Abstract: In September 2018, a consortium of eleven European research funding agencies known as cOAlition S announced “Plan S,” which requires full and immediate Open Access to all research publications stemming from projects funded by the agencies. The goal of making research output openly available to all has been generally welcomed; however, the strict requirements of Plan S, which take effect on January 1, 2020, have drawn criticisms from various stakeholders. Researchers from affected countries considered it a violation of their academic freedom, as they will be forced to publish only in conforming journals. Publishers, especially those publishing high profile journals, claim that it will be impossible to sustain their business if forced to convert to Open Access journals and to rely solely on article processing charges. Institutions operating their own Open Access platforms or Open Access repositories view the requirements as well-intended but difficult to meet. Despite the turmoil, little has been heard from non-Plan S countries, especially from non-English speaking countries outside Europe. There have been scarcely any comments or analyses relating to the impact of Plan S on these non-Plan S countries. This paper aims to fill the gap with a thought experiment on the impact of Plan S requirements on various stakeholders in these non-Plan S countries. The analysis concludes that non-Plan S countries are indirectly affected by Plan S by being forced to adapt to the world standard that Plan S sets forth. As many non-Plan S countries lack support for this transition from their respective funding agencies, they will be seriously disadvantaged to adapt to the new standards. The article processing charge for publishing in Open Access journals and the strict requirements for Open Access platforms could suppress research output from non-Plan S countries and reduce their research competitiveness. Local publishers, whose financial position in many cases is already precarious, may be forced to shut down or merge with larger commercial publishers. As scholarly communication is globally interconnected, the author argues the need to consider the impact of Plan S on non-Plan S countries and explore alternative ways for realizing full and immediate OA by learning from local practices. This analysis uses Japan as an exemplar of non-Plan S countries.
“In the OA report, when asked whether authors had ever published in an OA journal, the majority of researchers from each country responded affirmatively (B, 68% of 1,133 respondents; I, 57% of 213; J, 59% of 708; UK 60% of 111; US, 51% of 419), except for China (34% of 2,085) and South Korea (44% of 409; roughly equal, yes verses no). Overall, across all survey respondents, with Yes at 45% and No at 35%, OA advocates may feel comfortable that the pendulum is swinging in the right direction. However, there are some striking differences in the geographic profiles of whether or not an author chooses to publish in an OA journal, with an overall 9% of responding authors indicating that they don’t know what OA publishing is.
For example, in response to why respondents chose to publish in an OA journal, more than 60% of authors in almost all geographic areas responded “I wanted my paper to be read by a larger audience” (B, 60% of 766; C, 69% of 710; I, 64% of 121; J, 64% of 415; UK, 63% of 67; US, 60% of 215), however in South Korea, only 37% of 181 authors responded in such a manner, and instead, 71% of 181 authors indicated that “I chose the journal that was the best fit for my paper and it happened to be OA”. This was in striking contrast to authors in the UK, for which the “best fit being OA” response was only indicated by 31% of 67 authors. Notably, when authors in the UK who had “never” published in an OA journal were asked why, 65% (of 34) said “I chose the journal that was the best fit for my paper and it happened to be a subscription journal”. …”
“JUSTICE has seen that there is no other way to overcome the situation except to consider new models, and has been gathering information about worldwide trends. As part of information gathering, we endorsed the OA2020 Expression of Interest in August 2016, and we have analyzed Japanese financial and publication data to confirm the feasibility of transformation. Creating the JUSTICE OA2020 Roadmap is following this work. Our goal is to clarify the way to go through the transition period until a fully OA publishing model can be realized. Academic institutions, including Japanese ones, have already paid APCs(4) in addition to subscription fees as the cost of scholarly communication, and total amount of these costs have been increasing. If we leave the cost increases unchecked, we will not be able to keep the subscription model (cannot read) or pay for APCs (cannot publish). We need to shift our axis from read to publish to avoid this future, and at the same time, we have to find a model which is able to manage the total cost of publication (subscription fees plus APCs)….”
“Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resources ?JUSTICE?is a consortium created to promote many activities for providing stably and continuously academic information, including e-journal that is essential for education and research activities of the university in Japan. The mission assigned to JUSTICE is to contribute to the enhancement of the nation’s academic information infrastructure by contracting, managing, providing, and preserving e-resources and by training personnel with necessary skills.
JUSTICE was established in April 2011 with the support of the National Institute of Informatics(NII). At present, JUSTICE is comprised of over 500 participating libraries and is the nation’s largest organization of library consortia. “
“Hopefully, interest in data about air quality and the difficulty in getting a comprehensive view will drive more people to consider an open data and approach over proprietary ones. Right now, big companies and governments are the largest users of data that we’ve handed to them—mostly for free—to lock up in their vaults. Pharmaceutical firms, for instance, use the data to develop drugs that save lives, but they could save more lives if their data were shared. We need to start using data for more than commercial exploitation, deploying it to understand the long-term effects of policy, and create transparency around those in power—not of private citizens. We need to flip the model from short-term commercial use to long-term societal benefit….”
