Plan S and BMJ compliance

What is Plan S?
Plan S is an initiative for full and immediate open access publishing supported by cOAlition S. This initiative requires that from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant open access journals, platforms or repositories.

cOAlition S are a group of national research funders, European and international organisations and charitable foundations that have agreed to implement the 10 principles of Plan S in a coordinated way. Browse all cOAlition S funders.

There are three routes for authors to be compliant with Plan S:

  • Publish in open access journals or platforms
  • Publish in subscription journals and make the article available in an open access repository, but cOAlition S will not financially support any open access charges
  • Publish open access in a subscription journal under a transformative arrangement

What are transformative arrangements?
Transformative arrangements are strategies supported by cOAlition S to encourage subscription publishers to transition to open access by 2025, this includes transformative agreements (Publish and Read) and transformative journals.

How is BMJ compliant with Plan S?

At BMJ, we continue to offer authors multiple options for publication, regardless of their funding situation. We comply with Plan S requirements by:

1. Offering fully open access journals: A third of our journals are fully open access. In this model, authors pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) levied upon acceptance to make the article immediately available on publication. cOAlition S funders will continue to financially support APCs in open access journals. Browse the full list of our open access journals.

2. Adopting transformative arrangements, this includes:

  • Publish and Read agreements: at BMJ these are tailored and designed to support institutions transition to open access. They remove the burden of publishing fees from individual authors, as well as providing read access to all existing and forthcoming BMJ journal content. Read more about our open access agreements.
  • Transformative Journals (TJs): 33 of our journals have now received TJ status by cOAlition S. These journals are committed to gradually transitioning all research content to open access. TJs proactively promote open access while ensuring that all authors can continue to publish in them, regardless of their funding provision. Find out more about Transformative Journals and browse the full list of BMJ’s TJs.

cOAlition S funders will continue to financially support APCs in journals that adopt transformative arrangements.