Go back

Plan S opens Journal Comparison Service to libraries

Libraries can compare journals’ article processing charges and time taken to publish papers

The open-access initiative Plan S has opened its Journal Comparison Service to users, meaning that academic libraries can now compare the services and value offered by different scholarly publishers.

Robert Kiley, head of strategy at the Plan S funder group Coalition S, said the service was developed “in response to growing calls from the research community for greater transparency on the services publishers provide and the prices charged”.

Libraries will be able to use the service to compare article processing charges for open-access publication, subscription prices for paywalled journals, publication frequency and the time from submission to acceptance.  

The online portal will also provide information on how publishing prices are allocated over a set of services, such as managing peer review, copyediting, sales and marketing.

Gathering publisher data

From May, publishers including the Royal Society, the International Union of Crystallography and the Polish Botanical Society started sharing pricing and service information on the portal.

Plan S said its deadline for publishers to provide 2021 data to the service is the end of October, and it hopes “a significant amount” will sign up by then.

Library representatives welcomed the move.

“We have long pushed for greater transparency in our open-access negotiations and anticipated the launch of this service,” said Timo Vilén, information specialist at the FinELib consortium of Finnish universities, research institutions and public libraries.

“I’m sure that our consortium will make good use of the Journal Comparison Service and I hope that publishers will respond positively to the call of the wider community and share their price and service data.”