The Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3)—the world’s largest disciplinary open access initiative—has reached the milestone of over 50’000 research articles published. Through partnerships with 11 leading journals, SCOAP3 has effectively transitioned the vast majority of research articles in the discipline to perpetual OA since 2014. These research papers include vital contributions from research organizations and institutions across the world: including the last paper published by Stephen Hawking and colleagues on Black Hole Entropy and a seminal paper from the CMS and ATLAS collaborations on the measurements of the Higgs boson production and decay rates, among the many thousands of others.

Established in 2014, SCOAP3 is a partnership of over 3,000 libraries, funding agencies, and research organizations from 44 countries and 3 intergovernmental organizations, hosted at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Joachim Mnich, CERN’s Director for Research and Computing, emphasized the contribution of SCOAP3: “CERN’s spirit is characterised by openness and collaboration. Combining these two approaches, the SCOAP3 initiative hosted at CERN has changed scholarly publishing in our discipline. In collaboration with more than 3’000 partners around the world, we have built SCOAP3 to allow the open exchange of scientific results. The model allows everybody in the world to access high-quality scientific knowledge and to publish new discoveries in peer-reviewed particle physics journals at no cost.”

Working with publishers of leading journals in the discipline, SCOAP3 has collectively supported open access publishing of research articles, enabling free global readership and re-use for high energy physics research, as well as barrier-free and equal publishing (i.e. without Article Processing Charges, APCs) for authors from 120 countries across the world. According to Stefan Hohenegger, Professor at IP2I in Lyon: “SCOAP3 has had an important impact on the work of researchers in our field: on the one hand, it allows scientists to publish their results in high-quality journals of the field, without any direct costs or administrative burden. On the other hand, it makes these works freely visible not only to their colleagues in the research community but to everybody without restrictions. Especially for students, SCOAP3 is also an opportunity to enter more easily into the forefront of scientific research in particle physics.” 

The program has been cited as an inspiration for a range of efforts aiming to transition traditional scholarly publishing to OA. Through the concerted and collective effort of its members from around the world, SCOAP3 has demonstrated the viability of collective action for achieving equitable and sustainable OA publishing. According to Yan Zhao from the National Science and Technology Library (NSTL) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the SCOAP3 partners in China: “SCOAP3 effectively improves the visibility and impact of articles in the field of High-Energy Physics, including those from the Chinese research community.  I’m delighted NSTL has been able to contribute to such a remarkable model of open access transformation representing China.”