As part of EDP Sciences' ongoing commitment to furthering open science, this news update is the third in our "Road to Open" series, highlighting the sponsor-funded “Diamond” open access model. The series offers a monthly showcase of advancements at both the journal and publisher level, focusing on successful implementations of open publishing models and the journals that are demonstrating their sustainability. Join the conversation on social media with #RoadToOpen.

Aquatic Living Resources is a journal published under the Diamond open access model, supported by sponsorship from two leading marine science organisations Ifremer (l’institut français de recherche entièrement dédié à la connaissance de l’océan – the French Research Institute Dedicated Entirely to Knowledge of the Ocean) and IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development) The sponsorship means that all papers are freely available without subscription or publication fees for authors.

Recognising the need for equitable access to research in a discipline of growing criticality

Aquatic Living Resources initially transitioned to Gold open access in January 2022. Then, in November 2022, Ifremer and IRD recognised an opportunity to take open access a step further by sponsoring the journal and enabling all aquatic science researchers to publish their work without any financial obligations. Diamond open access firmly aligns with their mission of open science and sustainable development.

Among many factors considered in the decision was the discipline’s relevance to and support of several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Most notably, research in the journal helps to drive forward advancements towards Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), Goal 14 (Life Below Water) and Goal 2 (Zero Hunger).

As climate change progresses this research will only increase in importance. Ifremer, IRD, and EDP Sciences decided that Diamond open access was the most appropriate model to ensure equitable access and, hopefully, accelerated progress as a result of increased collaboration.

Impact of transitioning to Diamond OA

Aquatic Living Resources was indexed in the DOAJ in January 2023. This indexation means the journal is in compliance with the open access policy of the DOAJ and meets all the strict criteria required for inclusion. Indexation in Scopus and Clarivate's JCR further underscores the importance of its research in the field of aquatic sciences.

After several years of stability in publishing volume, the year following the OA transition saw the highest number of articles published since 2018.

Similarly, in 2022 the journal recorded a 117% increase in downloads when compared with 2021, confirming the assumption that open access would lead to wider and more equitable dissemination.

Next steps: scaling to meet the demand of a growing discipline

The Diamond open access model increases the visibility, accessibility, and impact of scientific research, as it removes the financial barriers for both authors and readers. It also fosters the quality, integrity, and innovation of scientific research, as it supports the principles of open science and FAIR data - data that is findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable.

The challenge with the model is that it requires more support and collaboration from various stakeholders, such as researchers, editors, universities, funders, libraries, publishers, and policy makers, to ensure its sustainability and development.

In recognition of the above - and in anticipation of the significant growth this discipline is likely to experience as research into ecosystem approaches to management becomes ever more critical – the journal is inviting additional institutional sponsors to support publication for 2024 and beyond.

For further information please contact the Journals team.

Find out more

To read more about the decision to transition Aquatic Living Resources to Diamond open access and the goals of the two current sponsors Ifremer and IRD, or to find out how to publish your research with ALR, visit the journal website.

More information about ALR and Diamond OA

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