Plan S: Are the Concerns Warranted? — Meta-Research Center

“Because of the low job security in the early stage of an academic career it is possible that early career researchers will be negatively affected by Plan S. Plan S currently involves 14 national funding agencies (including India that announced their participation on January 12th) and draws support from big private funds like the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Combined, these funds represent not more than 15% of the available research money in the world.

This relatively small market share could hurt young researchers dependent on Plan S funders as they will not be allowed to publish in some prestigious, but closed access journals. When researchers funded by other agencies can put these publications on their CV they would have an unfair advantage on the academic labour market. Only when Plan S or similar initiatives would cover a critical mass of the world’s research output would the playing field be levelled….”

 

UVA Library, UVA Press Partner to Make Original Scholarship Freely Available | UVA Today

“Students and parents often and understandably object to the high cost of textbooks, and colleges and universities also incur high costs to make academic research in scholarly journals available to students and faculty alike.

It’s a problem that affects everyone – students, researchers and scholars, the colleges and universities where they work, and the public who often have no easy access to the latest studies. A new partnership at the University of Virginia aims to solve these problems and to make new knowledge more readily available – and free.

Called “Aperio,” the new digital publishing partnership between the University Library and University of Virginia Press employs the latest technology to produce what’s called “open access” to research, scholarship and other educational materials – eventually including textbooks. (“Aperio” is a Latin word meaning “to uncover, to open, to make public.”) …”

PLOS Provides Feedback on the Implementation of Plan S

“We welcome Plan S as a ‘decisive step towards the realisation of full open access’1, in particular the push it provides towards realization of a research process based on the principles of open science. This is fully aligned with our mission to bring scientists together to share work as rapidly and widely as possible, to advance science faster and to benefit society as a whole. Our publications have operated in line with the core principles outlined in Plan S since the launch of our first journal, PLOS Biology, in 2003. We recognize that wide adoption of support for Plan S may bring additional competition within the open access publishing space. We welcome this evolution as a positive change in research culture, resulting in greater availability of information, growing inclusion in the scientific process and increasing the speed of discovery and innovation.  …”

Plan S feedback | Innovations in Scholarly Communication

We have a few overall recommendations:

  • Improve on the why: make it more clear that Plan S is part of a broader transition towards open science and not only to make papers available and OA cheaper. It is part of changes to make science more efficient, reliable and reusable.
  • Plan S brings great potential, and with that also comes great responsibility for cOAlition S funders. From the start, plan S has been criticized for its perceived focus (in intent and/or expected effects) on APC-based OA publishing. In our reading, both the principles and the implementation guidance recognize for all forms of full OA publishing, including diamond OA and new forms of publishing like overlay journals. However, it will depend to no small extent on the actual recognition and support of non-APC based gold OA models by cOAlitionS funders whether plan S will indeed encourage such bibliodiversity and accompanying equity in publishing opportunities. Examples of initiatives to consider in this regard are OJS journal systems by PKP, Coko open source technology based initiatives, Open Library of HumanitiesScoap3Free Journal Network, and also Scielo and Redalyc in Latin America.
  • The issue of evaluation and assessment is tied closely to the effects Plan S can or will have. It is up to cOAlitionS funders to take actionable steps to turn their commitment to fundamentally revise the incentive and reward system of science in line with DORA into practice, at the same time they are putting the Plan S principles into practice. The two can mutually support each other, as open access journals that also implement other open science criteria such as pre-registration, requirements for FAIR data and selection based on rigorous methodological criteria will facilitate evaluation based on research quality.  
  • Make sure to (also) provide Plan S in the form of one integrated document containing the why, the what and the how on one document. Currently it is too easy to overlook the why. That document should be openly licensed and shared in a reliable archive.
  • In the implementation document include a (graphical) timeline of changes and deadlines….”

Plan S feedback | Innovations in Scholarly Communication

We have a few overall recommendations:

  • Improve on the why: make it more clear that Plan S is part of a broader transition towards open science and not only to make papers available and OA cheaper. It is part of changes to make science more efficient, reliable and reusable.
  • Plan S brings great potential, and with that also comes great responsibility for cOAlition S funders. From the start, plan S has been criticized for its perceived focus (in intent and/or expected effects) on APC-based OA publishing. In our reading, both the principles and the implementation guidance recognize for all forms of full OA publishing, including diamond OA and new forms of publishing like overlay journals. However, it will depend to no small extent on the actual recognition and support of non-APC based gold OA models by cOAlitionS funders whether plan S will indeed encourage such bibliodiversity and accompanying equity in publishing opportunities. Examples of initiatives to consider in this regard are OJS journal systems by PKP, Coko open source technology based initiatives, Open Library of HumanitiesScoap3Free Journal Network, and also Scielo and Redalyc in Latin America.
  • The issue of evaluation and assessment is tied closely to the effects Plan S can or will have. It is up to cOAlitionS funders to take actionable steps to turn their commitment to fundamentally revise the incentive and reward system of science in line with DORA into practice, at the same time they are putting the Plan S principles into practice. The two can mutually support each other, as open access journals that also implement other open science criteria such as pre-registration, requirements for FAIR data and selection based on rigorous methodological criteria will facilitate evaluation based on research quality.  
  • Make sure to (also) provide Plan S in the form of one integrated document containing the why, the what and the how on one document. Currently it is too easy to overlook the why. That document should be openly licensed and shared in a reliable archive.
  • In the implementation document include a (graphical) timeline of changes and deadlines….”

