Press seeks Transformative status across its journals in major commitment to Open Access

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Cambridge University Press will request the majority of its journals be given Transformative Journal status by cOAlition S as part of a commitment to transition them to full Open Access.

The Press’s commitment to Open Access (OA) stems from its belief that a sustainable transition is vital to the future of research and in keeping with its mission to advance learning, research and knowledge worldwide.

Transformative Journals promise to increase the share of research articles they publish Open Access each year, flipping to fully OA when that reaches 75 per cent. They also pledge to actively promote the benefits of OA to authors to encourage take-up.

In doing so, they offer authors a way to comply with the Plan S requirement that, from 2021, the results of cOAlition S-funded research must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms.

Matthew Day, Head of Open Research Policy and Partnerships at the Press, said: “We have been committed to a transition to totally open research for some time now. 

“While our primary path to a sustainable, open access future continues to be through Read and Publish agreements, the Transformative Journals programme gives a welcome and much-needed opportunity for us to offer a Plan S-compliant publishing route to the many authors not yet covered by such an agreement.

“It also involves specific commitments, which we support and will do our very best to meet as fully and quickly as possible.”

Alongside all its own hybrid journals, the Press’s hope is that as many of the society-owned journals it publishes as possible will become Transformative Journals, committing more transparently to the transition to fully OA research.

However, it is unable to support the other route to compliance offered by cOAlition S through their Rights Retention Strategy, which would make authors’ accepted manuscripts Open Access without an embargo period. The Press believes this model is likely to undermine a path to sustainable Open Access.

Ella Colvin, Director of Publishing for the Press’s academic journals, said: “By adopting the transformative journals approach right across our journals publishing, we want to send a clear message about our belief in the importance and desirability of Open Access. We believe the pursuit of knowledge benefits directly from the collaboration, transparency, rapid dissemination and accessibility that it brings.”

She added: “The transition needs to be sustainable, both for journals and publishers. We welcome the commitment that cOAlition S has made to funding the costs of Gold Open Access, but it won’t be enough for all journals to meet OA growth targets. That’s why we continue to pursue transformative agreements, like the read and publish deals we have secured with many academic libraries and consortia around the world.

“We and cOAlition S want the same thing: a global transition to full and immediate open research. Of the three routes to compliance that they offer us, the transformative journals and transformative agreement routes give us a solid foundation for achieving our shared goals.”