We’re pleased to start 2015 with an announcement that we’re now using Creative Commons Attribution license CC BY 4.0 as default. This will apply to all of the 18 fully open access journals Nature Publishing Group owns, and will also apply to any future titles we launch. Two society- owned titles have introduced CC BY as default today and we expect to expand this in the coming months.
This follows a transformative 2014 for open access and open research at Nature Publishing Group. We’ve always been supporters of new technologies and open research (for example, we’ve had a liberal self-archiving policy in place for ten years now. In 2013 we had 65 journals with an open access option) but in 2014 we:
- Built a dedicated team of over 100 people working on Open Research across journals, books, data and author services
- Conducted research on whether there is an open access citation benefit, and researched authors’ views on OA
- Introduced the Nature Partner Journal series of high-quality open access journals and announced our first ten NPJs
- Launched Scientific Data, our first open access publication for Data Descriptors
- And last but not least switched Nature Communications to open access, creating the first Nature-branded fully open access journal
We did this not because it was easy (trust us, it wasn’t always) but because we thought it was the right thing to do. And because we don’t just believe in open access; we believe in driving open research forward, and in working with academics, funders and other publishers to do so. It’s obviously making a difference already. In 2013, 38% of our authors chose to publish open access immediately upon publication – in 2014, this percentage rose to 44%. Both Scientific Reports and Nature Communications had record years in terms of submissions for publication.
When we switched Nature Communications to full open access last year, we received some wonderful feedback from the community. We also trialled CC BY 4.0 as the default Creative Commons license on Cell Death and Disease and Scientific Data towards the end of last year. While authors are still free to request different license types, CC BY will be used unless they specifically indicate otherwise.
Some authors will always prefer CC BY-NC-SA or CC BY-NC-ND, for a myriad of different reasons, and we support their choice to do so – but CC BY is widely considered to be the gold standard for open access, as it allows for maximum re-use and discovery. It is also preferred by many funders, and we continue to be compliant with all open access funder mandates.
As a result we will be introducing CC BY as default across all of the fully open access journals we own (plus two owned by our academic and society partners) from today, at a flat APC rate.
Nature Communications has used CC BY as default since October 2014. The other titles included in this initiative are:
- npj Primary Care and Respiratory Medicine
- Scientific Reports
- Scientific Data
- Seven fully-OA academic journals:
- Blood Cancer Journal
- Clinical & Translational Immunology*
- Cell Death & Disease*
- NPG Asia Materials
- Nutrition & Diabetes
- Translational Psychiatry
- Ten recently announced forthcoming journals, including nine Nature Partner Journals and Cell Discovery
(* society-owned title)
The APC for each journal will be offered at a flat rate per article type for all licences, at the current CC BY prices for each journal.
We keep our OA policies under constant review, and we’re always looking for feedback. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this latest step.