The Company of Biologists’ Transformative Journals exceeded their Open Access targets

The Company’s journals Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology have exceeded their Open Access growth targets in their first year as Transformative Journals.

The Company of Biologists has offered Open Access publishing options since 2004 and two of its five journals are already fully Open Access. The other three journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology – were the very first ones to be awarded Transformative Journal status by Plan S.

The Transformative Journal strategy signals clearly the journals’ commitment to move towards full Open Access, while a transition period allows them to provide publishing options that support all authors through this change in the publishing landscape.

Transformative Journals proactively champion Open Access publishing and have Open Access growth targets. Over the 2021-2024 transition period, the three journals aim to grow the proportion of Open Access research content by at least 5% year-on-year in absolute terms. For 2021, these targets were not only met, but they were exceeded, with Development’s Open Access research content growing by around 10%, Journal of Cell Science by around 12% and Journal of Experimental Biology growing by around 15%. 

This Open Access growth was driven by our Read & Publish agreements, which allow corresponding authors at participating institutions to publish Open Access Research Articles without paying a publication fee. Over 400 institutions in over 30 countries are currently participating in our Read & Publish Open Access initiative.

“We are delighted to announce that all three journals have exceeded their Transformative Journals targets in 2021,” said Claire Moulton, Publisher at The Company of Biologists. “With our Read & Publish initiative being an important driver, this has been a true team effort, involving not only our own teams, but also hard work and dedication from others in the community, including our valued library and consortia partners. The Transformative Journal approach helps us to work towards making research accessible to everyone in a way that allows us to support our wide community of authors along the way.”

Having reached more than double the target growth in 2021, some have argued, could make next year’s targets harder to reach. While this may be the case, we still feel this is a great step forward in our transition towards Open Access. Our target is to grow our OA Research content by at least a further 5% in 2022. Keeping up this momentum in OA growth requires real change in the marketplace. We continue to work with our library and consortia partners to explore expansion of our Read & Publish agreements – and we call for more support from funders and institutions through well-funded OA mandates – to enable authors to publish more Open Access content. We will keep our stakeholders informed of our Transformative Journal progress on our website and through our journals.

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