Plan S, Core Open Access Publishing Standards & Scholastica

Here's what we're doing to help journals comply with Plan S and meet the highest open access publishing standards.

Scholastica's Role in Sustainable Open Access Publishing and Plan S Compliance

Across academia, you've probably been hearing a lot about Plan S — an initiative by cOAlition S, a consortium of national and international research funders, to make research fully and immediately open access by the 1st of January 2021. Plan S is made up of 10 guiding principles and has specific implementation guidelines that include core publishing standards all open access journals should fulfill.

At Scholastica, we are working to ensure that it is easy and affordable for all of the journals that use our peer review system, open access publishing platform, and typesetting service to meet core publishing standards and to be Plan S compliant.

This page represents our product roadmap and details how Scholastica is supporting sustainable, high-quality open access journal publishing and the Plan S requirements now and in the future. We've also included some Plan S FAQs and links to further resources.

This is a living roadmap. We will update this page as we introduce new improvements to Scholastica and as any changes to Plan S are released.

Product Roadmap

Below is a detailed table covering Plan S technical requirements and recommendations, Scholastica features to help journals fulfill the Plan S guidelines, and the steps publishers should take to ensure the journals they publish via Scholastica are Plan S compliant.

Plan S guidelines: Scholastica features: Publisher next steps:
Journals must be registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or have an application under review. Journals that are using Scholastica's OA publishing platform and that have been admitted into the DOAJ can now set up automated deposits of their published article metadata into DOAJ.

Status: available now
Journals must apply to be included in the DOAJ. Once admitted, journals can easily automate DOAJ metadata deposits from Scholastica. Learn how to set up automated deposits here.

Find guidance on how Scholastica OA publishing users should complete the DOAJ application form here.
The journal or platform must enable authors to publish under a CC BY 4.0 license (alternatively CC BY-SA 4.0 or CC0). Journals using Scholastica's OA publishing platform can set a default Creative Commons (CC) copyright license for all published articles. The copyright license is shown on all article pages and included in article-level metadata.

Status: available now
Learn more about this feature and how to set a default copyright license for all articles published via Scholastica, here.
Deposit content into a long-term preservation or archiving program (e.g. Portico, CLOCKSS). Scholastica can automatically deposit your published articles and issues into Portico's digital preservation service.

Status: Portico integration available now

Using CLOCKSS? Scholastica is looking for beta partners to build out a CLOCKSS integration — to learn more please email us.
If you use Scholastica's OA publishing platform and you have a Portico account, you can set up automatic article deposits to Portico. Learn how to set up automated deposits here.

If you don't have a Portico account and you want to sign up you can do so on their website.
Have rich machine-readable metadata for all articles in standard interoperable formats that includes cited references, complete funding information, and copyright license information. Journals that use Scholastica's open access publishing platform will get machine-readable metadata for all articles as HTML tags and in JATS XML files including:
  • Cited references
  • Complete funding information
  • Copyright license information
Status: available now
Scholastica automatically generates rich machine-readable article-level metadata for all journals that use the Scholastica OA publishing platform.

HTML metadata tags are included in all HTML article files. Journals can access JATS XML metadata files for all articles published using Scholastica by clicking "Save article as" and "XML" on the article pages.
List clear peer review policies on the journal's website that comply with the standards of its discipline and the COPE guidelines. Journals using Scholastica's OA publishing platform can add a peer review policies section to their For Authors page. Journals can also create a custom “Journal Policies” page if more space is needed

Status: available now
Journals using Scholastica's OA publishing platform can add a peer review policies section to their "For Authors" page.

Journals that have lengthier policies information for authors (e.g. peer review policies, publication ethics statement) can request to have a custom "Journal Policies" page added to their website if more space is needed.
Publicly state all publication fees (or if you have none) and the costs/factors impacting fees. Journals using Scholastica's OA publishing platform can add publication fees information to their "For Authors" page.

Status: available now
Publishers/journals using Scholastica's OA publishing platform should add a publication fees section to their "For Authors" page using the easy website editor.

Find additional info in this blog post.
Offer publication fee waivers for authors from lower and middle-income economies, as well as waivers and discounts for other authors with demonstrable needs. Journals using Scholastica's OA publishing platform can add a waiver policy to their For Authors page.

Status: available now
Publishers/journals using Scholastica's OA publishing platform that charge APCs or other publication fees should add a waiver policy to their "For Authors" page using the easy website editor.
Have persistent identifiers such as Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for all articles. Scholastica offers automated DOI registration and metadata deposits via Crossref.

Status: available now
The Crossref registration automation is available to any journal using Scholastica's OA publishing platform that is a Crossref member (learn more about how to apply here). Publishers interested in setting up automated DOI registrations for their journals can do so via their Scholastica publishing account settings.)
Recommended by Plan S: Full-text machine-readable article files available for download (including supplementary text and data). Scholastica produces full-text XML article files in the JATS standard for all journals that use the Scholastica typesetting service.

Status: available now
Journals that use Scholastica's typesetting service can access full-text JATS XML article files by clicking "Save article as" and "XML" on the article pages.

Plan S FAQs

Answers to some of the most common questions we've heard.

What is Plan S?
Plan S is an initiative to make research fully and immediately OA that was launched by Science Europe in September 2018 and is supported by cOAlition S, a consortium of national and international research funders. cOAlition S members include UK Research and Innovation, the Academy of Finland, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Plan S states: "With effect from 2021, all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo." At the highest level, in order for a journal to be Plan S compliant it must make all research fully and immediately open access upon publication — no embargo models — and it must use a copyright license that enables authors to retain all rights to their works. It must also meet specific technical guidelines.
Where does Scholastica fit into Plan S compliance?
As a peer review and open access publishing software platform and typesetting service provider, Scholastica is providing solutions to help journals meet the technical criteria to be Plan S compliant. Scholastica is committed to making publishing high-quality open access journals at an affordable cost a sustainable reality for publishers of any size. We work with many publishers that publish fully open access journals or that are transitioning to open access publishing models. We provide all of the functionality and support that publishers need to successfully produce professional open access journals.
What do I have to do to make my journals Plan S compliant?
Plan S has 10 Principles listed here that include expectations of publishers for compliance as well as commitments from funders. Under Plan S, all published research must be fully and immediately OA under a Creative Commons copyright license and be produced and funded in a transparent way.

Plan S also has specific implementation guidelines. Within the guidelines are technical requirements for journals to be Plan S compliant. As noted above, Scholastica will be supporting these technical requirements for all journals using our open access publishing platform. There are also certain steps that publishers/journals must take towards these requirements (e.g. applying for inclusion in the DOAJ), which are outlined in the table above.
How long will publishers have to make journals Plan S compliant?
Plan S will go into effect on 1 January 2021 for all research funded by cOAlition S members on or after the launch date. Plan S has come out with a definitive transition timeline for journals to still receive articles funded by Coalition S members should they choose the transformative agreement route, stating "where cOAlition S members provide funding to support publication fees of journals covered by such arrangements, this funding will cease on the 31 December 2024." It appears that journals that choose to take the fully OA or repository publishing route will have to do so by 1 January 2021.

Want to learn more about how Scholastica can help you meet core open access journal publishing standards and comply with Plan S? Sign up for a demo today!