Springer Nature: Plan S needs to focus on helping all authors and funders to better understand the benefits of OA | Group | Springer Nature

Research undertaken by Springer Nature shows that while there are proven benefits in publishing OA, including increased citations, increased downloads and wider impact, authors are still not routinely choosing to publish OA for often valid reasons.  Springer Nature has demonstrated that when innovative transformative deals are in place, a wide range of journals available from which authors can choose and the benefits of OA strongly promoted, then accelerated OA transition is not only possible but very successful.  In the four most mature countries which have Read and Publish deals with Springer Nature, OA penetration rates have reached 73-90% in only three years….”

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.  …”

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….”

OASPA Feedback on Plan S Implementation Guidance – OASPA

“One such issue that OASPA sees currently as a significant barrier to the uptake of open access, and to other innovations in scholarly communication, is that the present system for evaluating researchers is most often based on which journals they publish in. Many research institutions have pledged their support for change by signing the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and, more importantly, some are now leading the way by putting this pledge into practice. It is therefore both welcome and essential that Plan S also is encouraging reform in research evaluation practices, as applied to recruitment, tenure and promotion, and grant awards. It is imperative that other funders join this effort and that funders work closely with institutions if such reform is to be implemented on a global scale.


OASPA’s main concern relating to Plan S, however, is that discussions and solutions continue to be focussed on the largest, mixed-model publishers. While it is this segment of the market on which funders’ attention – and spend – is concentrated, the vast majority of publishers within the so-called ‘Long Tail’ (the majority of OASPA’s members) appear to be absent from the focus of Plan S. Many of these publishers are too small to negotiate the kind of ‘transformative’ national Big Deals we are seeing for the largest publishers, while exclusively open access publishers without legacy subscription businesses are also unable to participate. Many are not even of sufficient size to make agreements directly with institutions….”

Feedback on guidance on implementation of Plan S | jbrittholbrook

“Even if Creative Commons were to develop a CC BY 5.0 that demands that licensees indicate what changes were made, how would that protect the rights of the author? Which author rights would it protect?

CC BY-ND protects the right of the author to grant/withhold permission for specific derivative works.

My understanding is that CC BY 4.0 does not protect that right, since it explicitly grants permission for derivative works….”

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….”

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….”

Guidance on submissions (2019/01) – REF 2021

“106. The four UK HE funding bodies believe that the outputs of publicly funded research should be freely accessible and widely available. Open access research brings benefits to researchers, students, institutions, governments, public bodies, professionals and practitioners, citizen scientists and many others. Open access has the potential to make research more efficient and impactful. In view of these benefits, and to embed open access as an intrinsic part of the research process, the funding bodies have introduced a policy requirement on open access in REF 2021.

107. The intent of the REF open access policy is to provide a set of minimum requirements for open access, while encouraging an environment where researchers and HEIs move beyond the minimum requirements. HEIs can demonstrate where they have gone beyond the requirements in the environment template (REF5b) in the research and impact strategy section (see the ‘Panel criteria’, paragraph 346). The funding bodies encourage institutions to take a proportionate view of the costs and benefits of making other types of outputs (including monographs) available as open access.

108. The open access policy applies to journal articles and conference contributions (with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)) which are accepted for publication from 1 April 2016 and published on or before 31 December 2020. It requires these research outputs to be made open access for those outputs to be eligible for submission in REF 2021. The outputs should be deposited, discoverable, and free to read, download and search within, by anyone with an internet connection. The funding bodies recommend that institutions fully consider the extent to which authors currently retain or transfer the copyright of works published by their researchers, as part of creating a healthy research environment.

109. Authors and institutions can meet the policy requirement without necessarily incurring any additional open access publication costs (such a through payment of an article processing charge).

110. Evidence gathered in 2017 indicates good progress is being made by the sector in implementing the policy, and a range of systems and tools are being developed to assist authors and institutions in making their outputs open. However, the funding bodies recognise that the current structures and software solutions are still at an early stage, and that it will take time to fully establish open access as an intrinsic part of the research process. The funding bodies expect the sector and service providers to continue the momentum to develop new tools to implement the policy, particularly relating to the deposit requirements. In view of this, there are measures and exceptions which have been developed to provide a degree of tolerance of non-compliance.

111. The funding bodies recognise that information on deposit permissions, licences and embargoes can sometimes be unclear, complex, or hard to find. Until significant progress has been made to address this issue (including developing machine-readable licences and permissions), it is reasonable for the sector to rely on shared services, including those offered by SHERPA (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access). Authors and institutions should feel comfortable acting on the information provided by SHERPA in meeting REF 2021 open access requirements, and should not undertake additional work to verify this information.

112. Institutions are not expected to correspond with previous institutions to evidence that outputs published while a staff member was previously employed elsewhere fulfilled the requirements of the policy. This is the case even if the new employer intends to submit the output to REF 2021. For example, when a researcher moves from the institution where the output was published (X), to another institution (Y), the REF does not expect that institution Y corresponds with institution X to seek and retain evidence of the output’s compliance. Where an institution is unable to ascertain themselves if an output is compliant with the policy, a policy exception can be applied (see paragraph 255.a).

113. The intent of this policy is for the output to be made freely available. The policy encourages outputs which are submitted with a deposit, technical, or other exception to be made open access as soon as possible. However, this is not a requirement of the policy.

114. The REF 2021 audit process will seek assurance that the information and data submitted regarding compliance are accurate and reliable….”


Five Reasons Why Publishing Science for Profit Will Endure

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