strong in our efforts to make UC research freely available to everyone, and to transform scholarly publishing for the better.

The four-year agreement — going into effect on April 1, 2021 — restores UC’s direct online access to Elsevier journals and doubles the number of articles covered by UC’s open access agreements….”

UC secures landmark open access deal with world’s largest scientific publisher

“The University of California today (March 16) announced a pioneering open access agreement with the world’s largest scientific publisher, Elsevier, making significantly more of the University’s research available to people worldwide — immediately and at no cost. The deal will put more UC research into the hands of individuals across the globe at a time when international collaboration to fight COVID-19 has illuminated the value of open access to scientific findings.

The agreement is the largest of its kind in North America to date, bringing together UC, which generates nearly 10 percent of all U.S. research output, and Elsevier, which disseminates about 17 percent of journal articles produced by UC faculty. The deal will double the number of articles made available through UC’s transformative open access agreements….

Under the four-year deal, all research with a UC lead author published in Elsevier’s extensive portfolio of hybrid and open access journals will be open access by default. It is the first such agreement to include open access publishing in the entire Cell Press and Lancet families of journals, which are considered among the world’s most prestigious scientific and medical titles. University researchers will also be able to read articles published in Elsevier journals….”

Open Access to Publications

“An HHMI lab head can meet the requirements of this policy for a specific article in the following ways:

• Publishing the “version of record” (the version that is published by the journal) under a CC BY license so that it is immediately and freely available to the public. For example, open access journals typically offer a CC BY license option and make the articles they publish immediately and freely available.

• Depositing the “author-accepted manuscript” (the version after peer review accepted by the journal) in PubMedCentral or another HHMI-designated repository under a CC BY license so that it is immediately and freely available to the public upon publication in the journal. This option applies to journals like subscription journals which do not publish the journal article (i.e., the version of record) under a CC BY license. If the journal does not deposit the author-accepted manuscript in a repository on behalf of the authors, it is the responsibility of the HHMI author(s) to ensure that the author-accepted manuscript is available under a CC BY license by the publication date….”

Open Access surpasses subscription publication globally for the first time | Dimensions

“In the vein of keeping things moving, the Dimensions team has introduced many new features over the last few years. Most recently, they have updated the Open Access classifications in Dimensions and introduced some additional fields that some of you may find helpful.

The Open Access data in Dimensions is sourced from our colleagues at Unpaywall.  When we first launched Dimensions, Unpaywall was almost as new as we were, but in the meanwhile, both Unpaywall and Dimensions have moved on. The new release of Dimensions now tracks the Unpaywall OA classifications.  This means that the filters in Dimensions should be more consistent and easier to understand – we now have: Green, Bronze, Gold, Hybrid, All OA and Closed.  Of course, all the Open Access filters are available in the free version of Dimensions as well.

While we have seen the percentage of OA increasing rapidly in recent years, especially in countries like China, Germany and the UK, it was not until 2020 that more outputs were published through Open Access channels than traditional subscription channels globally….”

Open access at Nature Methods | Nature Methods

“From January 2021 on, we are pleased to offer authors of primary research papers an expanded array of publishing options, including open access (OA). Nature and the Nature Research journals, including Nature Methods, have become ‘transformative journals’, meaning that while we still offer traditional subscription-based publication, we aim to increase the number of OA papers we publish each year, with the ultimate goal of becoming a fully OA journal….”

ESC Publications Committee: scope, successes, and challenges 2009–20 | Cardiovascular Research | Oxford Academic

“Currently, all ESC journals are publishing with a subscription model (except ESC Heart Failure and soon EHJ Digital Health), whereby readers or their institution pay, while submitting is free. The editors label 1–2 papers of each issue as Editor’s Choice which are freely accessible, while the remaining papers become open only after 12?months. The hybrid model has the big advantage that it provides funding to run large editorial offices, as required for high impact journals. Of note, editorial services, statistical reviewing, illustrations, as well as news sections require resources. Not the least, subscription provides income for educational societies such as the ESC and many others a service for their members.

Recently, the Welcome Trust, and the European Union, presented Plan S to make open access mandatory for all journals. Plan S would change the business model of publishing completely. Under this regimen, the authors have to pay, while for readers access is free. While open access provides immediate access, also hybrid journal such as the EHJ get 12 million downloads per year (Figure 1B). A disadvantage of open access is the huge manuscript handling fees required for high impact journals which would be a burden for authors from less affluent economies. Therefore, the ESC PubComm took the stand that hybrid journals should continue to be allowed. Also, few open access journals have reached acceptable impact factors. Whether or not Plan S will be able to change publishing remains to be seen. To that end, the decision of US journals and of the National Institute of Health will be essential….”

Max Planck Society, Rockefeller University Press Enter “Read-and-Publish” Transformative Agreement

“Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) has signed an unlimited “read-and-publish” transformative agreement with Rockefeller University Press (RUP) on behalf of the Max Planck Society. The agreement covers Open Access (OA) publishing of articles in RUP’s three hybrid journals: Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM) and Journal of General Physiology (JGP).

Under the agreement, which runs from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022,  articles by corresponding authors affiliated with Max Planck Institutes will be published immediate open access under a CC-BY license and directly deposited in PubMed Central (PMC). The transformative agreement repurposes former subscription funds to cover all open access publishing fees for authors, and there is no limit to the number of articles that may be published under the terms of the agreement. Max Planck Institutes also receive unlimited access to RUP’s journals. Learn how authors can take advantage of new agreement….”