Diamond future of open access | Publication Forum

“In Finland, the expenses of open access publishing were calculated as part of the open science and research monitoring exercise in 2022. According to the monitoring, 4 million euros were used in Finnish research organisations for APCs and book processing charges (BPCs) in 2021.

This development has caused critique across the science community and reinforced the movement towards charge-free open access publishing, i.e. diamond open access. Science Europe, an association representing major public organisations funding or performing research in Europe, defines diamond open access as follows:

“Diamond Open Access refers to a scholarly publication model in which journals and platforms do not charge fees to either authors or readers. Diamond Open Access journals are community-driven, academic-led, and academic-owned publishing initiatives. Serving a fine-grained variety of generally small-scale, multilingual, and multicultural scholarly communities, these journals and platforms embody the concept of bibliodiversity. For all these reasons, Diamond Open Access journals and platforms are equitable by nature and design.”

Science Europe and cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funding and performing organisations, published the OA diamond journals study in 2021. It includes a report of the global situation of diamond open access journals and recommendations for funders, institutions and societies. 

The study finds that there are a few main concerns which many diamond journals share. These are, for example, lack of technical skills and resources to publish their content in a format which fulfils the standards specified in Plan S technical requirements. As a cause and effect of this, a large share of OA diamond journals are not included in established indexes for open access journals, such as DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals).

The study highlights that the editorial tasks of the journals are mainly based on the voluntary work of researchers, because the funding is not on a permanent basis. Voluntary work, e.g. editorial tasks or peer-review, is either not taken into account enough, for example, in institutions researchers’ assessment policies.

The study shows that despite common concerns the landscape of diamond journals is very diverse and fragmented. In conclusion, the study recommends measures for better utilising and sharing know-how and resources….”

Research funders supporting DOAJ’s future

“DOAJ is currently supported by several research funders who recognise the central role of DOAJ in enhancing visibility and discoverability of research worldwide and its role in the delivery of Plan S. These funders help to share some of the operational costs of DOAJ, an important acknowledgement of the critical need to secure the organization’s future independence and visibility of global open access research. …

Although  27 research funders are signed up to Plan-S, only six currently support DOAJ: Denmark – Agency for Science and HE, Austria – FWF, Norway – NSD, Sweden – Vetenskapsrådet, Finland – TSV, Netherlands….”

Immediate open access ‘should be EU default’, says presidency – Research Professional News

“Statement from Swedish presidency of Council of EU follows discussion among research ministers

Research papers should be made freely available immediately under open licences as standard in the EU, the Swedish presidency of the Council of the EU member state governments has said.

“Making scholarly publications rapidly accessible to all contributes to high-quality research,” the Swedish presidency said on 8 February. “Therefore, providing immediate open access to peer-reviewed research publications under open licences should be the default.” …

This text echoes the presidency statement but goes further in saying that authors should not have to pay fees when publishing their research papers open access.

The draft text “stresses that research results should be as open as possible and as closed as necessary, and that immediate and unrestricted open access should be the default mode in publishing, with no fees for authors”.

It invites EU member states to update national policies “as soon as possible” to bring about this situation….”

When Is It Transformative and Why Does It Matter?

“With the word “transformation” in open access and open scholarship, context is everything. What is transformative for a publisher may not be to the same degree for the academic research library, even when reaching for similar goals.  This lack of clarity can be confusing without context. This also impacts expectations for how resources and budgets should be used to support open access and open scholarship. So, what’s in a word? Different visions of the future, or potential roles in advancing the goals of open scholarship. This article explores several examples of use and misuse of this word with the recommendation to use sparingly and appropriately and replace with more accurate terminology when available….”

Developing a globally fair pricing model for Open Access academic publishing | Plan S

“cOAlition S is seeking to engage the services of a consultant to explore how a globally fair pricing system for academic publishing could be devised and implemented. The European Science Foundation, which hosts the cOAlition S office, will award the contract on behalf of cOAlition S.


cOAlition S is participating with  UNESCO, the International Science Council (ISC), the Open Access 2020 Initiative (OA2020), Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), the Association of African Universities, and Science Europe in organising a series of workshops on global equity in Open Access publishing. The first of these workshops focused on viewpoints from Europe and Africa, and participants formulated a variety of proposals, including a call for publishers to adopt more equitable practices, including but not limited to transparent pricing of Open Access publishing services based on purchasing power parity (PPP).

