January 18, 2022

cOAlition S Releases the Journal Checker Tool, a Search Engine that Checks Plan S Compliance

From cOAlition S:

cOAlition S is excited to announce today, 18 November, the release of the Journal Checker Tool (JCT) in beta. The JCT is a web-based tool which provides clear advice to researchers on how they can comply with their funder’s Plan S-aligned Open Access policy when seeking to publish in their chosen journal. During this open testing phase, the community will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the JCT and provide feedback, so that the tool increases its readiness ahead of the implementation of Plan S in January 2021.


Using the JCT is simple: the user supplies the name of their preferred journal and then selects their cOAlition S Organisation and the institution they are affiliated with. The combination of these data instantaneously yields a result that allows the user to see how their choice of journal is compliant with Plan S: via fully open access journals and platforms, through self-archiving (either via the publishers’ own policy or the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) or through Transformative Arrangements. If multiple routes to compliance are available, the JCT provides basic instructions on what to do next on the particular route chosen by the researcher. Where no route to compliance is available, the JCT offers suggestions about how to edit the search to find a combination that enables compliance.

The JCT relies upon data from the Directory of Open Access Journals, Shareyourpaper.org Permissions, the ESAC Transformative Agreement Registry, Crossref and the Research Organization Registry Community (ROR). As part of the development of the JCT, an index of Transformative Agreements based on those listed within the ESAC Transformative Agreement Registry has been created, as well as a list of cOAlition S approved Transformative Journals. The accuracy of the results produced by the JCT is dependent on the freshness of data held within these sources, which is often provided by publishers, consortia and institutions. We anticipate that the test period is likely to involve a certain amount of data validation and updating.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.