Revised ‘Transformative Journal’ criteria from cOAlition S are “challenging” but Springer Nature commits to transition majority of journals, including Nature

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Approach means Plan S-funded authors will be able to continue to submit research to these journals

Springer Nature welcomes the decision from cOAlition S to support Transformative Journals.  Subject to acceptability of the yet to be published transparency requirements, it commits 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.   

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.


Commenting, Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing and Solutions Officer, 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%, 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.”

Springer Nature has been committed to opening up research for nearly 20 years. BMC launched as an OA-only imprint, publishing its first content in 2000. Springer offered some of the first OA author options in its traditional journals and concluded the first Transformative Agreement in 2015.  Since then, Springer Nature has published more OA articles than any other publisher and has agreed the largest number of national Transformative Agreements.