Transformative Journals

Accelerating a transition to open access

Transformative Journals are coming in January 2021- we’re evolving our hybrid and subscription portfolios across Springer Nature by transitioning the vast majority of our English language journals that are not already Open Access, including Nature and the Nature-branded research titles, to become Transformative Journals.

What is a Transformative Journal?

Transformative Journals (TJs) were proposed in May 2019 by Springer Nature as a new way of accelerating a transition to open access (OA). They proactively promote the benefits of OA to increase uptake, while supporting any author who wishes to publish in the journal, regardless of their funding situation.

Features of Transformative Journals

Authors can choose between gold OA or subscription publication, based on their preferences, funder or institutional requirements for OA, and the availability of APC funding.

  • Commitment to annual OA growth and transition for full OA: TJs commit to continuously increase the OA share each year and flip to full OA for primary research once 75% threshold has been met
  • APC pricing transparency: TJs commit to providing greater transparency on the services covered by the APC
  • Active promotion of OA benefits: To maximise take-up of the OA option, TJs proactively promote the benefi­ts of OA to authors of primary research articles during submission, at the point of subscription/OA choice and during the peer-review process
  • Subscription pricing transparency: TJs commit to being more transparent about their subscription pricing policies, enabling institutional librarians to understand how subscription pricing takes account of any reductions in the volume of subscription content
  • Open metrics and reporting: To encourage OA uptake, transparency and advocacy, TJs provide metrics and comparisons of the volume, usage, citations, and online attention for OA and subscription content, at article and journal level

 Find out how this compares to Hybrid journals.

Why publish open access?

We believe research should be open to all as soon as possible, so that it can be read, used and built upon.

Open Access © Springer Nature 2020

Find out more about the benefits of OA.


Which titles will become Transformative Journals?

Subject to acceptability of the yet to be published transparency requirements, Springer Nature has committed to transition the vast majority of its Springer Nature-owned English language journals that are not already open access, including Nature and the Nature-branded research titles, to become Transformative Journals in January 2021. These titles will be clearly marked within journal title lists and on journal websites. Read our announcement to learn more.

I want to publish via the OA route. Where do I find APC funding?

Many funders and institutions make funding available to researchers to support APCs. You can find out whether you have access to funding for APCs by reviewing our open access funding page.

Can I still publish via the subscription route in a Transformative Journal?

If your funder requires gold OA publication or immediate OA, then you should opt for the gold OA route to comply with these requirements. Transformative journals encourage all authors to consider OA because of the many benefits, but they still offer a choice of gold OA or subscription to enable all authors to publish in the journal of their choice, regardless of funding.

If I publish in a Transformative Journal, will this ensure that I meet my funder's or institution’s OA requirements?

Funders and institutions have different requirements, but by opting for immediate gold OA in a Transformative Journal this enables research to be as open as possible, and allows authors to meet the requirements of any research funder/institution, including those of Plan S funders. If your funder or institution requires you to archive a copy of your OA article in a repository, you may need to take additional action to do this. Find out more from our OA funding and policy support pages.

Will Transformative Journals still be part of Transformative Agreements (Compact) with institutions and funders?

Transformative agreements and Transformative Journals are complementary. As the majority of Springer Nature’s hybrid journals are already part of transformative Compact agreements, these agreements will continue to cover APCs for those titles as our hybrid journals transition to become Transformative Journals. We continue to work with consortia and funders to negotiate further agreements, and to include more Springer Nature journals under these agreements.

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