Technical Guidance and Requirements

For cOAlition S funded research covered by Plan S requirements, all peer-reviewed scholarly articles must be published in venues that fulfil the requirements below. Where such an article is published in a subscription venue, followed by immediate deposition in an Open Access repository, the requirements for repositories also need to be fulfilled.

Criteria which are strongly recommended will be subject to review in 2024 and may become mandatory after the review.

1. Requirements for Publication Venues

1.1 Common requirements for all publication venues

Basic mandatory conditions for all publication venues:

  • cOAlition S emphasises the need for high quality journals, therefore requiring journals/platforms to have a solid system in place for review according to the standards within the relevant discipline and guided by the core practices and policies outlined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Details must be openly available on the respective journal and platform websites. In particular, payment of publication fees or waiver status must not in any way influence the editorial decision-making process on the acceptance of a paper.
  • The journal/platform must provide, on its website, a detailed description of its editorial policies and decision-making processes. In addition, at least basic statistics must be published annually, covering in particular the number of submissions, the number of reviews requested, the number of reviews received, the approval rate, and the average time between submission and publication.
  • The journal/platform must accept the retention of copyright by the authors or their institutions, at no extra cost. Licenses to publish must preserve the right and responsibility of the author/institution to make the VoR or the AAM of the article Open Access immediately upon publication, under an open license as defined in Part II Section 2 above.
  • The journal/platform must either enable authors to publish with immediate and permanent Open Access (without any kind of technical or other form of obstacles) under an open license as defined in Part II Section 2 above, or to deposit the AAM or VoR in an Open Access repository at no extra cost and under an open license as defined in Part II Section 2 above. In either case, no embargo period can be applied (including for early view versions, i.e., online VoR before inclusion in an issue).

Mandatory technical conditions for all publication venues:

  • Use of persistent identifiers (PIDs) for scholarly publications (with versioning, for example, in case of revisions), such as DOI (preferable), URN, or Handle.
  • Deposition of content with a long-term digital preservation or archiving programme (such as CLOCKSS, Portico, or equivalent).
  • High-quality article level metadata in standard interoperable non-proprietary format, under a CC0 public domain dedication. Metadata must include complete and reliable information on funding provided by cOAlition S funders (including as a minimum the name of the funder and the grant number/identifier).
  • Machine-readable information on the Open Access status and the license embedded in the article, in standard non-proprietary format.

Strongly recommended additional criteria for all publication venues:

  • Support for PIDs for authors (e.g., ORCID), funders, funding programmes and grants, institutions, and other relevant entities.
  • Registering the self-archiving policy of the venue in SHERPA/RoMEO.
  • Availability for download of full text for all publications (including supplementary text and data) in a machine-readable community standard format such as JATS XML.
  • Direct deposition of publications (in a machine-readable community standard format such as JATS XML, and including complete metadata as described above) by the publisher into author designated or centralised Open Access repositories that fulfil the Plan S criteria.
  • OpenAIRE compliance of the metadata.
  • Linking to data, code, and other research outputs that underlie the publication and are available in external repositories.
  • Openly accessible data on citations according to the standards by the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC).

1.2 Specific conditions applicable to Open Access journals and Open Access publishing platforms:

The journal/platform must be registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or in the process of being registered.

In addition, the following criteria are required:

  • Open Access journals must not have a mirror/sister subscription journal with substantial overlap in editorial board to avoid business models charging for both access and publication. Such journals will de facto be considered ‘hybrid’ journals.
  • Transparent costing and pricing: information on the publishing costs and on any other factors impacting the publication fees must be openly available on the journal website/publishing platform (see also Part II Section 5 above).
  • The journal/platform must provide APC waivers for authors from low-income economies and discounts for authors from lower middle-income economies, as well as waivers and discounts for other authors with demonstrable needs. Waiver policies must be described clearly on the journal website/platform and statistics on waivers requested and granted must be provided.

2. Requirements for Open Access Repositories

2.1 Requirements for Open Access repositories:

The repository must be registered in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) or in the process of being registered.

In addition, the following criteria for repositories apply:

Mandatory criteria for repositories:

  • Use of PIDs for the deposited versions of the publications (with versioning, for example in case of revisions), such as DOI (preferable), URN, or Handle.
  • High quality article level metadata in standard interoperable non-proprietary format, under a CC0 public domain dedication. This must include information on the DOI (or other PIDs) both of the original publication and the deposited version, on the version deposited (AAM/VoR), and on the Open Access status and the license of the deposited version. Metadata must include complete and reliable information on funding provided by cOAlition S funders (including as a minimum the name of the funder and the grant number/identifier).
  • Machine readable information on the Open Access status and the license embedded in the article, in standard non-proprietary format.
  • Continuous availability (uptime at least 99.7%, not taking into account scheduled downtime for maintenance or upgrades).
  • Helpdesk: as a minimum an email address (functional mailbox) has to be provided; a response time of no more than one business day must be ensured.

Strongly recommended additional criteria for repositories:

  • Manuscript submission system that supports both individual author uploads and bulk uploads of manuscripts (AAM or VoR) by publishers.
  • Full text stored in a machine-readable community standard format such as JATS XML.
  • Support for PIDs for authors (e.g., ORCID), funders, funding programmes and grants, institutions, and other relevant entities.
  • Openly accessible data on citations according to the standards by the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC).
  • Open API to allow others (including machines) to access the content. A compliant API must be free to access without any barrier. A light authentication mechanism such as a token for ‘power users’ – e.g., high-traffic collaborators – is acceptable as long as there is a totally open/anonymous route too.
  • OpenAIRE compliance of the metadata.
  • Quality assurance processes to link full-text deposits with authoritative bibliographic metadata from third party systems, e.g., PubMed, Crossref, or SCOPUS where feasible.

 

Further Information