Plan S is an initiative for open-access science publishing that was launched by Science Europe on 4 September 2018. It is an initiative of "cOAlition S", a consortium launched by major national research agencies and funders from twelve European countries. The plan requires scientists and researchers who benefit from state-funded research organisations and institutions to publish their work in open repositories or in journals that are available to all by 2020. The "S" stands for "shock".
- 1 Principles of the plan
- 2 Members of the coalition
- 3 Institutional statements of support
- 4 Specific implementation guidance
- 5 Reactions
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Principles of the plan
The plan is structured around ten principles. The key principle states that by 2020, research funded by public grants must be published in open access journals or platforms. 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 2020;
- 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.
Members of the coalition
Organisations in the coalition behind Plan S include:
- Austria: Austrian Science Fund;
- Finland: Academy of Finland;
- France: Agence Nationale de la Recherche;
- Ireland: Science Foundation Ireland;
- Italy: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare;
- Luxembourg: Luxembourger National Research Fund;
- Netherlands: Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research;
- Norway: Research Council of Norway;
- Poland: National Science Centre;
- Slovenia: Slovenian Research Agency;
- Sweden: Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (Formas);Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte); Swedish Riksbank's Jubileee Fond (RJ)
- Jordan: Higher Council for Science and Technology
- United Kingdom: United Kingdom Research and Innovation; Wellcome Trust
- United States: Gates Foundation.
Plan S is also supported by:
Institutional statements of support
- Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft;
- Swiss National Science Foundation;
- Swedish Research Council;
- Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT);
- Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche (LIBER);
- League of European Research Universities (LERU);
- European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO);
- Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw);
- European University Association;
- Marie Curie Alumni Association
- SPARC Europe;
- Confederation of Open Access Repositories;
- Fair Open Access Alliance;
- Young Academy of Europe
- Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN)
- Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA);
- Faculty of 1000;
- Joint statement of 113 institutions from 37 nations and 5 continents;
- National Science Library (NSL), China;
- National Science and Technology Library (NSTL), China;
- National Natural Science Foundation of China;
- All European Academies (ALLEA);
- African Academy of Sciences (AAS);
- National Institute for Health Research (NIHR);
Specific implementation guidance
A task force of Science Europe, lead by John-Arne Røttingen (RCN) and David Sweeney (UKRI), has developed a specific implementation guidance on the Plan S principles, released on November 27, 2018. The development of the implementation guidance also drew on input from interested parties such as research institutions, researchers, universities, funders, charities, publishers, and civil society.
During a transition period, publishing in a hybrid journal that is covered by a transformative agreement to become a full open-access venue will remain permissible. The contracts of such transformative agreements need to be made publicly available (including costs), and may not last beyond 2023.
Green Open Access
Publishing in any journal will continue to be permissible subject to the condition that a copy of the manuscript accepted by the journal, or the final published article, will be deposited in an approved open-access repository (Green Open Access) with no embargo on access and with a CC-BY licence.
Licensing and rights
In order to re-use scholarly content, proper attribution needs to be given to the authors, and publications need to be granted a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable license to share and adapt the work for any purpose, including commercially. Scholarly articles must be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license CC BY 4.0, or alternatively CC BY-SA 4.0 Share-alike or CC0 Public Domain.
Mandatory criteria for Open Access journals and platforms
Open Access journals and platforms need to meet the following criteria to be compliant with Plan S:
- All scholarly content must be immediately accessible upon publication without any delay and free to read and download, without any kind of technical or other form of obstacles.
- Content needs to be published under CC BY, CC BY-SA or CC0.
- The journal/platform must implement and document a solid review system according to the standards within the discipline, and according to the standards of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
- The journal/platform must be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or be in the state of being registered.
- Automatic article processing charge waivers for authors from low-income countries and discounts for authors from middle-income countries must be provided.
- Details about publishing costs (including direct costs, indirect costs and potential surplus) impacting the publication fees must be made transparent and be openly available on the journal website/publishing platform.
- DOIs must be used as permanent identifiers.
- Long-term digital preservation strategy by deposition of content in a archiving programme such as LOCKSS/CLOCKSS.
- Accessability of the full text in a machine readable format (e.g. XML / JATS) to foster Text and Data Mining (TDM).
- Link to raw data and code in external repositories.
- Provide high quality and machine readable article level metadata and cited references under a CC0 public domain dedication.
- Embed machine readable information on the Open Access status and the license of the article.
