Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing that was launched in September 2018. The plan is supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders. Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms.
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.
The plan is structured around ten principles. The key principle states that by 2021, research funded by public or private grants must be published in open access journals or platforms, or made immediately available in open access repositories without an embargo. The ten principles are:
- authors should retain copyright on their publications, which must be published under an open license such as Creative Commons;
- the members of the coalition should establish robust criteria and requirements for compliant open access journals and platforms;
- they should also provide incentives for the creation of compliant open access journals and platforms if they do not yet exist;
- publication fees should be covered by the funders or universities, not individual researchers;
- such publication fees should be standardized and capped;
- universities, research organizations, and libraries should align their policies and strategies;
- for books and monographs, the timeline may be extended beyond 2021;
- open archives and repositories are acknowledged for their importance;
- hybrid open-access journals are not compliant with the key principle;
- members of the coalition should monitor and sanction non-compliance.
This briefing paper offers insight into various open access business models, from institutional to subject repositories, from open access journals to research data and monographs. This overview shows that there is a considerable variety in business models within a common framework of public funding. Open access through institutional repositories requires funding from particular institutions to set up and maintain a repository, while subject repositories often require contributions from a number of institutions or funding agencies to maintain a subject repository hosted at one institution. Open access through publication in open access journals generally requires a mix of funding sources to meet the cost of publishing. Public or charitable research funding bodies may contribute part of the cost of publishing in an open access journal but institutions also meet part of the cost, particularly when the author does not have a research grant from a research funding body.
To some extent the benefits follow the funding, institutions and their staff members being the primary beneficiaries from institutional repositories, while national research funding agencies may be the primary beneficiaries from the publication in open access of the research they fund. However, in addition all open access business models also allow benefits to flow to communities which have not been part of the funding infrastructure.
The briefing paper ‘Open Access Business Models for research funders and universities’ was commissioned by Knowledge Exchange and was written by Fred Friend.
Developing a sound business model is a critical concern of publishers considering openaccess distribution. Selecting the model appropriate to a particular journal will depend not only on the expense hurdle that must be cleared, but also on the publisher’s mission objectives, size, business management resources, risk tolerance, tax status, and institutional or corporate affiliation.
This Web site and accompanying guide provide an overview of income models currently being used to support the openaccess distribution of peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific journals. These resources will be a useful tool both for publishers exploring new potential sources of income and for libraries weighing where to direct meager library funds.
“Income models for Open Access: An overview of current practice” examines the use of supply-side revenue streams (such as article processing fees, advertising) and demand-side models (including versioning, use-triggered fees). The guide provides an overview of income models currently in use to support openaccess journals, including a description of each model along with examples of journals currently employing it. Download the PDF.