Plan S was a one of the reasons why we launched Episteme Health Inc. - to provide platinum open access publishing options to ensure that both Plan S-funded and non-Plan S scientists can publish on the same platform.

The release of the Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S [archived] spells out specific requirements. We detail here how we are (or are planning to) be compliant with each of these requirements.

1. Aim and Scope

The aims and scope of Plan S call for us to make our scholarly articles immediately available for free online access and largely unrestricted use and re-use. Plan S also calls for research data to be as “open as possible and as closed as necessary”. We address all of these aims by:

  • Publishing articles immediately available to anyone with no requirements for access beyond an internet connection. Readers do not need to register or pay.
  • Giving authors a choice of Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) and Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial licenses. Both CC BY and CC BY-NC licenses meet the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association membership guidelines, although we use CC BY as our default license because it is preferable in many circumstances.
  • Providing detailed guidance in our author guidelines on when and how to share data so it is available during peer review and linked to their publication.

2. Plan S Compliance

Episteme Health Inc. provides authors with an open access journal that will make their articles immediately available with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license immediately upon publication. Because we offer authors a choice, it is up to authors to select the CC BY license when they complete a License to Publish form.

Rights and licensing: Authors retain copyright and, as specified in our License to Publish, grant Episteme Health Inc. a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish their article. Authors retain the right to use, reuse, adapt or republish their article at any time and in any medium.

Authors also retain responsibility for:

  • Handling any permissions requests for uses beyond what is specified by the public license, and
  • Enforcing the terms of their copyright or public license.

3. Transformative Agreements

We are an open access publisher that does not charge author fees so we are not subject to a transformative agreement.

4. Supporting Quality Open Access Journals and Platforms

If cOAlition S is interested in supporting an open access publication venue that does not charge article processing charges, please contact us!

5. Transparency of Costs and Prices

We do not charge any fees for any of our services, including triaging, peer review, editorial work, copy editing etc. We only ask that authors who receive permissions requests for uses beyond what is specified in their public license share at least 30% of any fees that they collect. However, we do not expect to raise significant revenue this way.

For the sake of transparency, the committee of management of Episteme Health Inc. has committed to publishing our annual financial statements on our website.

Technical Requirements

Common Requirements for all publication Venues

  • System of review: Our peer review approach is transparently available on our website. In particular, see our Peer Review Policy and Peer Review Guidelines.
  • Statistical reporting: Open Journal Systems readily provides reports on peer review outcomes. We can therefore provide statistics on article acceptance as part of our annual report.
  • Retention of copyright: We allow authors to retain copyright. There are no fees associated with retention of copyright.
  • Immediate and permanent open access: We publish open access immediately. This license is granted irrevocably.

Mandatory technical conditions for all publication venues

  • Use of persistent identifiers: We are a Crossref member which allows us to assign DOIs. Our DOI prefix is 10.35430.
  • Deposition with a long-term digital preservation archive: We have made enquiries with digital archives and will obtain membership once we have become more established.
  • High-quality article level metadata under a CC0 license: Our metadata is deposited Crossref including funder information and license.
  • Machine-readable information on the Open Access status and the license embedded in the article: License tags are used in our JATS XML to provide a link to the applicable Creative Commons license.
  • Support for persistent identifiers for authors and funders: Authors are encouraged to provide their ORCID during submission, which will be included included in Crossref metadata and typeset with their article. Funder DOIs are also included in Crossref metadata and with their article.
  • Registration of self-archiving policy: We have submitted our self-archiving prolicy to SHERPA/RoMEO.
  • Availability for download of full text for all publications in JATS XML: We use the JATS Archiving 1.0 DTD to typeset XML.
  • Direct deposition of publications into an open access repository: We will apply for PMC participation as soon as we are eligible.
  • OpenAIRE compliance of metadata: We have registered with openAIRE and are providing metadata using OAI-PMH.
  • Linking to data and code: We link to data and code in the publication and, following Crossref guidelines, ask authors to cite their data and code in their reference list so it can be deposited.
  • Open citations: We comply with Crossref guidelines on reference linking. Our compliance with open references can be verified on the Crossref website. Look for Episteme Health Inc (ID 20825).

Specific conditions applicable to Open Access journals

  • Registration with the Directory of Open Access Journals: We are currently too new to register with the DOAJ, but we will engage with the process of registration as soon as possible.
  • No subscription mirror journals: We do not publish mirror journals and have no subscription partner journals.
  • Transparent costing and pricing: Publishing with us is free.
  • Fee waivers for authors from low-income countries: Publishing with us is free for all authors.


Ready to submit your next paper?

Ready to submit to a journal where quality work is rewarded and where the editors value reproducibility? Our flagship journal, Neuroanatomy and Behaviour, is now accepting manuscripts.

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