Plan S and Humanities Publishing – The Scholarly Kitchen

It is widely recognized that HSS and its publishing industry are different (and less profitable). As a publisher in those fields, one could easily be tempted to ask funders for exceptions to policies that push for a faster transition to OA – out of fear that we might become collateral damage in a process that hit us like a storm. One year after Plan S, I think to do so would be a huge mistake.

It is very simple: if we ask for exceptions for HSS, the research we publish will not be able to transition to open with the same speed as STM. As a consequence, HSS research would not be visible as much, would generate less impact and would be even more pushed to the background when budgets are distributed. HSS would be left behind.

We not only need to accelerate OA – increase the speed of transition – but, more importantly, we need to expand the possibilities to transition to OA beyond the APC model. HSS research is highly relevant and deserves to be open. By being more open, HSS can have a greater impact on society and contribute more efficiently to making this world a better place. As HSS publishers, we need to speak up for the communities we serve and help them defend their position in a competitive research landscape. With the right plan for a transition to more openness, HSS will not only survive but thrive in the future and unfold their full potential….”

Access agreement between Elsevier and Dutch universities extended

The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and Elsevier have announced a further 6-month extension to their current agreement, providing researchers at Dutch universities with access to more than 16 million publications from over 2,500 journals published by Elsevier, including  Cell Press and The Lancet titles, and journals published on behalf of its society partners.

The agreement includes an extension of the Elsevier-VSNU gold OA pilot, enabling researchers at Dutch universities to publish open access in the majority of Elsevier’s hybrid and gold OA journals in support of the Netherland’s open access goals.

The extension, which runs from July 1 through Dec 31, 2019, will allow for continued explorations between Elsevier, VSNU, the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU) and NWO on how to work together on aspired future Dutch open science infrastructure services….”

Plan S: the final cut—response from cOAlition S – The Lancet

On behalf of the cOAlition S Executive Steering Group, I commend the Editors of The Lancet for their positive support for Plan S and the ambition to make full and immediate open access a reality. Finding ways in which researchers can seek to publish in their preferred journals, while ensuring that the outputs of funded research can be accessed and used by all, is a key part of our strategy.

It was especially pleasing to read that the Lancet group’s hybrid journals will be fully compliant with Plan S.
As the payment of article processing charges in hybrid journals will no longer be supported by Plan S funders, we welcome the stance the Lancet family of journals have adopted: researchers who have articles accepted for publication in these venues can self-archive the Author-Accepted Manuscript (at no cost) in a repository where it can be made publicly available at the time of publication (no embargo) under a CC BY Open Access license.
This approach is in line with that of other publishers such as the Royal Society and the Microbiology Society, and we look forward to other publishers moving to a fully open access model….”

Open access policies of leading medical journals: a cross-sectional study | BMJ Open

Abstract:  

Objectives Academical and not-for-profit research funders are increasingly requiring that the research they fund must be published open access, with some insisting on publishing with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to allow the broadest possible use. We aimed to clarify the open access variants provided by leading medical journals and record the availability of the CC BY licence for commercially funded research.

Methods We identified medical journals with a 2015 impact factor of ?15.0 on 24 May 2017, then excluded from the analysis journals that only publish review articles. Between 29 June 2017 and 26 July 2017, we collected information about each journal’s open access policies from their websites and/or by email contact. We contacted the journals by email again between 6 December 2017 and 2 January 2018 to confirm our findings.

Results Thirty-five medical journals publishing original research from 13 publishers were included in the analysis. All 35 journals offered some form of open access allowing articles to be free-to-read, either immediately on publication or after a delay of up to 12 months. Of these journals, 21 (60%) provided immediate open access with a CC BY licence under certain circumstances (eg, to specific research funders). Of these 21, 20 only offered a CC BY licence to authors funded by non-commercial organisations and one offered this option to any funder who required it.

Conclusions Most leading medical journals do not offer to authors reporting commercially funded research an open access licence that allows unrestricted sharing and adaptation of the published material. The journals’ policies are therefore not aligned with open access declarations and guidelines. Commercial research funders lag behind academical funders in the development of mandatory open access policies, and it is time for them to work with publishers to advance the dissemination of the research they fund.