“Plan S, a project initially signed by a coalition of 11 funding agencies, was unveiled by Science Europe just one month ago. Since then, two more funding bodies, from Sweden and Finland, have joined. Enthusiasm for the scheme, however, extends well beyond Europe.
Speaking to Times Higher Education, Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission’s senior adviser on open access and the architect of Plan S, said that he had already embarked on discussions with White House representatives in the US, where invitations to discuss the policy had come in “one after another”.
Furthermore, Mr Smits said that colleagues from Science Europe had earlier this month engaged in “exploratory talks” with sector leaders in Japan, where the concept had been met with “real interest”. “Next I want to start conversations with India, with South Africa [and with] China,” he added. “It has really taken a global dimension, and the only issue that is my biggest enemy at the moment is time.” …
A Plan S implementation task force has been set up, with a target to deliver the policy details by the end of the year….”
“But funding may be the least of [Japan’s] woes. In an era where open science is becoming a worldwide trend in scientific research, Japan may be missing out due to its deep-rooted country centrism which contrasts sharply with the openness of the top innovative economies, including Singapore….
Its Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan in 2016 aims to make Japan the “most innovation-friendly country in the world”.
The report acknowledges that Japanese science and technology has been “limited to our national borders and is thus unable to explore its full potential”. It recommends key priorities such as the promotion of open science to better develop and secure intellectual professionals….”
“OpenAIRE-Advance continues the mission of OpenAIRE to support the Open Access/Open Data mandates in Europe. By sustaining the current successful infrastructure, comprised of a human network and robust technical services, it consolidates its achievements while working to shift the momentum among its communities to Open Science, aiming to be a trusted e-Infrastructure within the realms of the European Open Science Cloud.
In this next phase, OpenAIRE-Advance strives to empower its National Open Access Desks (NOADs) so they become a pivotal part within their own national data infrastructures, positioning OA and open science onto national agendas. The capacity building activities bring together experts on topical task groups in thematic areas (open policies, RDM, legal issues, TDM), promoting a train the trainer approach, strengthening and expanding the pan-European Helpdesk with support and training toolkits, training resources and workshops. It examines key elements of scholarly communication, i.e., co-operative OA publishing and next generation repositories, to develop essential building blocks of the scholarly commons.
On the technical level OpenAIRE-Advance focuses on the operation and maintenance of the OpenAIRE technical TRL8/9 services, and radically improves the OpenAIRE services on offer by: a) optimizing their performance and scalability, b) refining their functionality based on end-user feedback, c) repackaging them into products, taking a professional marketing approach with well-defined KPIs, d) consolidating the range of services/products into a common e-Infra catalogue to enable a wider uptake.
OpenAIREAdvance steps up its outreach activities with concrete pilots with three major RIs, citizen science initiatives, and innovators via a rigorous Open Innovation programme. Finally, viaits partnership with COAR, OpenAIRE-Advance consolidates OpenAIRE’s global roleextending its collaborations with Latin America, US, Japan, Canada, and Africa….”
“16. We affirm the principle that efforts should be directed to promote a widespread participation of researchers in the network of global research infrastructures, taking account of the opportunities offered by open science paradigms. Significant contributions to this discussion come from the “Group of Senior Officials on Global Research Infrastructures” (GSO) and the G7 “Open Science Working Group” (OS WG)…. We welcome the GSO’s 2017 report that includes both the evolution of the Framework corresponding to a broader and deeper consensus on global access criteria, the developments on open innovation and open data policies….19. We recognize that ICT developments, the digitisation and the vast availability of data, efforts to push the science frontiers, and the need to address complex economic and societal challenges, are transforming the way in which science is performed towards Open Science paradigms. We agree that an international approach can help the speed and coherence of this transition, and that it should target in particular two aspects. First, the incentives for the openness of the research ecosystem: the evaluation of research careers should better recognize and reward Open Science activities. Secondly, the infrastructures for an optimal use of research data: all researchers should be able to deposit, access and analyse scientific data across disciplines and at the global scale, and research data should adhere to the FAIR principles of being findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable….20. We support the work and results achieved so far by the G7 Open Science Working group. The OS Working Group has identified priorities that deserve and require common aligned actions, both in encouraging openness and data skills in scientific research practice, through workforce development and training. We encourage the OS WG to follow-up actions taken by G7 members according to the WG’s recommendations and to collect good practices, in order to report to the next G7 Science Minister’s Meeting. In particular, we support the OS WG deepening its efforts on the two topics identified above (paragraph 19), namely the incentives for openness of the research ecosystem, including the role of research indicators and metrics relevant to open science, and the infrastructures and standards for optimal use of research. The summary report of the OS working group is attached to this Communiqué….”