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Transformative Journals – Plan S

Inter-Research has long recognised the high value of open research to furthering the aims of science. The process of converting all 8 Inter-Research journals to fully Open Access (OA) publication began in 2013. By the end of 2020, 4 titles had already “flipped” to fully OA.


From January 1, 2021, the 4 journals published by Inter-Research that still have a subscription component:




are designated as Transformative Journals. Inter-Research welcomes the new opportunity provided by cOAlition S and other funders and to continue the fully OA conversion process. If funder support proves viable, OA-flipping of all titles should be complete by end of 2024.



What are the advantages of publishing Open Access?


OA articles attract far more attention than non-OA articles, in some cases more than 3-fold. OA articles are immediately available to a much broader audience, including the general public. This potentially results in a wider and greater impact and faster citation growth. Our OA articles are published under the Creative Commons by Attribution v.4.0 License (CC-BY). The original copyright holders (usually the authors) retain the copyright. The article can be freely reproduced provided the original authors, published source, and CC-BY License are acknowledged.



What is a Transformative Journal?


A Transformative Journal is a hybrid or subscription journal that is committed to transitioning into a fully Open Access journal, by increasing its OA content year-on-year, flipping to fully OA publication when the OA content reaches 75%.



Are the Transformative Journals Plan S compliant?


The 4 IR journals (MEPS, AME, DAO CR) are presently registered with cOAlition S as Transformative Journals and are thus Plan S compliant. To maintain cOAlition S registration, the journals must:


(1) Demonstrate an annual increase in the proportion of Open Access research content of at least 5% in absolute terms and at least 15% in relative terms, year-on-year, and publish these on its website.


The 2021 targets are:


Journal Total Articles published 2020 Total OA Research Articles published 2020
Total Research Articles published 2020 Includes Review Articles and Notes as at Inter-Research these are peer reviewed, but excludes Editorial content (Editorials, Introductions, Obituaries) and Opinion Pieces.
% OA in 2020 Target % OA for 2021
Target no. OA Research Articles in 2021 Based on the same total Research Articles as published in 2020.
Aquatic Microbial Ecology3153116.10%21.10%7
Climate Research3963915.40%20.40%8
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms1161611613.80%18.80%22
Marine Ecology Progress Series3728936924.10%29.10%107


Achieving these targets to “OA flip” the journals and the ongoing viability of the fully OA publication model is solely dependent on the will of funders to support the payment of Article Processing Charge (APCs) and article submissions to the journals.


(2) Implement transparent pricing for the OA APC and offset subscription income from APC payments.


Information on setting the APC price and its contribution to the work that is done on each manuscript during the publication process is still being prepared and will be added soon.


In 2021, Inter-Research introduced a subscription pricing model for the hybrid journals accounting for the change in the proportion of articles published with OA. The detailed model is given on the Subscription Information webpage, and its effect on the pricing between 2020 and 2021 for each title can be found in by clicking on the relevant title tab on that page. The model will be updated for 2022 pricing the end of August 2021.


(3) Provide data on the usage, citations and online attention of the published articles.


Real-time data from CrossRef on article citations can already be obtained by clicking on the “Cited by” button at the bottom of the web abstract page for each article. Work on providing access to usage and online attention data is still in progress and will be added soon.


(4) Provide an annual public report to cOAlition S, to be also made accessible on the journals’ public website.


The first report (for 2021) will be made available by end of May 2022.