ALLEA Response to Plan S

“ALLEA [All European Academies] supports open access as a major step towards realising the universality of science and welcomes the ambition of Plan S in this regard. Implementation will however require extensive consultation and dialogue with all parties, in particular the research performing communities represented through ALLEA and other scientific stakeholders….

In summary, ALLEA broadly welcomes Plan S but with major caveats. The time scale envisaged for such a complex transformation is clearly unrealistic if the preconditions identified by ALLEA in its earlier statements are to be implemented prior to Plan S becoming operational; the funding agencies have to provide the necessary funds in their budgets for paying the publications fees, resolve the question of promotion of early career researchers, consider the special circumstances of minority disciplines, address the IP issues, and the like. To do this it will be essential to engage the full spectrum of affected parties and policy makers. Scholarly communication is the life-blood of research and it is in all our interest to make this as reliable, efficient, sustainable, trustworthy and open as possible. In particular, critical peer review and community evaluation is crucial and must be properly incentivised, enabled and rewarded. ALLEA looks forward to working with the initiators of Plan S, endorsing organisations, as well as other stakeholders in facilitating this necessary transformation of not just academic publishing, but the whole system of research evaluation, accreditation and validation. We note also that the universality of science requires that this be a global transformation of the research ecosystem, but one which can be initiated and led by Europe.”

COAR’s Feedback on the Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S

“We recognize and agree with the aim of transforming the publishing industry, however to truly improve and transform the system there needs to be a multipronged approach, with a number of actions undertaken concurrently. We would like to stress the importance of repositories as complementary mechanisms for advancing innovation in research communications, as outlined in the COAR Next Generation Repositories report and ensure that their role is adequately reflected in Plan S.

In general, COAR supports the implementation guidelines outlined in Plan S and therefore we will focus our comments on the requirements for repositories. COAR and others in the repository community have significant concerns related to several of the requirements for repositories, a number of which we argue are not necessary and will create artificial barriers to the participation of universities and other research organizations in the scholarly communication system. While some of these recommendations may be ‘nice to have’, they are not prerequisites for robust and interoperable repository services. Instead they could result in driving repository functionality in the wrong direction, create too high of a bar for less resourced institutions, and further centralize research infrastructures and services because they cannot be adopted, leading to a replication of the existing inequalities in the scholarly communication system. 

We strongly urge Plan S to remove or reword some of the requirements, and move others into a “Recommended additional criteria” section, such as the section that has been included in the Open Access Journals and Platforms section. …”

The European Court of Human Rights affirmed that hyperlinking is protected free expression. Here’s why we’re applauding. – Wikimedia Foundation

“Hyperlinking is essential to how we learn, collaborate, and communicate on the internet. When the freedom to hyperlink was threatened by a Hungary court ruling, the European Court of Human Rights stepped in to clarify that hyperlinking is an important element of free expression online….”

Open Access: is Plan S heaven or hell ? How about giving it a dispassionate look ? | Ouvertures immédiates / Immediate openings

“As I was savagely attacked on Twitter just recently by a troll who was accusing me to play double game in terms of supporting or rejecting Plan S (I spare you the invectives ad hominem), here is, with more space available, my nuanced point of view on this plan….

In conclusion, although we live in a world where, if you are not entirely in favor of something, you must be against it, I strongly support the concept of Plan S but with several important changes and clarifications.”

Open Access—or Open Science? | The EMBO Journal

“Open Access mandates in Europe raise the question if the priority is to reduce publishing costs, or the overdue conversion to Open Science communication. At risk are not only high?quality journals, but also community institutions and international research collaboration….”

Helping learned societies explore Plan S-compliant business models

“Wellcome, and UKRI recognise the value learned societies play in supporting researchers and contributing to a vibrant research ecosystem, but are working to implement their OA policies in line with Plan S. As such, we wish to engage the services of a consultant to explore a range of potential strategies and business models through which learned societies could adapt and thrive under Plan S. Although we envisage this work will have broad applicability for all learned societies, the focus of this work should be those which predominantly serve UK researchers and in disciplines relevant to UKRI and Wellcome’s funding areas….”

Big European funders flesh out plan towards immediate free access to journals | Science|Business

“The architects of Plan S, a contentious plan to tear down scholarly journals’ paywalls in Europe, have laid out more details on how the initiative will work.

In a seven-page implementation guidance note published on Tuesday, funders backing the plan, including the European Research Council, national agencies in France, the Netherlands and the UK, as well as private funders including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, explain how grantees can abide by Plan S rules by 2020, when it goes into effect.

The note says that, aside from publishing in an open access journal or platform, researchers can comply with Plan S by publishing in a subscription journal provided they also make a peer reviewed version immediately available in a repository. Many top journals do not allow this until at least six months after publication….

Grantees will be permitted to publish in so-called hybrid journals, which charge a subscription but make some articles free to view, but only if the journal has committed to transform into a fully open access model….”

Feedback | Plan S

“Members of cOAlition S have read with interest the many comments made on Plan S. After discussion and consideration, the coalition has approved the implementation guidance on making full and immediate Open Access a reality. The guidance is now open for public feedback….

[The] feedback form will remain open until the 1st of February 2019 at 17h00 CET….”

Priorities for the European Open Science Cloud | Science|Business

“Europe’s big open science cloud project is formally getting underway, with the launch of its Governing Board. In this white paper, a cross-sector group of experts – from academia, industry and public-sector institutions – offers its suggestions on which issues need tackling first….

The consultation group has just published a list of ten issues that should be high on the agenda of the executive board as it sets a direction for the EOSC, which has a mandate to enable Europe’s 1.7 million researchers to easily share scientific data and software tools. The European Commission is set to soon announce the members of the executive board, ahead of the EOSC’s formal launch in Vienna on November 22nd.


As scientific research is global, the Science|Business group believes integrating the EOSC into the science clouds being developed by third countries is crucial; meaningful scientific progress generally depends on sharing data and insights across international borders. At the same time, the executive board will need to consider how to achieve reciprocity and ensure that all parties accessing EOSC services comply with European data protection laws. The group is also urging the new board to prioritise the development of a sustainable business model and a robust legal and governance structure.

The Science|Business group’s list of ten priorities also includes nuts-and-bolts tasks, such as defining the reference architecture, completing a full definition of EOSC services, and detailing rules of participation for the science cloud….”

Europe PMC librarian survey 

The Wellcome Trust and other Europe PMC funders have appointed the independent research organisation, Technopolis, to carry out a study examining the value and impact of Europe PMC. We would like to understand who uses Europe PMC and how they do so. To that end, we would be grateful if you could complete a 5 minute questionnaire using the link below….”