cOAlition S is set to launch the Journal Comparison Service (JCS) in the Summer of 2022. JCS is a secure online platform that will help registered users from the research community better understand if the publishing fees they pay are commensurate with the services delivered, and gain better insight into the elements of those services. Ahead of this date, publishers will be invited to register with the JCS, sign the participation agreement, and share their 2021 price and service data through the platform.
However, recognizing that building and successfully adopting this new service requires sufficient time, and that review of the legal agreements will take some time for Publishers to consider, cOAlition S will continue to accept publisher applications and their 2021 Price and Service data until the 31st October 2022.
During this period, the organization will work with the publishing community to explain the purpose of the JCS and answer any questions. It is in the publishers’ own interest to participate in this service since their customers, purchasing services on behalf of the research community, are the ones asking for greater transparency. This is a good opportunity for publishers to create better awareness of their services, make customers and users realize the value they bring to the publishing process and build greater trust between publishers and the academic community.
The information provided by participating publishers, using either of the cOAlition S-endorsed frameworks (Information Power framework, FAIR Open Access Alliance framework), will be made accessible to registered users from library consortia and their members via the secure JCS service. Although individual researchers will not have direct access to this service, integration with the Journal Checker Tool will allow them to see whether a journal has provided data to the JCS or not. Researchers who support the values of openness and transparency can use this information to determine where to submit their manuscripts.
In parallel with working with the publishing community, cOAlition S will promote the service to library consortia and encourage them to register with the JCS. Given the increasing number of library consortia entering transformative agreements with publishers (Read and Publish, Subscribe to Open, etc.), it's worth considering whether future agreements with publishers should include a requirement for publishers to share price and service data with the JCS.Click here to read the original press release.