Inter-Research: Changing Tack in the Plan-S Open Access World

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Stewart, Ian
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Inter-Research Science Publisher; Plan S; Science--Periodicals— Publishing; Open access publishing; Science publishing
For over 40 years, Inter-Research (IR) has been a small, family-owned publisher, well-respected for its high-quality science journals. IR commits the majority of its income to a rigorous peer review process, intensive in-house copy- and sub-editing, and attention to clarity of presentation in typography and layout. It currently publishes 8 titles—4 Hybrids and 4 Fully Open Access, of which 5 titles directly relate to the Aquatic Sciences. By far dominant among these is the flagship journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. While IR embraces change (e.g. online publication was introduced in 2000 and open (or free) access (OA) publication in 2005), the focus on traditional production quality means the journals have remained a comfortable and unchanging constant over the decades. IR’s founder, Prof. Dr. Otto Kinne, believed strongly in making scientific research widely accessible. However, the cautious program of transforming the subscription journals towards Fully OA publications that began in 2013 was suspended in 2015 when article submissions to the journal Aquatic Biology immediately, significantly and unexpectedly dropped almost immediately on “OA flipping”, a clear signal that globally financial support for the OA publication model was not matching the hype promoting its benefits and the degree to which it was desired. European funder-based “Plan S”, integrated into European Commission policy and initiated in 2020, promises to provide OA funding and forces European academic publishers to transform to Fully OA publication by end of 2024. In addition to introducing IR, its products, its products and its publication philosophy, this “Vendor Demonstration” describes how one small and not greatly resourced publisher (compared to the big conglomerates) is cautiously changing tack in the Plan S–Covid- 19 world. IR’s journey to Fully OA publication
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