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Springer Nature commits to transition majority of journals

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Springer Nature has committed to transition the vast majority of its Springer Nature-owned English language journals that are not already open access, including Nature and the Nature Research journals, to become Transformative Journals. The approach means that Plan S-funded authors will be able to continue to submit research to these journals, subject to acceptability of transparency requirements to be published by cOAlition S.

As reported, Springer Nature has been advocating for Transformative Journals as a necessary complement to Transformative Agreements in the transition to OA to help:

  • Smaller publishers for whom national deals are challenging,
  • Countries and funders for whom transformative deals are challenging,
  • Highly selective journals for which routes for inclusion in national agreements are still being explored, and
  • Journals that contain other types of content as well as primary research, enabling primary research to be transitioned to OA with other content funded by alternative means.

Steven Inchcoombe, chief publishing and solutions officer at Springer Nature, said: ‘We have long championed Transformative Journals as a way to speed up the transition to OA while ensuring our authors, no matter what their funding situation, can continue to publish in the journal of their choice. Plan S’s support is, therefore, welcome and the changes they have made to their criteria means we are able to commit the majority of our non-OA journals, including Nature, to this path.

‘The revised growth targets and other criteria, such as the requirement for a journal to flip to OA for all research articles when this content surpasses 75 per cent, are very challenging but we will do all we can to hit them. Importantly, we also still need clarity on the transparency requirements which are yet to be published.

‘Ultimately for these targets to be achieved and sustained we need to ensure the resulting OA journals are still viewed as a viable option by all relevant authors regardless of discipline, country or funder. This will depend on other players on the ‘demand’ side – researchers, institutions, other funders – making similar commitments to support this route to OA and ultimately for those commitments to be for the long-term not just until 2024.’

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