“A major push by science funding agencies in Europe to make the research they back freely available at the point of publication is the world’s best chance of fundamentally altering scientific publishing, says the new coordinator of Plan S, Johan Rooryck.
Last month the Plan S consortium of funders named Rooryck, professor of French linguistics at Leiden University in the Netherlands, as its new champion, with a brief to promote and develop the plan worldwide.
Currently there are 19 – mostly European – funders involved in Plan S. The initiative represents, “the first time we see policymakers and the main funders pushing in the same direction,” said Rooryck.
“We’ve been talking about open access for 25 years but it never accelerated in the way people wanted,” he said.
In common with other backers of open access, Rooryck argues commercial publishers have made excessive profits from scientific research that has been paid for from public money. Most commercial publishers have paywalls erected around the journals they publish, which in effect means public and charitable bodies have to buy access to the outputs of research projects that would not have gone ahead without their grant money….”