PRESS RELEASE: Researchers Respond to Revised Guidance for Plan S

Brussels, 03 June 2019

The European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA), and the Young Academy of Europe (YAE) jointly welcome the revised implementation guidance for Plan S published by cOAlition S on 31 May 2019. Revisions to the guidance are based on 600+ feedback submissions to the open consultation that represented both individual and organisational stakeholders including researchers.

Our three organisations recognised the need to revise the scholarly publishing system and chose to work constructively with cOALition S to ensure full and immediate Open Access without adversely affecting researchers. We jointly supported the principles of Plan S with critical comments for further development and subsequently submitted feedback to the implementation guidance for Plan S with comprehensive recommendations. We are pleased to see greater clarity in the revised guidance details and believe that the three routes to compliance in Plan S will provide researchers with ample options to publish their research.

The revised guidance has extended the implementation deadline by one year to 01 January 2021 and addressed our main concerns including (1) exemptions for CC BY-ND licences (in the Humanities and Social Sciences) (2) softening of the mandatory technical requirements for publications and publishing venues and repositories (3) explicit support for venues with no author-facing fees and societies and open infrastructures (4) commitment to develop clear guidelines for waivers/discounts for authors and for collaboration with non-cOAlition S researchers (5) commitment to implement a new research incentive and reward system.

Toma Susi (YAE Vice-Chair and contact for Plan S): “Our organisations spent considerable time to understand and discuss the reasons for Plan S and implementation details such as copyright and licensing and the many technical requirements. This was vital for developing informed and constructive policy recommendations, which has clearly been effective given the amendments of the guidance and the public recognition of our feedback by cOAlition S”.

Véronique De Herde (Eurodoc Secretariat Coordinator and contact for Plan S): “cOAlition S has listened to the concerns of researchers and positively revised the guidance. More transparency in publishing costs/prices plus a new reward system not focused on journal impact factor will release researchers from the increasingly unaffordable prestige-driven model and enable more cost-effective and fair ways of publishing and evaluating research”.

Mattias Björnmalm (MCAA Vice-Chair of WG Policy and contact for Plan S): “We hope to see more awareness-raising and communication as well as ongoing interaction with the research community leading up to the implementation of Plan S by cOAlition S. These issues have been debated for more than a decade and real change is long overdue. It is now crucial that researchers take an active and leading role in the future of Open Access”.

We hereby reaffirm our support for Plan S and look forward to working closely with cOAlition S to ensure a successful implementation of Open Access for researchers.

Issues addressed: [http://eurodoc.net/eurodoc-plans-annotation-2019.pdf] (PDF 400 kb)