The Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3) program—the world’s largest disciplinary open access initiative—has been formally extended by two years, until December 31st, 2024.
The extension of the existing Phase 3 of SCOAP3 was an outcome of a recommendation made in mid-2020 by the SCOAP3 Tender Working Group (STWG)—a team of experts representing the Consortium—who were tasked with devising a strategy for the next phase of the program. This recommendation was proposed specifically to provide members of the SCOAP3 partnership (partner institutions and participating publishers) with stability during the financial uncertainty resulting from the COVID19 pandemic. This recommendation was considered by the SCOAP3 Governing Council in its meeting in November 2020, where there was broad agreement that SCOAP3 provides excellent value for money when benchmarked against other initiatives, and members agreed that it should be prioritised for support. As a result, the Governing Council voted unanimously to support the proposal.
In the subsequent period, the SCOAP3 Team at CERN has worked with participating publishers to secure contract extension agreements. These agreements specifically maintain the current scope of the SCOAP3 initiative, in terms of publishing services and procurement conditions, by arranging a two-year extension of Phase 3 (i.e. from 2020-2022 to 2020-2024) under existing terms. These agreements are now duly executed by all partners and as such SCOAP3 is formally extended until the end of 2024.
Established in 2014, SCOAP3 is a partnership of over 3,000 libraries, funding agencies, and research organizations from 44 countries and 3 intergovernmental organizations. Since the outset of SCOAP3, over 20,000 scientists from 120 countries have benefited from the opportunity to publish almost 50,000 open access articles free of charge. The program has been cited as an inspiration for a range of efforts aiming to transition traditional scholarly publishing to OA, and in demonstrating the viability of collective action for achieving equitable and sustainable OA publishing. Through the collective effort of its members from around the world, and in partnership with publishers of the leading journals in the discipline, SCOAP3 has transitioned 90% of the research output in high-energy physics since 2014 to perpetual OA. Hosted at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), SCOAP3 centrally funds OA for articles across 11 journals, enabling free global readership and re-use for high energy physics research, and barrier-free publishing (i.e. without Article Processing Charges, APCs) for authors from across the world.