Publication of a study on “Diamond” Journals

News from the Committee

Article by Pierre Mounier [1]Pierre Mounier is also the coordinator of the OPERAS project, associate director of OpenEdition and co-director of the DOAB., a contributor to the study and co-leader of the Committee for Open Science’s European and International College.

A study on open access ‘diamond’ journals has just been published. These are journals which are free of charge for readers and authors. This is the first study of its kind.

It was ordered by cOAlition S and funded by Science Europe to enhance understanding of the Open Access landscape.

It is the result of work carried out between June 2020 and February 2021 by a consortium of 10 organisations namely OPERAS, SPARC Europe, University of Utrecht, DOAJ, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, LIBER, OASPA, ENRESSH, Redalyc-AmeliCA and the CSI.

This in-depth report highlights a model of open access publishing controlled by the academic community itself. The “OA diamond” model promotes both inclusivity and bibliodiversity as it serves a wide range of disciplines, languages, countries and communities. It makes open access publishing truly accessible to all because it removes some of the financial barriers researchers face when publishing their work.

For all the reasons mentioned above, support for the diamond model is of crucial importance.

The report’s conclusions and recommendations indicate clearly defined areas in which research funding organizations, institutions, academic societies and infrastructures can help the diamond model to flourish in the future.

The report’s main conclusions:

  1. There is a vast ‘archipelago’ (estimated at 29,000) of relatively small journals which serve a wide range of academic communities;
  2. Diamond journals are in the process of becoming fully compliant with the S plan;
  3. Scientific quality and operational difficulties coexist in a range of areas from legal structures to technical capacity and from editorial processes to funding models;
  4. Diamond journals mainly depend on volunteers, universities and government to operate.


The main recommendations:

  1. Streamline technical support to journals;
  2. Ensure compliance with Plan S;
  3. Strengthen the journals’ operational capacity;
  4. Increase the journals’ efficiency by pooling certain functions;
  5. Support the journals financially and invest in their future.


Action plan:

  1. Prepare a series of workshops and an international symposium on the diamond model in 6 months to start a worldwide conversation between the different stakeholders in the sector;
  2. Set up a funding strategy for diamond reviews within a year to implement the funding recommendations;
  3. Set up a resource centre for the diamond model within 2 years to support the implementation of the operational recommendations.

We invite you to read the report and the full set of recommendations which were published separately and also to consult the additional documents we have shared with the community for further research and re-use – all the data from the study, the references library and the contributive inventory of Diamond Journals.

You can also download a two-page summary of the report’s main findings here.

The study group is also proposing to facilitate a discussion with the diamond journal community and its stakeholders in the coming weeks. This web page provides updates on upcoming events.