Nine routes towards Plan S compliance – UPDATED

by Jeroen Bosman & Bianca Kramer

Changes in Plan S compliant options as of May 31, 2019

On May 31, cOAlition-S, the group of funders responsible for Plan S, published the updated Plan S principles and implementation guidance, addressing feedback received during the public consultation period.  Based on these details we updated our scheme of nine routes towards compliance.

The information in the principles and guidance document involves some changes and additional details compared to the draft implementation guidance that was made public on November 27, 2018:

  • the option for cOAlition-S members to approve the use of the CC BY-ND license for individual articles
  • addition of transformative model agreements and transformative journals to the options for transformative arrangements that allow hybrid journals to be compliant
  • specification that funders can (but are not obliged to) financially contribute to transformative arrangements, up until 2024
  • removal of the requirement for transformative agreements to include a scenario for  subsequent full transformation to OA

Some of these  changes effect the compliant routes available. We hence made adaptations to the scheme and the list of routes. For each of the routes the scheme shows examples (please treat them as such), assessments of effects on various stakeholders and on overall cost and also whether the route aligns with expected changes in the evaluation system.

Other changes in the principles and implementation guidance do not have a direct effect on the possible routes, but do have the potential to  influence their feasibility and effects. These include the postponement of the formal commencement point of Plan S with one year to January 1 2021,  the relaxation of some of the requirements for repositories, requirements for transparency  of costs and prices, the stipulation that funders will only financially support transformative agreements after 1 of January 2021 where they adhere to the ESAC Guidelines and the elevation to the 10 principles of the commitment to revise evaluation criteria.

Plan S: the final cut – The Lancet

Plan S now emphasises changing the scientific reward and incentive system. And it calls for transparency regarding the publishing services offered in exchange for an article processing charge. Again, we agree. Publishers should explain the added value they bring to the scientific publishing process. In one aspect of Plan S, we differ. Plan S partners argue that they will not pay for “brand value”. But journals such as The Lancet are not neutral publishing platforms. We stand for values and activities beyond publication—campaigning, for example, for the right to health, health equity, and social justice. Publishing in (or subscribing to) a Lancet title brings authors (and readers) inside this community of values. Deeming those values irrelevant is harmful to health and medical science. Coalition S partners must respect and protect those values during the welcome acceleration to a more open access world.”

Plan S delayed a year amid raft of changes

The controversial open-access initiative Plan S has been postponed for a year, to give publishers and research organisations longer to align with the intended systemic shift in academic publishing.

Revised implementation guidance for Plan S, published on 31 May, includes changes intended to address the main criticisms of draft guidance from 2018. Chief among these was that the original start date of 1 January 2020 was simply too soon for publishers and research organisations to prepare for the plan, which will require all researchers supported by signatory funders to make their work openly available immediately so that the maximum value can be squeezed from it.

“The launch of Plan S has triggered an unprecedented global debate about open access, and this in itself I think is a positive development,” Marc Schiltz, the co-initiator of Plan S and president of the association of research funders and performers Science Europe, told journalists ahead of the launch. “Based on the feedback…We have revised Plan S without compromising the fundamental principles.”

The new rules will apply to publications resulting from research funded under calls launched from 1 January 2021. But if the funders involved in the initiative want to, they can implement the rules earlier and apply them to existing grants.

Another significant change is that funders will have the option of letting researchers publish with a stricter licence than the plan’s highly permissive CC-BY default, in response to concerns particularly from social scientists about their work being misused. Permission to use a CC-BY-ND licence is foreseen on a case-by-case basis.

Funders will also not initially cap their payment of individual article-processing charges—the fees that publishers often charge for making articles available with open access instead of via subscription. Instead, they will focus more on transparency in publisher pricing, and could introduce a cap if they subsequently deem charges to be “unreasonable”.

Payment of APCs for hybrid journals that are moving away from offering paywalled publication alongside open access will be cut off on 31 December 2024, which is in line with the original timeframe of three years after the plan’s implementation. Support for hybrid journals that are not changing will end as soon as the funders begin implementing Plan S from 1 January 2021….”

Wellcome updates open access policy to align with cOAlition S | Wellcome

“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….”

Elsevier welcomes new open access guidance from cOAlition S

Elsevier welcomes cOAlition S’s updated implementation guidance: “Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications.” Elsevier fully supports and promotes open access. Authors can achieve full and immediate open access — and so be Plan S compliant — either by publishing their articles in our gold open access journals or publishing their articles gold open access in our hybrid journals….”