What is ‘Plan S’ and Why Are Many Publishers Worried? – Publishing Perspectives

” “With Plan S there has been a lack of consultation, a lack of consideration, a lack of detail, and a lack of time,” said Malavika Legge, acting director of publishing for Portland Press and the Biochemical Society, at an event on Thursday called “Get Smart About Plan S.”

Plan S is said to stand for science, speed, solution, and shock. Moreover, it is clear from the reactions on the stage that “shock” sums up what the publishers on stage feel about the radical open access plan announced only on September 4 by the European Research Council. The plan is supposed to be implemented by 2020, which in the timescale of publishing is—as Legge says—“already here.”\

Bewilderment may be a better word for the mood of the session whose participants all claimed to be committed to open access publishing. …

The panelists felt that even if Plan S accelerates the transition to open access publishing, it still represents an existential attack on the academic publishing industry. While some publishers say they are staring into the headlights of Plan S like a deer, others say it should be a call-to-arms by the industry to challenge the stereotype that all they care about is profit.”

Open access at a crossroads

“Publishers of scientific journals are facing renewed threats to their business models from both sides of the Atlantic. As European science funders promote a radical new open-access (OA) publishing mandate they unveiled last month, the Trump administration is considering changes to a five-year-old directive governing the public release of research literature sponsored by federal agencies.”

Why OBP is not participating in KU Open Funding: and why libraries should understand the reasons. | Open Book Publishers Blog

“So – why is OBP not going to participate in this KU offering?

To begin with, we have had growing misgivings about the objectives and actions of KU since it transitioned from being a “non-profit” community interest company (registered in the UK) to a “for profit” commercial entity (registered in Germany), and in their own lack of openness about their business model and operations, echoing the concerns articulated by Marcel Knöchelmann his LSE Impact blog post.

More specific concerns with this particular programme emerged when OBP was invited to participate as a publisher and we were provided with a template publisher’s contract. The contract has a number of concerning restrictions, but the most concerning is the very first one: …

These types of exclusivity contracts can be used by digital “platforms” as a strategy to monopolise and dominate an industry….

We also hope that funders will recognise the importance of developing open and collectively-controlled, community-driven infrastructures to sit alongside, and so place a competitive check on, profit-oriented alternatives….”

The latest in the Elsevier and Open Science Monitor saga – Green Tea and Velociraptors

“[T]he EC have finally responded! You can see the letter here, which many are already annotating pointing out weakness, missing information, contradictions, where questions were not answered etc. This is such a welcome response from them though, and clearly indicates that the community had raised legitimate concerns about Elsevier and the procurement process. However, it should not have to take a letter with 1100 signatories to expose this sort of information, and it should have been readily available. I’m very happy that the EC decided to treat this seriously, especially after both Elsevier and the President of the Lisbon Counil offered absolutely pathetic responses (see the history here). So the EC’s response is a welcome, informed, professional response, unlike that of the previous two. I don’t know yet if we will approach the Ombudsman. Clearly there are still some questions that need answering, but we need time to digest this information properly and formulate a response….”

Gundersen: Ulovlig forslag fra Nybø om statsautorisert publisering

From Google’s English: “Power does not only grow out of the windshields, it also grows out of the presses. With the draconian plan for open publication the research minister launches, the authorities will take control of the scientific press in 2020….I do not know if they are inspired by Maos ‘big leap,’ but research minister Iselin Nybø and Director of Research Council John-Arne Røttingen promote a very radical policy for open-access research…Instead of paying subscriptions, researchers must use research funds to buy themselves. Should you have quality assured publication, it costs anyway, the difference is whether it is the reader or the author who pays….”

The Plan S conversation continues

“Last week, the 10th Conference of the Open Access Publishing Association was held in Vienna… On the Tuesday afternoon Robert-Jan Smits spoke as part of a panel about Plan S. It was a calm measured discussion where he thanked many people who had worked with them to develop the plan. He noted that  things went ‘wild’ after releasing the plan, with over 70,000 tweets on the first day. The comments, he said, were mostly positive but there are some negative comments from publishers and some academics – which not surprising  because the plan is so robust. He also noted multiple positive comments from developing countries, thanking him ‘because they struggle to access research outputs.'”

The varieties of OA resistance: a response to Gareth J Johnson

Abstract:  In a recent Insights article, Gareth J Johnson reports on research designed to determine the reasons that so many authors still fail to embrace open access (OA) publishing, despite many years of advocacy on the part of a dedicated community of OA practitioners. To answer this question, Johnson interviewed OA practitioners at 81 UK universities, seeking their insights into the attitudes of academic authors. In response to Johnson’s findings, this paper proposes three categories of authorial resistance, questions the effectiveness of asking third parties to interpret the thinking of authors (particularly when those third parties have a vested interest in the authors’ adoption of OA) and critiques some of the assumptions underlying the informants’ reports (most importantly, the assumption that resistance arises necessarily from misunderstanding or misinformation).

A Response to Plan-S from Academic Researchers: Unethical, Too Risky!

Abstract: Open access (OA) publishing in general has many advantages over traditional subscription, or toll access (TA), publishing: it not only makes science accessible to a larger public, but also expands the reach of individual researchers and the potential impact of their research. Plan S is a noble effort to move OA forward. However, Plan S targets one audience – TA publishers – without fully considering another – researchers themselves. Providing OA to publications is already possible and becoming common practice among researchers. Existing high-quality hybrid (OA + TA) professional (society) journals provide ample opportunities for OA publishing, while providing excellent quality-control systems based on best practice and long-term experience. Institutional repositories (sponsored by universities or professional societies) support Green OA, which provides researchers the opportunity to make even their exclusively TA publications OA. Yet, in the eyes of certain policy makers and funding bodies, the current system is apparently ‘wrong’ for several unclear reasons. Politicians, research councils, and funding bodies in 11 European countries (cOAlition S) have embraced a policy that favors a particular version of Gold OA and recently decided to accelerate the OA transition by signing on to Plan S. Within 2-3 years, researchers supported by the research councils and funding bodies signing on to Plan S will be required to publish in either purely Gold OA journals – hybrid OA journal publication will be prohibited – or vaguely defined “compliant” OA platforms. Is this really a good idea? Forbidding researchers to publish in existing subscription journals has many unwanted side effects, putting knowledge production & society at severe risk. Forced gold OA publishing could lead to higher costs for many high quality journals and an overload of papers of low quality or limited novelty in lower quality journals. Furthermore, in the likely event that the rest of the world will not join in, Plan S will severely hamper internationalization of PhD students and postdocs, and discourage collaborations between the cOAlition S countries and the rest of the world. Finally, insofar as it mandates a limited set of publication venues, Plan S violates researchers’ academic freedom. So is Plan S objectively an advancement? We think not. Please read our standpoint detailed below, and see if you come to the same conclusion. We also provide alternatives that are less radical, and likely less costly, than Plan S.

Response to Plan-S from Academic Researchers: Unethical, Too Risky! – For Better Science

“This article brings you an Appeal by several European scientists protesting against Plan S, which they fear will deprive them of quality journal venues and of international collaborative opportunities, while disadvantaging scientists whose research budgets preclude paying and playing in this OA league. The appeal authors around the Sweden-based scientist Lynn Kamerlin offer instead their own suggestions how to implement Open Science….”