What is Plan S / cOAlition S?

cOAlition S is an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which consists of one target and 10 principles. cOAlition S funders (a group of national research funders, European and international organisations and charitable foundations) have agreed to implement the 10 principles of Plan S in a coordinated way, together with the European Commission (More details).

What is the Journal Checker Tool for?

The Journal Checker Tool is provided by cOAlition S to authors to support them in finding Plan S compliant “routes” through which to publish their articles. The tool allows an author to enter the name of a funder, an institution and the journal to which they plan to submit an article, and checks if this combination of funder, institution and journal offers any route to compliance with Plan S.

Our current criteria for compliance centres on whether a particular journal enables a researcher to publish an article under a CC BY licence without embargo, and retain sufficient copyright to enable compliance with open access policies. You can read more about this in Unboxing the Journal Checker Tool.

Do I need to use the Journal Checker Tool?

You are certainly not required to use the Journal Checker Tool. However, it may be useful for you to check if you are able to publish in a particular journal according to the policy set by your funder, if that funder is part of cOAlition S (the Journal Checker Tool will check if your funder is included).

My funder is not listed - what should I do?

If your funder is not listed in the Journal Checker Tool, then this means that the funder is not a member of cOAlition S and, in this case, the Plan S compliance rules do not apply. You can check the current list of funders on the cOALition S website.

My institution is not listed - what should I do?

If you cannot find your institution in the list of known institutions, you can select the checkbox labelled “No affiliation” to perform a compliance check without taking into account your institution.

You may be able to locate your institution under one of its name variants, so you could try looking it up by its full name, abbreviated name or any other variations that you are aware of.

The lookup will also accept a ROR ID. If you are able to locate your institution in the ROR database, you can enter the ROR ID directly.

If you think your institution should be listed, then please also get in touch via the feedback link in the Journal Checker Tool and let us know about the issue.

The journal to which I want to submit my article is not listed - what should I do?

If you cannot quickly locate the journal you want to submit to by name, you can enter the ISSN of the journal instead, which may make it easier to find.

The JCT only supports checks on serials that are identified by ISSN. If a book or conference series has an ISSN you can try searching with that. If it does not, you will not be able to determine your Plan S compliance via this tool.

If you still can’t find the journal you wish to publish in, then it may not be in our journals list, so please get in touch via the feedback link and let us know.

I can’t find my publication via its ISBN

The JCT only supports checks on serials that are identified by ISSN. If a book or conference series has an ISSN you can try searching with that. If it does not, you will not be able to determine your Plan S compliance via this tool.

What is a Transformative Journal?

A Transformative Journal is a subscription/hybrid journal that is committed to transitioning to a fully OA journal. In addition, it must:

  • gradually increase the share of OA content and
  • offset subscription income from payments for publishing services (to avoid double payments).

(More details)

What is a Transformative Agreement?

Plan S supports the global Open Access 2020 Initiative (OA2020) which aims to accelerate the transition to Open Access by adopting strategies to systematically withdraw financial support of paywalled publishing venues and reinvest those funds to support Open Access publishing. cOAlition S encourages that publishers enter into transformative arrangements globally in all countries and share data from such arrangements.

cOAlition S strongly encourages institutions and consortia to develop new transformative agreements and will only financially support agreements after 1 of January 2021 where they adhere to the ESAC Guidelines.

What happens to “expired” Transformative Agreements?

Transformative Agreements have a schedule, meaning that at a certain date they become invalid. The start and end dates for Transformative Agreements are recorded in the ESAC Registry, which is the authoritative source of this information for the JCT. One month before a Transformative Agreement is due to expire, we contact the consortium represented in the agreement, to ask if there will be a new Transformative Agreement. Three months after a Transformative Agreement has expired, it is removed from the JCT system.

What does it mean when I get a result that says “Rights Retention”?

As the funder you selected has adopted the Plan S Rights Retention Strategy, your paper can be archived upon acceptance provided you include the rights retention statement within your submission. Hence every journal has a route to compliance. What the result is showing you is whether your selected funder has implemented rights retention.

I have found 2 journals with the same name in the suggestion list, which one do I pick

The journals should provide you with additional information that will allow you to differentiate them.

  • After the journal name you should find the publisher in brackets (if we know the publisher)
  • After the journal name and publisher name you will see up to two identifiers for the journal, these are its ISSNs.

If you are unsure about your preferred journal’s ISSN, you should be able to find it on their website

I can’t find my institution by its acronym

We don’t necessarily know all the acronyms and name variants for all institutions. Try looking for your institution by its full name or any other names it is known by.

What data sources does the JCT use?

The JCT uses a number of data sources to both create the lists of journal titles and institutions used in its search tool, as well as to inform the Plan S compliance calculations. Read more about this on the Data Sources Used By JCT page.

How does the JCT calculate its results?

You can read a little more about how the JCT works - how it is configured, the algorithms it uses, its API and data outputs - on the How the Journal Checker Tool works page.

The information provided by the Journal Checker Tool represents cOAlition S’s current understanding in relation to the policies of the journals contained within it. We will endeavour to keep it up to date and accurate, but we do not accept any liability in relation to any errors or omissions.