STM Publishing – May 2020

STM Publishing – May 2020

Transparency advice revealed

cOAlition S has published its guidance and requirements for the transparency frameworks that publishers will be required to adhere to from 1 July 2022 if they wish to be eligible for OA publication funds from cOAlition S members. The two approved frameworks are the Fair Open Access Alliance’s Breakdown of Publication Services and Fees and Information Power’s Plan S Price and Transparency Framework.

COVID collaboration

A group of scholarly publishers and communications organisations, initially comprising eLife, Hindawi, PeerJ, The Public Library of Science (PLOS), the Royal Society, F1000 Research, FAIRsharing, Outbreak Science, and PREreview, has come together with the aim of maximising the efficiency of peer review during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative has asked for volunteer reviewers with suitable relevant expertise to add their names to a ‘rapid reviewer list’ whose reviews and identities can be shared among participating journals to ensure review portability.

Springer commits to DORA

Springer Nature, which recently published its 1000th open access book, has become the largest research publisher to sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), following the example set by its imprints Nature Research, Springer Open, and BMC, who became signatories in 2017. Chief Journals Officer Alison Mitchell committed the company to working towards upholding all five of DORA’s main recommendations for publishers, and to making an array of article and journal-level metrics publicly available.

New transformative deals

SAGE has signed a new three-year open access publishing deal with the Norwegian consortium for higher education and research, named Unit, backdated to the start of 2020. Researchers will gain read access rights and unlimited OA publishing rights to approximately 900 hybrid journals and a 20% discount on publication in more than 150 Gold OA journals.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) has concluded two new read-and-publish agreements. A twelve-month renewable deal with Oxford University Press will grant researchers read access to over 350 journals and the opportunity to publish in OUP’s OA journals, while an agreement with the American Chemical Society will provide online access to ACS journals and cover Article Processing Charges (APCs) for more than 65 of them until the end of 2022.

PLOS has confirmed a three-year open access agreement with Iowa State University Library that will enable researchers to publish in its journals from July without incurring APCs.

New partnerships

A new partnership between Clarivate and Frontiers, which recently published its 150,000th open access article, aims to give peer reviewers greater recognition for their work. The Web of Science Reviewer Recognition Service, integrated into Frontiers’ Collaborative Review Platform, will allow reviewers to easily track, verify, and record all their review and editorial contributions and to upload these automatically to their Publons profile.

IOP Publishing, which recently launched a formal co-review policy to help early-career researchers gain peer review experience alongside credit for their contributions, to be trialled on the journals Nano Express, Journal of Optics and Journal of Physics D, has announced the integration of its article submission system ScholarOne with the Editage Online System, enabling authors who use Editage services to submit directly to IOP.

Digital Science portfolio company Dimensions has partnered with preprint platform Research Square to provide early citation data on preprints. Dimensions badges for all cited Research Square preprints will display four different types of data: the total citations, most recent citations, Field Citation Ratio (FCR), and Relative Citation Ratio (RCR).

Free non-profit academic search platform Semantic Scholar has partnered with OpenAthens and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to add a new institutional login option to the platform.

New journals

Oxford University Press has announced the launch of the first two titles in its new flagship open access journals series, Oxford Open Immunology and Oxford Open Materials Science. Oxford has also launched a third new OA journal outside of this series: Function, published in partnership with the American Physiological Society, will provide a multidisciplinary home for research in basic, translational and clinical science broadening the physiological understanding of biological function.

Wiley has been chosen as the new publisher for the American Psychiatric Association’s open access journal Psychiatric Research and Clinical Practice (PRCP).


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

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