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….”

 

The University of Manchester response to the implementation of Plan S

“We are pleased to note the cOAlition’s support for the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), to which the University was one of the first signatories, which aligns with UoM’s commitment to responsible metrics. A significant proportion of UoM research is subject to existing funder OA policies. The University Library has enabled Gold or Green OA for more than 3000 papers annually since 2016 and we achieve high levels of funder compliance (currently over 90% for the UK REF OA policy). Since 2012 we have supported publisher experimentation with OA models and contributed to the development of the UK-Scholarly Communication Licence (UK-SCL). This experience, together with responses from a University-wide consultation on the implementation of Plan S, informs our comments and concerns detailed below. The ‘Supporting Document’ section includes further consultation responses from UoM researchers….”

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….”

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….”

Plan S and Open Access in Latin America: Interview with Dominique Babini

“Open Access publishing is more widespread in Latin America than in any other region of the world, and continues to grow. We sat down with CLACSO’s Open Access Advisor Dominique Babini to find out why….”

A change of plan for UK open access? | Wonkhe | Policy Watch

“So for me the headline advice expected in a report to the minister from Adam Tickell is that the current ‘preference for Gold OA is expensive – and there is a need for clarity as to whether the UK should maintain this approach….’ 

The fact that Gold OA comes at a cost is a clear disincentive for many researchers despite being a REF requirement – especially where a grant may not cover publication costs or where interesting work is being carried out without a grant. The research councils currently provide block funding for APCs, but this is unlikely to be a permanent feature – we might see a short extension, but only if the Gold OA policy direction continues.

If it does, and if we assume that current price trends and publishing patterns continue – and that OA take-up in the UK were to reach 100% by 2025 – total expenditure would rise to £362m in 2020, and £818m in 2028 – over three times the 2016 figure in real terms. We understand there’ll be some economic modelling published alongside Tickell’s advice, which looks at these figures across a variety of scenarios….”

A response from Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research at the Wellcome Trust, to UCL’s “Response to Plan S” | UCL Open Access

“UCL is pleased to post Robert Kiley’s response to the UCL Town Hall meeting and UCL’s Plan S consultation response as a contribution to the ongoing consultation over Plan S.

“As the cOAlition S representative at the UCL Town Hall meeting I’d like to thank UCL for their response to the Plan S guidance document and for giving me the opportunity to respond to some of the points raised.” …

I was disappointed by the UCL response to Plan S which calls for a “wholescale rethink of the strategy and timelines for moving to 100% Open Access”. …”