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How do Transformative Journals differ from hybrid journals?

One of the overarching principles of Plan S is its commitment that funders do not support the hybrid model of publishing. One reason for this is the reality of double payments, where a single journal provides the publisher with a revenue stream both from full subscriptions as well as from APCs.
Another reason is that although hybrid journals were perceived as a bridge, by which publishers could move their model away from subscriptions and towards open access, the reality is that this has not happened. Indeed, data from the Open Access Directory shows that out of Wiley’s stable of 1600 journals, just eight have moved from toll access to open access; for Elsevier, with their collection of more 2200 titles, the number of journals which have flipped is just seven. In short, hybrid journals have demonstrably failed as a viable transitioning strategy towards full Open Access.
Transformative Journals differ considerably from hybrid journals in the following ways:

  • They make an explicit commitment to transition to Open Access.
  • They meet transition KPI’s (key performance indicators) year-on-year.
  • They formulate explicit policies to avoid double payments.