cOAlition S has announced the release of the Journal Checker Tool (JCT) in beta. The JCT is a web-based tool that provides clear advice to researchers on how they can comply with their funder’s Plan S-aligned Open Access policy when seeking to publish in their chosen journal. During the open testing phase, the community will have the opportunity to be acquainted with the JCT and provide feedback, so that the tool increases its readiness ahead of the implementation of Plan S in January 2021.
The Journal Checker Tool enables researchers to quickly identify journals or platforms that provide routes to compliance with Plan S. In this first release the tool provides information on a basic set of Plan S requirements: whether a given journal offers a route to open access compliance with a CC BY (or equivalent) licence and no embargo, and the ability to retain sufficient copyright to enable open access. In due course, the tool will extend its query to include the other (technical) requirements as set by cOAlition S.
Using the JCT is simple: the user supplies the name of their preferred journal and then selects their cOAlition S Organisation and the institution they are affiliated with. The combination of these data instantaneously yields a result that allows the user to see how their choice of journal is compliant with Plan S: via fully open access journals and platforms, through self-archiving or through Transformative Arrangements. If multiple routes to compliance are available, the JCT provides basic instructions on what to do next on the particular route chosen by the researcher. Where no route to compliance is available, the JCT offers suggestions about how to edit the search to find a combination that enables compliance.
The JCT relies upon data from the Directory of Open Access Journals, Shareyourpaper.org Permissions, the ESAC Transformative Agreement Registry, Crossref and the Research Organisation Registry Community (ROR). As part of the development of the JCT, an index of Transformative Agreements based on those listed within the ESAC Transformative Agreement Registry has been created, as well as a list of cOAlition S approved Transformative Journals. The accuracy of the results produced by the JCT is dependent on the freshness of data held within these sources, which is often provided by publishers, consortia and institutions. cOAlition S anticipates that the test period is likely to involve a certain amount of data validation and updating.
The work on the Journal Checker Tool was monitored by a dedicated group of cOAlition S members. The JCT seeks to act as a modern-day Ariadne’s thread to enabling immediate open access through Plan S. The next release of the tool, with its initial features, will be available by the end of 2020, in time for the implementation of Plan S on January 1, 2021. Further features of the tool will be added iteratively during 2021 and beyond.
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