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Transformative Journals

JCB, JEM, and JGP attain Transformative Journal status

Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), and Journal of General Physiology (JGP) have secured Plan S–compliant Transformative Journal status from cOAlition S. Rockefeller University Press (RUP) has made Open Access (OA) publishing a core part of its mission since 2001, when all research articles were made free to the public six months after publication. In 2017, RUP began offering an Open Access option to all authors of research articles, and in 2018 launched the fully Open Access online journal Life Science Alliance (LSA) in collaboration with EMBO Press and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. RUP has launched Read-and-Publish agreements with institutions across the world to accelerate transitioning to fully Open Access. RUP has expanded its policy to allow primary corresponding authors based in lower- and middle-income countries to publish Open Access  without incurring additional financial burden.

JCB, JEM, and JGP are hybrid journals, publishing Open Access content that is immediately available to the public under CC-BY license as well as content that is free to the public six months after publication under CC-BY-NC-SA license. Authors may choose either option and all content is deposited in PubMed Central (PMC) and is archived in LOCKSS/CLOCKSS and Portico.

RUP also supports the cOAlition S rights retention strategy in case an author is unable to publish Open Access. Our mission is to disseminate the research we publish as widely as possible, for the benefit of all, and we believe Open Access is crucial to doing so. 

Transformative Journal status for JCB, JEM, and JGP signals the next step in RUP's path to sustainable Open Access publishing.


What are the criteria for a Transformative Journal?

decorative Transitioning to a fully Open Access journal by increasing the share of Open Access content on an annual basis.
calculator graphic with a dollar sign in lower left corner Avoiding double payments for subscriptions and publishing services.
magnifying glass over a bill showing a dollar sign Offering transparency on how Open Access publication fees are determined.
OA bar chart showing growth over time Reporting Open Access article metrics to authors, cOAlition S, and the scientific community, including downloads and citations.


How does this affect RUP authors?

Your institution or funder may cover your Open Access fees through December 31, 2024. Authors who publish in JCB, JEM, and JGP continue to be able to select from Open Access or Open-Access-after-six-months, dependent on their funder requirements. RUP is establishing Read-and-Publish agreements that cover 100% of Open Access publication fees for research articles by authors at participating institutions. Authors at participating institutions are able to publish an unlimited number of Open Access articles through our Read-and-Publish agreements, including with Max Planck in Germany, Jisc in the UK, VIVA in the US, IReL in Ireland, and an increasing number of individual libraries across the globe

To address equity in Open Access publishing and promote advances in global research, publication fees for Open Access under CC-BY license in JCBJEM, and JGP  are automatically waived for primary corresponding authors based in eligible lower- and middle-income countries.

How does this affect subscriptions to RUP journals?

RUP has implemented a transparent pricing model since 2021 for new and renewed subscriptions to JCBJEM, and JGP. With a focus on transparency and sustainability, our model ensures that we are not receiving subscription revenue from articles published as Open Access. This model allows us to establish our journals' prices in a transparent, fair, and sustainable way, and affects each of our four subscription tiers. Learn more about the model in detail here.

What are the next steps?

JCBJEM, and JGP will continue to attract and publish high quality Open Access articles, with the aim to demonstrate an annual increase in the Open Access proportion of research content of at least 5% in absolute terms and at least 15% in relative terms year-on-year (whichever is greater), as required under the Criteria for Transformative Journals.

Journal 2022
Articles Published
Articles Published
Open Access
Open Access
OA Target
JCB  188 59 31% 36%
JEM 164 60 37% 43%
JGP 60 13 22% 27%

Publishing Open Access: usage and citations

Open Access articles are downloaded on average more than subscription articles and may see a greater number of citations.

Journal Article
Articles Published
in 2022
2022 usage
Citations accrued
through 5/8/2023
JCB  Open Access 59 4,153 5
   Subscription 129 1,662 3.98
JEM Open Access 60 6,669 8.97
  Subscription* 99 2,846 5.62
JGP Open Access 13 2,432 3.15
  Subscription 47 634 1.85

Articles published as subscription articles become free to all after six months, and so there is a narrow window when these articles are not fully accessible. Articles published Open Access see a significantly higher amount of usage, averaging at least twice as much as subscription articles. Open Access articles published in 2022 averaged 26% more citations for JCB, 60% for JEM, and 70% for JGP to date.

*COVID-19 articles published as subscription articles are not included in the above totals, as these were published free to all upon publication regardless of the author’s choice of publication. Five such articles were published in JEM in 2022. 

 See our cOAlition S reporting file for more data on our transition to Open Access.

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