Mirror journals, with one part being subscription based and the other part being Open Access, are considered to be de facto hybrid journals. Mirror journals are not compliant with Plan S unless they are a part of a transformative agreement.
The implementation guidance was open for general feedback until 8 February 2019. cOAlition S will publish an updated version of their implementation guidance in late May 2019 revised in the light of the feedback received during the consultation.
The plan was met with opposition from a number of publishers of non-open access journals. Springer Nature "urge[d] research funding agencies to align rather than act in small groups in ways that are incompatible with each other, and for policymakers to also take this global view into account", adding that removing publishing options from researchers "fails to take this into account and potentially undermines the whole research publishing system". The AAAS, publisher of the journal Science, argued that Plan S "will not support high-quality peer-review, research publication and dissemination", and that its implementation "would disrupt scholarly communications, be a disservice to researchers, and impinge academic freedom" and "would also be unsustainable for the Science family of journals". Tom Reller of Elsevier said, "if you think that information should be free of charge, go to Wikipedia". Reactions to the Plan also include an Open Letter, currently signed by more than 1500 researchers, expressing their concerns about perceived unintended outcomes of the Plan if implemented as stated before the publication of the specific implementation guidance. Another Open Letter in support of Plan S was issued after the publication of the specific implementation guide, and had been signed by over 1,900 researchers by the end of 2018.
Stephen Curry, a structural biologist and open access advocate at Imperial College London, called the policy a "significant shift" and "a very powerful declaration". Ralf Schimmer, head of the Scientific Information Provision at the Max Planck Digital Library, told The Scientist that "This will put increased pressure on publishers and on the consciousness of individual researchers that an ecosystem change is possible ... There has been enough nice language and waiting and hoping and saying please. Research communities just aren't willing to tolerate procrastination anymore." Political activist George Monbiot – while acknowledging that the plan was "not perfect" – wrote in The Guardian that the publishers' responses to Plan S was "ballistic", and argued that Elsevier's response regarding Wikipedia "inadvertently remind[ed] us of what happened to the commercial encyclopedias". He said that, until Plan S is implemented, "The ethical choice is to read the stolen material published by Sci-Hub."
On 7 September 2018 the European University Association (EUA) published a statement in which it generally welcomed the Plan's ambitions to turn Open Access into reality by 2020, but stated that, while the plan developed a bold vision for the transition, it hinged on turning principles into practice.
On September 24, 2018, the three large researcher organizations Eurodoc, Marie Curie Alumni Association and Young Academy of Europe released a "Joint Statement on Open Access for Researchers" announcing their support for Plan S.
On October 25, 2018, the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) endorsed the main ambitions set out by the Plan S, namely the elimination of paywalls, copyright retention, and the rejection of hybrid models of Open Access publishing. DARIAH published recommendations for the practical implementation of the principles of the Plan S. DARIAH perceived a strong bias toward the STEM perspective within the current principles of Plan S, and called for a broader range of publication funding mechanisms to better cover the situation for researchers in the arts and humanities. DARIAH was established as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in August 2014 and as of 1 January 2019[update] had 17 member countries and several cooperating partners in eight non-member countries. Further detailed recommendations for the implementation of Plan S were published on 19 October 2018 by the board of the Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA).
In October 2018 the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) made it clear that US federal funders would not be signing up to Plan S. In an interview with the American Institute of Physics published 30 April 2019 , OSTP Director Kelvin Droegemeier stated with regard to Plan S: "One of the things this government will not do is to tell researchers where they have to publish their papers. That is absolutely up to the scholar who's doing the publication. There's just no question about that."
On 28 November 2018 the journal Epidemiology and Infection published by Cambridge University Press announced that it would convert to the Open Access model of publication from 1 January 2019, citing changed funder policies and Plan S.
On 4 December 2018 a statement of support was signed by 113 institutions from 37 nations in 5 continents, affirming that there was a strong alignment among the approaches taken by OA2020, Plan S, the Jussieu Call for Open science and bibliodiversity, and others to facilitate a full transition to immediate Open Access.
On 5 December 2018 it emerged that the Ministry of Science and Technology (China) would support Plan S and the goal of immediate Open Access for publicly funded projects. In 2018 China had become the world's largest producer of scientific articles in terms of volume.
Some commentators have suggested that the adoption of Plan S in one region would encourage its adoption in other regions.
On 17 January 2019 Europe's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) pledged support for Plan S and announced that the current Open Access policy will be reviewed. The NIHR is the largest national clinical research funder in Europe with a budget of over £1 billion (approximately USD 1.3 billion).