As a follow-up to the workshop, cOAlition S wishes to commission a study to explore how a globally fair pricing system for academic publishing could be devised and implemented. We will work with our partners in the Global Equity Workshop in taking this forward.

The key objective of this study is to identify ways in which readers and producers of scholarly publications (or their proxies, namely research funders and universities, could financially contribute to supporting the academic publishing services valued by their research communities as a function of their means in a manner that is globally equitable and sustainable….”

Open Access Business Models – OPERAS

“The Open Access Business Models Special Interest Group looks into business models currently used by open access publishers, with a particular focus on the situation of European publishers in the social sciences and humanities (SSH), especially journals and monographs, in light of the Plan S guidelines. …

OA Business Models White Paper (2018) …


Collaborative models for OA book publishers, Version 1 (2021) …”


cOAlition S confirms the end of its financial support for Open Access publishing under transformative arrangements after 2024 | Plan S

Transformative arrangements – including Transformative Agreements and Transformative Journals – were developed to encourage subscription journals to transition to full and immediate open access within a defined timeframe (31st December 2024, as specified in the Plan S Implementation Guidance). After careful consideration of the outcomes of transformative arrangements, the leadership of cOAlition S reaffirms that, as a principle, its members will no longer financially support these arrangements after 2024.

Exceptionally, individual cOAlition S funders may still choose to financially participate in Transformative Agreements beyond 2024 as part of their respective national strategies. Such exceptions will be communicated on the cOAlition S website.

Support for Transformative Journals will also cease at the end of 2024. In anticipation of this, no new applications to this programme will be considered after the 30th of June 2023.


European academies hit out at high author charges for open access publishing | Science|Business

“Open access means more and more scientific research is free to read. But now there are complaints about ‘massive’ fees that must be paid upfront by authors and claims commercial publishers are making excessive profits….

ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, claims commercial publishers are making the large profits from open access publishing under what is known as the gold model, which allows journal papers to be free to read as soon as they are published.

Instead of journal subscriptions, publishers are paid article processing charges (APCs). These fees can sometimes be thousands of euros.

The financial burden is shifting away from the readers of papers and onto the authors. This is putting a strain on academics around the world, particularly those in less well-off countries, ALLEA says in a report published last month. These fees are often rolled into partner agreements with big publishers, but researchers not covered by these agreements must usually pay APCs.

ALLEA claims that publishers make around $2 billion per year from APCs….

Robert-Jan Smits, president of Eindhoven University of Technology and former European Commission director general for research, who is a leading advocate for open access, told Science|Business that a cap should be placed on APCs to “avoid an explosion of costs,” saying, “There is enough money in the system, it is just in the wrong place.” …”

Freier Zugang umgehend und uneingeschränkt – das ändert ab dem 1. Januar 2023

From Google’s English:  “The SNSF will adjust its Open Access requirements at the beginning of 2023. Scientific articles must now be accessible immediately. This corresponds to the principles of cOAlition S, which the SNSF joined in June 2022….

If scientific results are only publicly accessible after a blocking period, this not only harms science, but also society, which has often paid for this research. “From the point of view of the SNSF, the time for such delays in articles is now over,” says Matthias Egger, President of the National Research Council. “We no longer accept blocking periods.” If the SNSF funds a research project, the resulting articles must be freely available immediately.

As before, this obligation can be fulfilled in three different ways: publication in an open access journal (golden way), in a hybrid journal or as a manuscript version (“Author’s Accepted Manuscript”) in a digital archive (green way). The regulations for books and book chapters remain unchanged.

Use without any restrictions

Other requirements will also be new for 2023. The SNSF stipulates a CC-BY license for all articles. Scientific articles are primarily distributed and read digitally. Both the researchers and the SNSF have an interest in knowledge being spread as widely as possible and used in as many different ways as possible. The so-called Creative Commons licenses (CC licenses) are the standard today for the use of digital content and content distributed via the Internet. This means: The articles can basically be used without restrictions – from further distribution to automated evaluation in order to gain completely new insights. Of course, the researchers must be named as the authors each time they are used, and it must be clear whether the content has been changed.

rights reserved

Many publishers restrict what researchers can do with the articles they have created themselves through exclusive publication contracts. Very often these limitations also prevent the fulfillment of OA obligations. The SNSF is therefore adopting the rights retention strategy developed by cOAlition S: researchers reserve the right to make their manuscript freely available immediately and under a CC-BY license when they submit it. They refer to their obligations towards the SNSF….”

