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CUP and Plan S

Our goal to transform the journals we publish to open research depends on a continued, widespread move to funding for Open Access (OA) around the world. We therefore welcome the commitment that cOAlition S funders have made to support open access publishing with Plan S

Our current path to a sustainable, open access future is primarily through transformative agreements, consistent with the Transformative Arrangements route of Plan S. We also support the Transformative Journals route that enables hybrid journals to comply with Plan S requirements. All the hybrid journals owned by Cambridge, as well as a growing number of those we publish on behalf of partners, have now joined the programme (see here for our full list). For each one, this decision reflects our shared commitment to incrementally transition to full open access, to get there as soon as possible without leaving any author behind, and to proactively support the goals of Plan S to: 

  • increase the proportion of OA research content annually by at least 5% in absolute terms and at least 15% in relative terms, year-on-year. 

  • transition to full OA as soon as possible and no later than when 75% of research content is published OA, recognising the financial support from cOAlition S for hybrid journals will end by 31 December 2024. Download our 2022 TJ progress report to see each journal's progression to full OA.

  • implement transparent pricing for OA content and ensure that institutions purchasing a subscription will pay only for the remaining subscription content. We have begun sharing information about the overall cost base of our journal publishing programme, and we have introduced a transparent journal pricing policy to respond better to changes in journal subscription content.

  • regularly and openly report on the impact of, and progress towards, the OA transformation. 

The Transformative Journals route acknowledges that while the funding of cOAlition S signatories will make open access immediately possible for many, it will take time for promising new open access models to develop to the point at which they can cover the many authors that are not funded by cOAlition S. Hybrid publishing must not be an end in itself, seeking to maintain the status quo, but it can be a route to genuine transition with a vital role to play in preserving author diversity as that transition progresses towards full open access. 

Plan S also offers a Green route to open access. While Green OA can continue to have a role during the transition to fully open research, we cannot support the Green OA route as implemented in Plan S. Authors submitting research to journals we publish should be aware that the journals will not comply with the Green OA requirements of Plan S. We also do not accept Plan S’s Rights Retention Strategy as a route to compliance. Before submitting research to us, authors should consider whether the publishing agreements they will be asked to sign with a journal will conflict with their obligations to their funder. Please see our Green OA policy information and direct any enquiries to openresearch@cambridge.org

Achieving the open access transformation, especially within the time frame proposed by cOAlition S, will require the creativity and perseverance of a great many stakeholders across the scholarly communication eco-system. We are committed to working openly and proactively with all to make it happen.