What is Plan S?
Plan S is a strategy to accelerate the transition to full Open Access of Research. It is being put forward by a group of European research funders called cOAlition S. This group includes UKRI, the ERC and the Wellcome Trust
Does this affect the REF?
Research England have confirmed that the OA policy for REF 2021 will not change but the UKRI is currently conducting a review of Open Access which will report in late 2019 with a new policy expected to apply in 2020.
Will the University of Bristol implement Plan S?
The University requires our researchers to comply with the requirements of their individual funders. The Wellcome Trust have already released a new policy in line with Plan S and the Library will support researchers in meeting the requirements of these policies wherever possible.
When does it take effect?
Officially, Plan S comes into effect on the 1st of January 2020 and The Wellcome Trust has already announced their policy will come into effect on that date. We have not as yet had confirmation from other funders when any other policies will come into effect.
What will Open Access look like under Plan S?
Gold (Paid) Open Access
Gold (paid) open access, will be possible in gold-only open access journals where paying a fee is the only way to publish (e.g. Nature Communications, PloS One). An Article Processing Charge (APC) will still be charged, but there is an expectation that the charge will be capped so that there is a maximum amount a publisher can charge. We do not know what this amount will be yet.
The article will need to be made openly available on the publisher’s website immediately on publication under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) or Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (CC-BY-SA) licence.
The journal will pay for its operating costs from the revenue gained by Article Processing Charges.
Green (Self-Archiving) Open Access
Green (self-archiving) open access will still be possible, but only if the publisher allowed the Author’s Accepted Manuscript to be made available upon publication without an embargo. At the moment, some publishers allow this (SAGE, IEEE, Cambridge University Press’ Humanities and Social Sciences journals) but many other publishers would need to change their policies.
The article will need to be made openly available on Explore Bristol Research, by uploading a copy to Pure (or other trusted repository), immediately on publication under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) or Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (CC-BY-SA) licence.
The journal will pay for its operating costs from subscriptions bought by libraries and other organisations that would benefit from seamless access to its articles.
Hybrid Open Access
Plan S will not allow funding for publication in hybrid journals (those that charge both subscription fees and Article Processing Charges).
It may be temporarily possible to pay for Gold open access in these hybrid journals, while transitional arrangements to move to full open access are put in place by the publishers. We don’t know which publishers will have approved transitional agreements at this stage
Will I still be able to publish where I want?
That depends upon what the publishers decide. If they change their open access policies to be compliant with Plan S, then you will be able to publish with them.
Under Plan S funders and institutions are expected to provide funds to pay for Gold-only Article Processing Charges (or approved publishers in the processing of transitioning to full open access). If funds are not available then you will either have to obtain a waiver from the publisher, or publish somewhere else.
If the journal is Green open access then you will need to be able to upload your Author’s Accepted Manuscript to Pure (or other trusted repository) without an embargo. If the publisher does not permit this then you will be unable to publish there.
What other changes are required?
Plan S also requires authors to retain their copyright and not to transfer this to the publisher when signing a publishing agreement.
What support will the library provide?
The Library will continue to support the institutional repository service for researchers to upload their work. We will continue to provide access to any Open Access funds provided by funding agencies or the University. And we will continue to provide support, advice, training and guidance on Open Access and how best to comply with funder and publisher requirements.
Summary of the Changes
- Authors must retain copyright in their publications
- Publications must be published under an open licence, preferably CC-BY
- The research output must be immediately available without an embargo period
- Green open access may be compliant if the research output is immediately available on publication
- Publishing in hybrid (ie subscription-based) journals is not allowed
- There will be a cap on the maximum allowable fee for open access publication costs
Guidance on the implementation of Plan S
Opportunity to feedback on Plan S (open until 1st February)
New Wellcome Trust Policy (to start on 1st Jan 2020)
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