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cOAlition S announces price transparency requirements


> See update: Journal Comparison Service: deadline for publisher registrations extended [March 2022]

Adhering to Plan’s S key principle of transparent pricing, cOAlition S publishes today its guidance on implementing price transparency when Open Access (OA) publication fees are applied.

Specifically, cOAlition S announces that from July 1st, 2022 only publishers who provide data in line with one of the two endorsed price and service transparency frameworks will be eligible to receive OA publication funds from cOAlition S members. This covers funder contributions to any model of financing open access publications including, but not limited to, non-APC journals or platforms, article processing charges (APCs), transformative agreements, and transformative journals.

The two approved frameworks are:

In line with the Plan S guidance, cOAlition S will only support open access publication fees which are fair and reasonable.

Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research at Wellcome and interim coordinator of cOAlition S comments: “Providing this information is an opportunity for publishers to demonstrate their commitment to open business models and business cultures, to build awareness of their services and value, to build trust with their customers and to be more responsive to their needs. Providing this data also enables publishers to qualify for OA funding under Plan S”.

When Open Access publication fees are applied, they must be commensurate with the publication services delivered and the structure of such fees must be transparent. Transparent price and services information will enable researchers, libraries and funders to better understand the various elements of open publication services (e.g. peer review, editorial work, copy editing) and judge whether the fees they pay are in accord with the services delivered. Similarly, educational and research institutions will be able to use these data while advising researchers about publishing options.

Although much of the information is already publicly available, providing access to these data in a central and standardised way will make it easier for all customers to compare services and prices, which in turn will stimulate competition between publishers.

cOAlition S foresees to provide details on where publishers should deposit data in line with either of the Frameworks no later than December 2021.

Notes to Editors

  • Further information about the Plan S Price Transparency Framework is available at https://www.informationpower.co.uk/launch-of-the-plan-s-price-transparency-framework 
  • Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing that was launched in September 2018. The plan is supported by cOAlition S, a group of national research funders, European and international organisations and charitable foundations. Plan S requires that, with effect from 2021, all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional, and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo.
  • Information Power Ltd is a strategic consulting firm with expertise in supporting organisations to transition to Open Access successfully. The team works with funders, libraries, consortia, publishers, agents, vendors, and universities to develop a strategy and drive change.
  • The Fair Open Access Alliance is an umbrella organization aimed at coordinating efforts toward sustainable open access scholarly publishing, following the principles of Fair Open Access. Its mission is to help transform the conventions of scholarly publishing and return control of the publication process to the scholarly community.