May 23, 2022

NPG Announces “Nature Communications” Will Become Open Access Only Journal

Nature Publishing Group has just announced that the Nature Communications (a multidisciplinary science journal) will become the first Nature-branded open access only journal.

Nature Communications has an Impact Factor of 10.742 according to the 2013 Journal Citation Reports, Science Edition from Thomson Reuters.2014-09-22_15-40-39

Nature Communications will only accept open access research submissions beginning on October 20, 2014.

From a Nature Publishing Group Release:

The title was launched in 2010 as a born-digital hybrid journal, publishing both open access and subscription content. Nature Communications is now one of NPG’s fastest growing titles, receiving over 1500 submissions every month. All research published by the journal represents important advances, of significance to specialists within a field, in all areas of the biological, physical, chemical and earth sciences.


Nature Publishing Group will honour author’s choice of subscription or open access publication, for those authors whose research is currently in review by the journal, and for submissions up to the 19 October 2014. This means that subscription content will continue to be published in 2015, and available to site license customers. Major funders including Wellcome, RCUK, NIH, NSF, HHMI, CAS allow funds to be used for APCs, and NPG will work with authors to help them identify funds for open access publication.

NPG is committed to continue to publish all other Nature-branded titles as subscription journals, and will continue to offer hybrid OA options on all its other journals.

NPG is also making further policy moves with this development.

Nature Communications now offers the CC BY 4.0 license as default, with other Creative Commons (CC) licenses available upon request. There is no price difference for the choice of CC license. APC waivers will be available for HINARI countries, and to others on a case-by-case basis.

See Also: Independent Analysis Shows Open Access Articles Published in Nature Communications Have More Views and Downloads (July 30, 2014)

See Also: Nature Communications publishes first articles (April 12, 2010)
Four of the eleven papers (36%) published in the first issue were OA.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.