Surprise and confusion over ERC Council’s Plan S reversal – Research Professional News

“Groups representing young researchers have expressed surprise at the decision of the European Research Council’s governing Scientific Council to withdraw its support from the Plan S open-access initiative.

Under Plan S, a group of funders known as Coalition S will require researchers they support to make their work openly available immediately from 2021 in outlets that meet certain criteria. The requirements are being adopted in the EU’s 2021-27 R&D programme Horizon Europe, including the ERC.

The ERC Council, an independent body of researchers that helps to set the strategic direction of the EU funder, had previously expressed its support for Plan S, but on 20 July it announced a U-turn, saying the impact of Plan S on young researchers and countries with limited funds had been underestimated. In particular, the ERC Council expressed concern about Plan S terms for publication in hybrid journals that offer both subscription and open-access options….”

cOAlition S Response to the ERC Scientific Council’s Statement on Open Access and Plan S | Plan S – [https://www.coalition-s.org/coalition-s-response-to-the-erc-scientific-councils-statement-on-open-access-and-plan-s/]

“cOAlition S remains firm in its view that support for hybrid journals has failed to accelerate the transition to full and immediate Open Access over the past two decades. The already scarce funding in the Horizon Europe Framework Programme should not be used for the payment of publication fees in hybrid journals. Indeed, outside of transformative agreements, the hybrid model has no effective means to keep double-dipping by publishers in check. For this reason, many European countries, from Germany to Hungary, have recently put in place transformative agreements with publishers.

Maintaining the current status quo on hybrid journals will exacerbate inequalities among European researchers, since only those that benefit from generous funding will be able to cover expensive publication fees. In contrast, the cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy which provides Open Access in compliance with Plan S via the repository route, will empower all researchers to publish in their journal of choice, including subscription and hybrid journals.

cOAlition S is particularly attentive to the concerns of Early Career Researchers (ECR). We are grateful for the support of many ECR organisations, including the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), the Global Young Academy (GYA), the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) and the Young Academy of Europe (YAE). These organisations are closely collaborating with cOAlition S in order to further shape Plan S, to monitor its implementation, and to evaluate potential effects for the next generation of researchers….”

European Research Council (ERC) Scientific Council Withdraws as a Supporter for cOAlition S

“The ERC Scientific Council is committed to implementing full and immediate Open Access and continues to support the principles underlying Plan S. Members of the ERC Scientific Council are participating constructively in various activities aimed at making Open Access a reality.

However, during the past six months, the ERC Scientific Council has intensified its internal debate and reached a unanimous decision to follow a path towards Open Access implementation that is independent of cOAlition S activities. Therefore it has decided to withdraw as a supporter of cOAlition S. In doing so, the ERC Scientific Council wishes to pay closer attention to a number of aspects whose importance has been rather underestimated. Most prominent among them are researchers’ needs, especially those of young researchers who represent the future of European science and innovation. Other aspects include the need to preserve equity among research communities and among European countries, with particular emphasis on countries with more limited national financial support for research.

In particular, cOAlition S has declared that the publication of research results in hybrid venues outside of transformative arrangements will be ‘non-compliant’ as of 1 January 2021, leading to the non-eligibility of related publication costs. The Scientific Council considers that this will be detrimental, especially for early career researchers, researchers working in countries with fewer alternative funding opportunities or working in fields in which Open Access policies are more difficult to implement….”

COAR survey finds no large barriers for repository platforms in complying with Plan S – COAR

“In 2019, a group of funders known as cOAlition S adopted Plan S, a set of principles and requirements for full and immediate Open Access to peer-reviewed scholarly publications resulting from the research they fund, beginning in 2021. One of the routes for complying with Plan S is for authors to make the final published version (Version of Record, VoR) or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) openly available with an open license in a Plan S compliant repository with immediate OA from the date of publication.

In order to support compliance with Plan S, repository software platforms, repository managers and researchers (who use the repositories) will need to be aware of the requirements and, in some cases, adopt new practices and functionalities. In April/May 2020 the COAR, in consultation with cOAlition S, conducted a survey of repository platforms in order to assess their current ability and intention to support Plan S requirements, and to identify any specific challenges related to their implementation.

The survey found that most repository platforms currently support compliance with Plan S mandatory criteria and, in the few cases where they do not, there are plans to adopt this functionality. In addition, many of the highly recommended criteria are also already supported by the platforms. As a next step, COAR and cOAlition S will continue to work together to ensure that repositories are well represented and to develop more detailed guidance that assist them in supporting the major functionalities envisioned in Plan S….”

COAR survey finds no large barriers for repository platforms in complying with Plan S – COAR

“In 2019, a group of funders known as cOAlition S adopted Plan S, a set of principles and requirements for full and immediate Open Access to peer-reviewed scholarly publications resulting from the research they fund, beginning in 2021. One of the routes for complying with Plan S is for authors to make the final published version (Version of Record, VoR) or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) openly available with an open license in a Plan S compliant repository with immediate OA from the date of publication.

In order to support compliance with Plan S, repository software platforms, repository managers and researchers (who use the repositories) will need to be aware of the requirements and, in some cases, adopt new practices and functionalities. In April/May 2020 the COAR, in consultation with cOAlition S, conducted a survey of repository platforms in order to assess their current ability and intention to support Plan S requirements, and to identify any specific challenges related to their implementation.

The survey found that most repository platforms currently support compliance with Plan S mandatory criteria and, in the few cases where they do not, there are plans to adopt this functionality. In addition, many of the highly recommended criteria are also already supported by the platforms. As a next step, COAR and cOAlition S will continue to work together to ensure that repositories are well represented and to develop more detailed guidance that assist them in supporting the major functionalities envisioned in Plan S….”

Exploring collaborative non-commercial publishing models for Open Access: tender results | Plan S

cOAlition S received a total of 11 proposals for the tender for a study to explore collaborative non-commercial Open Access publishing models for Open Access (a.k.a Diamond OA) published in March 2020. We are pleased to announce that the tender was awarded to a consortium coordinated by OPERAS, including Sparc Europe, Utrecht University, DOAJ, UiT The Arctic University of Norway as partners, and LIBER, OASPA, ENRESSH, Redalyc-AmeliCA and CSI as associate partners.

The study will be delivered by the end of 2020, and regular public updates on progress are planned along the way. The study is financially supported by Science Europe.