Hindawi’s response to Plan S: be the catalyst for change you deserve to be | About Hindawi

“Open Access, however, is the tip of the scholarly iceberg. And we want Plan S to be the catalyst for change it deserves to be – the catalyst for Open Science – which is after all just good science practiced in a way that takes advantage of the global reach and technology of our digital age. We therefore support the Coalition’s endeavours to obtain more global agreement on their plan – it cannot succeed without this. We also encourage the Coalition to take this opportunity to provide even closer alignment between the proposed timing of the flip to Open Access and the change to the way researchers are ranked and rewarded.  Without coupling the change to Open Access with a parallel change in the evaluation of all research outputs, and the infrastructure to support such change, there is a risk we entrench the existing oligopoly of publishers within a cultural and financial system of scholarship that will continue to exclude the diversity, talent and innovation that science – in its broadest sense – requires to address the profound challenges facing society….”

ARL Comments on Plan S Open Access Implementation Guidelines | Association of Research Libraries® | ARL®

In particular ARL:

  • Supports the acknowledged role of open repositories as mechanisms for achieving immediate open access to scholarship, and endorses the February 6, 2019, response to Plan S implementation guidelines from the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR). COAR both articulated the challenges of the open repository community in meeting the high technical requirements of Plan S as written, and offered minimum viable requirements necessary to achieve the vision of Plan S.
  • Shares the cOAlition S acknowledgement of a diversity of models for OA journals, in particular non-APC-based outlets. ARL has concerns about the technical requirements in the implementation guidelines for non-APC-based OA journals. ARL urges cOAlition S not to classify long-term good actors in scholarly communication as non-compliant with Plan S based on their inability to meet stringent technical requirements currently out of reach for the majority of these journals. Rather, cOAlition S could consider lengthening timelines to meet requirements, and/or, as ARL member libraries Harvard and MIT suggested in their public comments, provide funding for these journals to become compliant.
  • Welcomes cOAlition S establishment of a “fair and reasonable APC level,” and encourages maximum transparency in the accounting of that level so that publishers of all sizes can fairly compete, and so that the rubric may become an accepted standard among all stakeholders. This rubric should include waivers or provisions for scholars who are unable to pay APCs in the absence of external or institutional funding. To be successful, Plan S must ensure equitable, barrier-free access.
  • Supports author retention of copyrights and ability to issue open licenses. Scalable mechanisms for asserting copyright retention remain a challenge for research institutions, and we look forward to ongoing conversation with cOAlition S to find solutions that work for the scholarly community and in support of greater openness.
  • Looks forward—as a partner in the research ecosystem—to the findings of Wellcome, UK Research and Innovation, and Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) on Plan S–compliant business models for scholarly and learned societies. ARL commits to working with the learned society community to find a path forward for open, equitable, scholarly publishing.
  • Affirms that research libraries are critical stakeholders within scholarly publishing, particularly within their own institutions. ARL, along with our international research library partner associations in Australia (Council of Australian University Librarians), Canada (Canadian Association of Research Libraries), Europe (Association of European Research Libraries), and the United Kingdom (Research Libraries UK), would welcome ongoing communication and engagement with cOAlition S on these implementation guidelines to ensure the success of the Plan S vision….”

OPERAS Declaration on the Plan S Implementation Guidance – OPERAS

“The level of technical compliance is not the same for journals and platforms on the one hand, and for repositories on the other hand. While, according to the guidance on the implementation of Plan S, journals and publishing platforms should provide “machine readable” formats (no requirement in terms of standards), repositories should store the full text in “XML in JATS standard (or equivalent)”. As any XML, HTML or even plain text can be considered a machine readable format, the requirement for repositories appears to be much higher. In particular so, considering that most of them do not meet the criteria currently. The same holds also true for many publishing platforms and journals. Therefore, the criteria for technical compliance for journals, platforms and repositories should be aligned….

More work should be done, nonetheless, on non-APC Open Access journals (known as “Diamond”), of which, according to DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), more exist compared to Gold journals (9173 against 3299), particularly in the Social Sciences and Humanities. cOAlition S should allow for funding mechanisms to support Diamond journals which otherwise could be tempted to move towards Gold APC models to be eligible to receive cOAlition S grants….”

Plan S and the economics of scientific journal publishing

“Paywalls and subscription requirements are currently tools publishers use to exercise their market power. However, the underlying reason for publishers’ market power is not this tool, but rather the fact that journals provide services that cannot, at least from the point of view of individual researchers, be easily replaced by the services of other journals. This will prevail even with open access.Rather than imposing very strict requirements on journals’ business models, we would encourage funders to collaborate with academies and professional organizations. These organizations have the professional credibility to establish new but still highly regarded journals if needed. Funders can fully finance such journals, presumably at a reasonable cost, making subscription fees as well as publication fees redundant….”

Feedback to Coalition S on Plan S Implementation Guidelines | Zenodo

“We argue that Coalition members should favour, both in words and via their spending decisions, community-controlled, no-author-fee journals over commercially owned journals charging APCs. This is for reasons of fairness, economic efficiency, and sustainability. We see Plan S as a strong statement and step in the right direction, but encourage Coalition members to be more forward-thinking about how they want the future scholarly publishing market to look, and make sure that they are giving due consideration to the non-commercial elements of the ecosystem….”