“Open access is a movement constituted by conflict and disagreement rather than consensus and harmony. Given just how much disagreement there is about strategies, definitions, goals, etc., it is incredible that open access has successfully transformed the publishing landscape (and looks set to continue to do so). As OA increases in popularity and inevitability, more conflict arises between those from a range of disciplines and positions, and especially those encountering OA for the first time (often through coercive mandates)….”
“Forget Plan S, what about “Plan U”? Scientists have argued that research funders should go one step further than Europe’s open access initiative by mandating that all papers that they finance should be made immediately available on preprint servers.
Writing in Plos Biology on 4 June, three open access advocates say that funders’ move to require research that they support to be made freely available at the point of publication goes only so far towards opening up scientific exchange when journal review and editing processes take so long.
Richard Sever and John Inglis, co-founders of the preprint server BioRxiv, and Mike Eisen, editor in chief of open access publishing platform eLife, make the case for Plan U – for “universal” – under which funders would require academics to post their work on preprint servers first, before peer review….
“Funders could literally mandate this tomorrow,” Dr Sever added, “unlike the alternative solutions proposed, which all require significant structural changes likely to take years.” Plan U could be implemented alongside Plan S, he said….”
“Yesterday, cOAlition S published their updated principles and implementation guidelines for #PlanS, together with the rationale behind the update. This constitutes a very much welcome effort, as evidence of the increasing awareness among funders as to their potential leverage in infrastructure modernization, at a time when institutions have apparently abandoned their faculty completely.
These policies would have been a much-needed initiative about eight years ago, when there was still a problem of access to the scholarly literature, when Unpaywall didn’t exist and sci-hub had just launched. Today, we have so many ways to access our literature, that these policies seem more like beating a dead horse. From this perspective, Plan S targets the wrong actors (individuals rather than institutions) to achieve a minor goal (Open Access), when our infrastructure rewards unreliable research, costs ten times too much and lacks crucial functionalities. The three components of the scholarly infrastructure emergency (reliability, affordability and functionality; RAF) remain untouched by Plan S while a (today) minor problem receives more attention than it deserves. In a way, Plan S seems more like a band aid for a small cut on a hand while the large, malignant tumor remains untreated….”
“Plan S, the program to crack down on scientific journals’ paywalls led by European research funders, has fleshed out and relaxed some of its rules in revised implementation guidelines published today. The update addresses many concerns raised by researchers, librarians, and scientific publishers about Plan S’s rollout, allowing more time before full, immediate open access (OA) is required and dropping the proposed cap on publishing fees that funders will pay to journals.
The architects of Plan S “have engaged in a good quality dialogue” with the people and institutions that are going to deal with the plan’s consequences, says Lidia Borrell-Damián, director for reseach and innovation at the European University Association in Brussels. As a result, the revised guidelines seem “much more nuanced and more realistic” than the initial set, says astrophysicist Luke Drury, former president of the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin.
Still unclear is whether the changes will convince other funders to join the movement. And the plan’s fiercest detractors are unmoved….”
“With effect from 2021, all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo….”
“Following a large consultation, we have updated our open access (OA) policy so it now aligns with Plan S. The changes will apply from 1 January 2021. …
These are the key changes to our OA policy.
- All Wellcome-funded research articles must be made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC at the time of publication. We previously allowed a six-month embargo period. This change will make sure that the peer-reviewed version is freely available to everyone at the time of publication.
- All articles must be published under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC-BY), unless we have agreed, as an exception, to allow publication under a CC-BY-ND licence. We previously only required a CC-BY licence when an article processing charge (APC) was paid. This change will make sure that others – including commercial entities and AI/text-data mining services – can reuse our funded research to discover new knowledge.
- Authors or their institutions must retain copyright for their research articles and hold the rights necessary to make a version of the article immediately available under a compliant open licence.
- We will no longer cover the cost of OA publishing in subscription journals (‘hybrid OA’), outside of a transformative arrangement. We previously supported this model, but no longer believe that it supports a transition to full OA.
- Where there is a significant public health benefit to preprints being shared widely and rapidly, such as a disease outbreak, these preprints must be published:
- before peer review
- on an approved platform that supports immediate publication of the complete manuscript
- under a CC-BY licence.
This is a new requirement which will make sure that important research findings are shared as soon possible and before peer review.
- Wellcome-funded organisations must sign or publicly commit to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment(opens in a new tab) (DORA), or an equivalent. We may ask organisations to show that they’re complying with this as part of our organisation audits. This is a new requirement to encourage organisations to consider the intrinsic merit of the work when making promotion and tenure decisions, not just the title of the journal or publisher….”
“The revised Plan S maintains the fundamental principles
- No scholarly publication should be locked behind a paywall;
- Open Access should be immediate i.e., without embargoes;
- Full Open Access is implemented by the default use of a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY licence as per the Berlin Declaration;
- Funders commit to support Open Access publication fees at a reasonable level;
- Funders will not support publication in hybrid (or mirror/sister) journals unless they are part of a transformative arrangement with a clearly defined endpoint.
But a number of important changes are proposed in the implementation guidance
- In order to provide more time for researchers and publishers to adapt to the changes under Plan S, the timeline has been extended by one year to 2021;
- Transformative agreements will be supported until 2024;
- More options for transitional arrangements (transformative agreements, transformative model agreements, ‘transformative journals’) are supported;
- Greater clarity is provided about the various compliance routes: Plan S is NOT just about a publication fee model of Open Access publishing. cOAlition S supports a diversity of sustainability models for Open Access journals and platforms;
- More emphasis is put on changing the research reward and incentive system: cOAlition S funders explicitly commit to adapt the criteria by which they value researchers and scholarly output;
- The importance of transparency in Open Access publication fees is emphasised in order to inform the market and funders’ potential standardisation and capping of payments of such fees;
- The technical requirements for Open Access repositories have been revised….”
“A major push by some science agencies to make the research they fund open-access on publication — Plan S — has been delayed by a year. Funders now don’t have to start implementing the initiative until 2021, the agencies announced today, to give researchers and publishers more time to adapt to the changes the bold plan requires….”
“Academics in the arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS) voiced concerns that Open Access mandates will damage academic freedom at a conference held at Goldsmiths, University of London, on Friday (24th May). The conference heard that widening the funder Open Access mandates developed for STEM subjects to cover the humanities fields would actively prevent some researchers from publishing, because they would not have access to funds.
A push has been initiated in the UK to require all monographs to be published Open Access to be eligible for the 2027 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Meanwhile under international initiative Plan S, all government-funded research will have to be published Open Access from 2020.
Sarah Kember, professor of new technologies of communication at Goldsmiths and director of Goldsmiths Press, suggested that funder-mandated OA publishing – as opposed to scholar-led OA initiatives such as Goldsmiths Press – could narrow the range of work appearing and damage diversity. …”
“Europe should be a world leader in promoting open science. It should deliver on the promise to make all publicly funded research publications open access by 2020, and use its resources to promote the necessary systemic change to make openness the default for science and innovation, allowing libraries to fulfil their missions….”