Journal Nature Communications, billed by Nature Publishing Group as the number three multidisciplinary journal in the world behind Nature and Science, is to take the "decisive step" of becoming open access only.
The journal was launched in 2010 as a born-digital hybrid title, publishing both OA and subscription content. It will now be the first Nature-branded journal to become OA only, and will be self-sustaining via article processing charges (APCs).
Sam Burridge [pictured], managing director for open research at NPG and Palgrave Macmillan, said: "We want to be leaders in open research, and this move accelerates our commitment to drive open access forward. NPG has made significant moves over the past 10 years, and 38% of the research articles we published last year were open access.
"We are now taking a decisive step. We continue to see demand from authors for subscription publishing options, but we also see a need for a high quality, multidisciplinary, open access journal. Most importantly: we believe in open access."
Nature Communications will offer the CC BY 4.0 license by default, with other Creative Commons licenses available upon request.
Robert Kiley, head of digital services at the Wellcome Library, who leads on the implementation of the Wellcome Trust's open access policy, gave a quote in support of the NPG announcement, saying: "The decision by NPG to make this journal fully OA…provides evidence that hybrid OA – in which a journal makes content available under both OA and subscription models – can be a transitional phase. We hope that this will encourage other hybrid OA journals to transition to full OA."
NPG said it was "committed to continue to publish all other Nature-branded titles as subscription journals."