AHA Expresses Concerns about Potential Impact of Plan S on the Humanities | AHA

Plan S, however, as applied to the humanities, is likely to limit scholarly discourse, even close some doors. Its underlying assumptions and hence its path forward ignore significant differences among various disciplines in the realm of funding and publishing scholarship. Plan S, akin to much open access policy, assumes that all academic publishing has the same imperatives and exigencies as research in the biomedical and physical sciences. There are, however, important differences, including funding models, time value of research, and the structures and cultures of scholarly publishing.

The American Historical Association joins our colleagues in other humanities disciplines in explaining how the Plan S bias toward article processing charge (APC)-funded “gold” journals will essentially close them off from the wider community of scholars….

While we have worked to make access available to international readers, we worry about excluding international authors. Many of the most significant and high impact journals in the humanities are published outside of Plan S countries. Plan S-funded humanities scholars will be unable to choose the highest prestige journals because of the expectations of immediate open access and the ban on publishing in hybrid journals. This will exclude scholars from Coalition S countries from being a part of vital international exchanges and scholarship, and severely limit their ability to build international reputations….”