Ouvrir la Science – Open Science library

“The guide explains the rights retention strategy, its benefits for the researcher and the operational details of its application. It also provides an FAQ that addresses the main questions about choosing licenses, the options available at the various stages of publication, and how to manage relationships with publishers….”

IEEE Commits its Entire Hybrid Journal Portfolio to Transformative Journal Status Aligned with Plan S

IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, announced today that it has committed its full portfolio of more than 160 hybrid journals, which publish both open access and subscription-based content, to become Transformative Journals under Plan S.

This commitment means that any authors receiving research grants from Coalition S, a group of research funders, are compliant with Plan S requirements when publishing their research articles in any IEEE fully open access or hybrid journals. In addition to the existing direct open access agreements with hundreds of institutions, all of IEEE’s hybrid journals now qualify as ‘Transformative Journals’ under Plan S.

IEEE Commits its Entire Hybrid Journal Portfolio to Transformative Journal Status Aligned with Plan S | STM Publishing News

“IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, announced today that it has committed its full portfolio of more than 160 hybrid journals, which publish both open access and subscription-based content, to become Transformative Journals under Plan S. 

This commitment means that any authors receiving research grants from Coalition S, a group of research funders, are compliant with Plan S requirements when publishing their research articles in any IEEE fully open access or hybrid journals. In addition to the existing direct open access agreements with hundreds of institutions, all of IEEE’s hybrid journals now qualify as ‘Transformative Journals’ under Plan S….”

Why price transparency in research publishing is a positive step | Hindawi

“In 2019, Hindawi took part in the price transparency framework pilot run by Information Power on behalf of cOAlition S. Three years later and the coalition’s new Journal Comparison Service (JCS) is up and running. Hindawi is proud to be one of the publishers that has contributed data to this service. Taking part has helped us focus on the rigour of our own reporting system and has enabled us to give researchers greater choice when choosing a journal by giving more visibility to our services in our new and publicly available journal reports.

Only a few publishers took part in the pilot and the framework remains untested. It’s not yet clear how useful the JCS will be to the institutions who might want to access the service and use the data, or how the JCS will increase transparency about costs as well as pricing across the publishing industry more generally. In part, this is because it’s seen by some to provide an overly simplistic view of publishing. Compartmentalising publishing services into seven or eight different categories  (see page 20 of the JCS guidance for publishers) inevitably constrains the many different and often overlapping services that publishers provide. In addition, limiting the price breakdown of these services into the percentage that each contributes to a journal’s APC also means that the real costs aren’t visible. There are also pragmatic reasons that make it very difficult for some publishers to collect data consistently, especially for those with large portfolios that operate on multiple platforms or have journal-specific workflows. Finally, fully open-access publishers who don’t have an APC business model can’t take part, even if they want to be more transparent. However, we believe the upsides are large. Hindawi has more than 200 journals in our portfolio and the following outlines a few of the ways we, and we hope those who contribute to and access our journals, are benefiting. Our focus is on the ‘Information Power’ framework for the JCS and on the ‘Journal Quality’ information specifically (columns P-Z in the template spreadsheet). This information relates to data on the journal workflow, especially peer review (such as timings and the no of reviewers involved). We know that there is a long way to go to make all publishing services transparent, but we are learning from our participation in the JCS and will continue to explore ways to improve transparency….”

Elsevier absent from journal cost comparison | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Of the 2,070 titles whose information will become accessible under the JCS, although not directly to researchers, 1,000 belong to the US academic publishing giant Wiley, while another 219 journals owned by Hindawi, which was bought by Wiley last year, also appear on the list.

Several other fully open access publishers will also participate on the comparison site including Plos, the Open Library of Humanities, and F1000, while learned society presses and university publishers, including the Royal Society, Rockefeller University Press, and the International Union of Crystallography, are also part of the scheme.

Other notable participants include the prestigious life sciences publisher eLife, EMBO Press and the rapidly growing open access publisher, Frontiers.

However, the two of the world’s largest scholarly publishers – Elsevier and Springer Nature, whose most prestigious titles charge about £8,000 for APCs – are not part of the scheme….

Under the Plan S agreement, scholarly journals are obliged to become ‘transformative journals’ and gradually increase the proportion of non-paywalled content over a number of years. Those titles that do not make their papers free at the point of publication will drop out of the Plan S scheme, meaning authors cannot use funds provided by any of the 17 funding agencies and six foundations now signed up to Plan S. There are, however, no immediate consequences for a publisher who decides not to share their price and service data through the JCS.  …”