Plan S and the Transformation of Scholarly Communication: Are We Missing the Woods? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“My initial disclaimer, if it’s not obvious, is that I am completely supportive of the driving principles and objectives of Plan S. I lead an organization [PLoS] that is – and always has been – Plan S compliant from top to toe. But more than that, I share the goal of a future in which the research literature is fully and immediately open with liberal rights of reuse. And so, I am pleased to see that this bold goal not only remains unchanged but that the feedback process has encouraged (or, in some cases, perhaps forced) stakeholders to support these general principles …

With that battle won, the question is now all about the transition. The revised guidelines show evidence of having listened to stakeholder concerns without watering down the fundamental principles. That’s key, but there are also a number of positive changes that both help to clear up confusion and should make the transition easier….”

Principles and Implementation | Plan S

“With effect from 2021, all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo….”

Wellcome updates open access policy to align with cOAlition S | Wellcome

“Following a large consultation, we have updated our open access (OA) policy so it now aligns with Plan S. The changes will apply from 1 January 2021. …

These are the key changes to our OA policy.  

 

  • All Wellcome-funded research articles must be made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC at the time of publication. We previously allowed a six-month embargo period. This change will make sure that the peer-reviewed version is freely available to everyone at the time of publication.
  • All articles must be published under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC-BY), unless we have agreed, as an exception, to allow publication under a CC-BY-ND licence. We previously only required a CC-BY licence when an article processing charge (APC) was paid. This change will make sure that others – including commercial entities and AI/text-data mining services – can reuse our funded research to discover new knowledge.
  • Authors or their institutions must retain copyright for their research articles and hold the rights necessary to make a version of the article immediately available under a compliant open licence.
  • We will no longer cover the cost of OA publishing in subscription journals (‘hybrid OA’), outside of a transformative arrangement. We previously supported this model, but no longer believe that it supports a transition to full OA.  
  • Where there is a significant public health benefit to preprints being shared widely and rapidly, such as a disease outbreak, these preprints must be published:
    • before peer review
    • on an approved platform that supports immediate publication of the complete manuscript
    • under a CC-BY licence.

    This is a new requirement which will make sure that important research findings are shared as soon possible and before peer review.

  • Wellcome-funded organisations must sign or publicly commit to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment(opens in a new tab) (DORA), or an equivalent. We may ask organisations to show that they’re complying with this as part of our organisation audits. This is a new requirement to encourage organisations to consider the intrinsic merit of the work when making promotion and tenure decisions, not just the title of the journal or publisher….”

Rationale for the Revisions Made to the Plan S Principles and Implementation Guidance | Plan S

“The revised Plan S maintains the fundamental principles

  • No scholarly publication should be locked behind a paywall;
  • Open Access should be immediate i.e., without embargoes;
  • Full Open Access is implemented by the default use of a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY licence as per the Berlin Declaration;
  • Funders commit to support Open Access publication fees at a reasonable level;
  • Funders will not support publication in hybrid (or mirror/sister) journals unless they are part of a transformative arrangement with a clearly defined endpoint.

But a number of important changes are proposed in the implementation guidance

  • In order to provide more time for researchers and publishers to adapt to the changes under Plan S, the timeline has been extended by one year to 2021;
  • Transformative agreements will be supported until 2024;
  • More options for transitional arrangements (transformative agreements, transformative model agreements, ‘transformative journals’) are supported;
  • Greater clarity is provided about the various compliance routes: Plan S is NOT just about a publication fee model of Open Access publishing. cOAlition S supports a diversity of sustainability models for Open Access journals and platforms;
  • More emphasis is put on changing the research reward and incentive system: cOAlition S funders explicitly commit to adapt the criteria by which they value researchers and scholarly output;
  • The importance of transparency in Open Access publication fees is emphasised in order to inform the market and funders’ potential standardisation and capping of payments of such fees;
  • The technical requirements for Open Access repositories have been revised….”

Elsevier welcomes new open access guidance from cOAlition S

Elsevier welcomes cOAlition S’s updated implementation guidance: “Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications.” Elsevier fully supports and promotes open access. Authors can achieve full and immediate open access — and so be Plan S compliant — either by publishing their articles in our gold open access journals or publishing their articles gold open access in our hybrid journals….”

DORA 6 years out: A global community 14,000 strong – DORA

DORA turns 6 years old this week. Or, as we like to say, this year DORA reached 14,000—that’s how many people have signed DORA, and they come from more than 100 countries! Each signature represents an individual committed to improving research assessment in their community, in their corner of the world. And 1,300 organizations in more than 75 countries, in signing DORA, have publicly committed to improving their practices in research evaluation and to encouraging positive change in research culture….”

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.  …”