STM Publishing – April 2020

STM Publishing – April 2020

Updated cOAlition S criteria welcomed by publishers

Following a public consultation, cOAlition S has published updated criteria for Transformative Journals, most notably increasing the threshold at which journals must flip to full open access from 50% to 75% and removing the commitment to do so by December 2024. It has also reduced the annual growth target for the proportion of content which must be published open access from 8% to at least 5%, in absolute terms, and 15% in relative terms, year-on-year.

Both Taylor & Francis and Springer Nature have welcomed the new guidance. A T&F spokesman praised the organisation for listening to feedback from the community, while Springer Chief Publishing and Solutions Officer Stephen Inchcoombe insisted that the company would do all it could to hit what he described as ‘challenging’ criteria, and committed Springer to converting the vast majority of its own English language journals – including Nature and the Nature Research journals – to becoming transformative journals, subject to the as-yet-unpublished transparency requirements proving acceptable.

New transformative deals

IOP Publishing has reached a deal with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, that will enable its authors to publish their research open access in 42 IOP journals without any author-facing charges.

Springer has agreed a new read-and-publish deal with the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India, its first such deal in Asia, and a memorandum of understanding towards a similar deal with the swissuniversities consortium.


The STM Publishing community is continuing to assist with efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Digital Science’s ReadCube, in partnership with publishers including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Springer Nature, and Wiley, has launched the COVID-19 Research Pass (CRP) programme, which provides direct full-text access to over 26 million articles – not just those explicitly about COVID-19 – and is available on application to anyone studying or writing about COVID-19. Digital Science is also partnering with Beijing-based technology company Zhipu.AI on building a COVID-19 information portal, the first of several planned projects over the next few years.

Global scientific communications and technology company Cactus Communications has also launched its own portal offering researchers access to the latest research and information on COVID-19. The portal makes use of Cactus’s AI and concept extraction capabilities, along with its editorial team and network of subject specialists.

Springer announces two new partnerships

Springer has announced a new partnership with UNESCO that will see the company publish open access books focusing on UNESCO’s key pillars – education, the natural and social human sciences, culture, and communication and information – under its Palgrave Macmillan and Springer imprints.

A partnership with Research Solutions subsidiary Reprints Desk will also enable companies with under 100 Research and Development employees to gain access to Springer Nature’s full collection of journals and ebooks when they buy a subscription to Reprint Desk’s retrieval and intelligence platform, Article Galaxy.

Cambridge launches open content platform

Cambridge University Press has officially launched its new open content and collaboration platform, Cambridge Open Engage. Developed in-house in consultation with researchers, the new platform will publish early and open research outputs across all disciplines, including preprints, presentations, working papers, conference posters, and grey literature. The press has also partnered with online non-fiction library Perlego to make its content available via the online subscription service.

In brief

Wiley has acquired Bio-Rad’s informatics spectroscopy software and spectral databases, including its KnowItAll desktop spectroscopy data system (SDS), server SDS, webserver SDS, and ChemWindow chemical structure drawing software.

Clarivate has added open access data to its Journal Citation Reports (JCR) profile pages, aiming increase transparency around how much scholarly literature is published under gold OA models, and how much it is being cited.

Oxford University Press has announced the launch of a new open access journal in partnership with the American Physiological Society (APS). Function will publish physiology research within the broader field of biological function; submissions are already open.

ScienceOpen is working with health services publisher Karger to feature publications from the latter’s journals in eleven topical Collections, including a special Collection on COVID-19.

Springer Nature will be launching three new journals under the Nature Research imprint in early 2021: Nature Aging, Nature Reviews Methods Primers, and Nature Computational Science; all three will be transformative online-only journals.

Alastair Horne is a PhD student at the British Library and Bath Spa University.

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Alastair Horne is Lecturer in Publishing at the University of Stirling in Scotland, where his research interests include digital and academic publishing. He worked in publishing for thirteen years, firstly at ProQuest and then with Cambridge University Press, where he served as Innovation Manager and led work on the BETT-award-winning Race to Learn software in partnership with the Williams Formula One team. After leaving Cambridge in 2016, he began work on a PhD exploring how smartphones are changing storytelling.

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