On 12 February 2019 K. VijayRaghavan, the principal scientific adviser of the Government of India, announced that India is joining Plan S. India is the third biggest producer of scientific papers in the world. Earlier this year Jordan and Zambia signed up Plan S.
On March 6 2019, the Swedish Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, an initial supporter of Plan S, wrote a letter withdrawing its support, noting that "Coalition S is a network of research funding organizations with a commitment to Open Science. Plan S is one attempt at achieving this goal, but for Riksbankens Jubileumsfond the currently chosen path is not realistic and sustainable" (see external links)
On March 26 2019, the OA2020 Mainland China signatory libraries held a meeting at the National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing at which they clarified their position with regard to Plan S. 
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'De S staat voor shock. (Robbert-Jan Smits, presentation at the Physics@Veldhoven conference, 22 January 2019).'
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- "Portugal and FCT'S position towards Plan S". Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). 2 October 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
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- "Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications: LERU's reaction to Plan S". LERU. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
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- "COAR's response to Plan S". 12 September 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
- "Building a Sustainable Knowledge Commons. COAR's response to the draft implementation requirements in Plan S". 13 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
- "The Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA) on Plan S". 19 September 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
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- "YERUN Position Statement on Plan". Young European Research Universities Network. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
- "OASPA Offers Support on the Implementation of Plan S". 2 October 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
- "Towards a Plan(HS)S: DARIAH's position on PlanS". DARIAH-EU. 25 September 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
- "Plan S: A European Open Access Mandate". 5 October 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
- "F1000 supports EC's plan for full and immediate open access (Plan S)". 4 September 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
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- "Expression of interest in the large-scale implementation of Open Access to scholarly journals". 2018-12-04. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
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- "Systemic reforms and further consultation needed to make Plan S a success". 12 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
- "Supporting Plan S, a model making research accessible & advancing science globally". Retrieved 12 January 2019.
- "NIHR gives support to international Open Access initiative". 17 January 2019. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
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- "cOAlition S Adopts Implementation Guidance on Plan S". cOAlition S. 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
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'Als je vindt dat informatie gratis moet zijn: ga naar Wikipedia.'
- Open Letter from Undersigned Researchers. Reaction of Researchers to Plan S: Too Far, Too Risky. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
- Open Letter in Support of Funder Open Publishing Mandates. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
- Van Noorden, Richard (4 December 2018). "Researchers sign petition backing plans to end paywalls". Nature. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
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- "Open Access by 2020: EUA supports Plan S for an open scholarly system". European University Association. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
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- O'Neill, Gareth; DiFranco, Matthew; Swart, Marcel (2018-09-24). "Joint Statement on Open Access for Researchers via Plan S". Zenodo. doi:10.5281/zenodo.1465451.
- "Towards a Plan(HS)S: DARIAH's position on PlanS. Recommendations" (PDF). DARIAH-EU. 25 September 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
- "Members and Cooperating Partners". DARIAH-EU. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
- "FOAA Board recommendations for the implementation of Plan S" (PDF). Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA). 19 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
- Droegemeier, Kelvin (30 April 2019). "An Interview with OSTP Director Kelvin Droegemeier"". American Institute of Physics (in Dutch).
'One of the things this government will not do is to tell researchers where they have to publish their papers. That is absolutely up to the scholar who's doing the publication. There's just no question about that.'
- Norman, Noah (2 December 2018). "Epidemiology & Infection goes open access". Epidemiology and Infection. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- Schiermeier, Quirin (5 December 2018). "China backs bold plan to tear down journal paywalls". Nature. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- Tollefson, Jeff (18 January 2018). "China declared world's largest producer of scientific articles". Nature. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
- Rabes, Tania (2 January 2019). "Will the world embrace Plan S, the radical proposal to mandate open access to science papers?". Science.
- Riksbankens Jubileumsfond: "Riksbankens Jubileumsfond withdraws support for Plan S". 7 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
- "OA2020 Mainland China Signatory Libraries responded to Plan S Guidance on Implementation". 26 March 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
|Scholia has a topic profile for Plan S.|
- Official website
- "Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S" (pdf). Nov 23, 2018. 271118.
- Open Access Tracking Project (OATP)
- "Articles tagged with oa.plan_s for the Open Access Tracking Project". TagTeam. Harvard University.
- Plan S: Making Open Access a Reality by 2020 (pdf). Slides by Robert-Jan Smits (2019).
- on YouTube
- "Letter by Swedish Riksbankens Jubileumsfond to withdraw support for Plan S" (pdf).