Professionalizing your journal and adhering to Plan S guidelines on Scholastica

To learn more about how Plan S will affect your journal, please read our blog post here. Below we've created a checklist of the items you'll need to complete and how to do so easily on Scholastica!

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) registration

Not yet a member of the Directory of Open Access Journals? Not to worry, it's free and you can fill out the DOAJ application in a matter of minutes. If you publish on Scholastica, here's how you'll answer a few of the trickier questions on the form (questions in bold, answers follow in plain text):

  • 6. Publisher:
    • Your publisher
  • 8. Platform, Host or Aggregator:
    • Scholastica
  • 12. In which country is the publisher of the journal based?:
    • Put the country in which your answer to #6 is based.
  • 14. Enter the URL where this information can be found:
    • If you charge APCs, this information should be listed on your 'For Authors' page
  • 17. Does the journal have article submission charges?:
    • If you charge submission fees to your authors, this information should be listed on your 'For Authors' page
  • 22. Enter the URL where this information can be found:
    • This should link to your 'Articles > All' page on Scholastica
  • 23. Does the journal have a waiver policy (for developing country authors etc)?:
    • If you charge APCs and have a waiver for authors in developing countries, this information should be included on your 'For Authors' page
  • 27. Does the journal allow software/spiders to automatically crawl the journal content (also known as text mining)?:
    • Yes
  • 29. Does the journal provide, or intend to provide, article level metadata to DOAJ?:
    • Your choice. If you select 'yes' then once you're accepted into DOAJ, you'll need to activate the Scholastica DOAJ integration under your Publishing Settings
  • 30. Does the journal provide article download statistics?:
    • Yes
  • 31. Enter the URL where this information can be found:
    • Link to an article you've published as an example — the download statistics can be found on the right-hand side, below the article header
  • 33. Please indicate which formats of full text are available:
    • PDF, or if you use Scholastica Typesetting then "PDF, HTML, and XML"
  • 36. What is the URL for the Editorial Board page?:
    • Link to your 'Editorial Board' page on Scholastica
  • 37. Please select the review process for papers:
    • Scholastica supports single ("blind") and double blind
  • 38. Enter the URL where this information can be found:
    • Your peer review process should be defined and described on your 'For Authors' page
  • 39. What is the URL for the journal's Aims & Scope:
    • This information should be made available on the journal's 'About' page on their Scholastica journal website
  • 40. What is the URL for the journal's instructions for authors?:
    • This information should be made available on the journal's 'For Authors' page on their Scholastica journal website
  • 42. Enter the URL where this information can be found:
    • This information should be made available on the journal's 'For Authors' page on their Scholastica journal website
  • 43. What is the average number of weeks between submission and publication?:
    • You can find information about the average time from submission to a decision issued in Scholastica in your Analytics (beta) page. Please note, this does not include the average time from decision issued to publication.
  • 44. What is the URL for the journal's Open Access statement?:
    • This information should be made available on the journal's About page on their Scholastica journal website
  • 45. Does the journal embed or display licensing information in its articles?:
    • Yes, as long as you select a copyright license under My Journals > Publishing > Publishing Settings
  • 46. Please provide a URL to an example page with embedded licensing information:
    • Link to an article you've published as an example — the licensing information can be found in the article header
  • 49. Enter the URL on your site where your license terms are stated:
    • This information should be made available on the journal's 'About' or 'For Authors' page on their Scholastica journal website
  • 50. Does the journal allow readers to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of its articles and allow readers to use them for any other lawful purpose?:
    • The answer to this question depends on your chosen copyright, but the answer is most likely 'yes' — especially if you have selected the CC BY license
  • 53. Enter the URL where this information can be found:
    • This information should be made available on the journal's 'For Authors' page on their Scholastica journal website

Copyright license

To avoid any confusion about what readers may or may not do with your published content, you'll want to state your Creative Commons copyright license with your published materials. Plan S guidelines require that journals publish under the CC BY 4.0 license or alternatively CC BY-SA 4.0 or CC0. The revised Plan S guidelines also state that they will consider non-derivative licenses in select circumstances: “the CC BY-ND license for individual articles, provided that this is explicitly requested and justified by the grantee.” If you use Scholastica OA Publishing, you can set a copyright license that will apply globally and be visible on all articles published from that point forward. To set the license, you'll log into your Scholastica account and navigate to My Journals > Publishing > Publishing Settings and click "Edit" next to OA Publishing Settings. Then, you'll simply pick your preferred copyright option from the dropdown and click "Save". Screenshot of the OA copyright selection modal

OA copyright license configuration

Peer Review policy

Detail on your journal's website the peer review policy that your authors can expect you to follow when evaluating their submission. Your peer review policy should meet the standards of your journal’s discipline and should comply with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines.

Your peer review process should be clearly explained and include details like how long the turnaround typically takes, who will be reading the submissions at each step of the process and who the author should expect to be in contact with at every stage of the process.

Survey Practice works as a good example of a clear and concise peer review workflow. The revised guidelines also add that “at least basic statistics must be published annually, covering in particular the number of submissions, the number of reviews requested, the number of reviews received, the approval rate, and the average time between submission and publication.”

Costs/fee disclosures

It's important to clearly outline any processing or publication fees on your site so that authors know prior to submitting if they're interested in paying those fees to publish with you. If you're 1. publishing on Scholastica 2. you're covering the submission cost for your authors 3. and you have no publication/article processing fees — you can add a line to your For Authors page as simple as: JOURNAL-NAME does not have any fees for submission or publication in the journal."

Fee waivers/discount policies

Offer Article Processing Charge (APC) waivers “for authors from lower middle-income economies, as well as waivers and discounts for other authors with demonstrable needs.” Waiver policies must be listed on the journal’s website/platform and stats on waiver acceptance rates must be provided. As mentioned above, if you have no additional costs or fees, make sure to note that as well.

Mirror journals

"What is a mirror journal?" you may ask. According to Wikipedia, "Mirror journals, with one part being subscription based and the other part being open access, are considered to be de facto hybrid journals. Mirror journals are not compliant with Plan S unless they are a part of a transformative agreement. In other words, you cannot both have “mirror” subscription journals with overlapping editorial boards and be compliant with Plan S.

Unique article identifiers (e.g. DOIs)

Your published articles should have persistent identifiers for all articles (Digital Object Identifiers - DOIs - are preferable). Having DOIs for your articles ensures that even if the article changes websites or publishers, the DOI will still direct to the content correctly. Learn more about DOIs and how to get started with them at your journal here.

Archival repositories

If your journal should ever go offline, it's crucial that the scholarship you've published over time isn't lost to a broken URL. Best practices dictate that your content be archived in a long-term archival service like Portico, LOCKSS, and CLOCKSS

If you use Scholastica OA Publishing, you can create an account with Portico, LOCKSS, or CLOCKSS and seamlessly, automatically integrate your journal's content with your archival service by going to My Journals > Publishing > Publishing Settings. 

Machine-readable metadata

When your journal uses Scholastica OA Publishing you'll be automatically supplied with rich, machine-readable metadata and XML. In other words — this box is already checked for you!

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