What is Plan S? Launched in September 2018, Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing. It calls for all scientific publications produced as a result of research funded by public grants to be published in compliant open access journals or platforms.
What does the S stand for? According to Robert-Jans Smit who spearheaded the initiative, the S could stand for science, speed, solution or ... shock! Publicly funded research is still (even in an online world) subject to publisher embargo periods and huge subscription costs preventing immediate and fair access to information that has already been paid for by public taxes. Hybrid journals which allow you to publish gold (by paying an APC charge) or green (by delaying a version of the research to be made available after an embargo period enforced by the publisher) only contribute to this issue. Thus the publisher receives money from the APC charge and money through the subscription costs for the journal.
Who supports Plan S? The plan is supported by cOAlition S an international consortium of a group of national research funders, European and international organisations and charitable foundations.
How does this affect me? If you are funded by Wellcome Trust, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or European Commission then this will affect you as they are just a few examples of the many organisations that have changed their open access policy based upon their support for Plan S.
What does the plan entail? Plan S has one target and ten principles.
“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.”
When did Plan S come into effect? January 2021.
The policy came into effect on 1st January 2021 and was updated to align with cOAlition S. Here's what you need to know if you are funded by them.
PubMed Central and Europe PMC
New Conditions on Research Grants
The following sanctions may be applied for non-compliance:
Wellcome Trust requires all funded authors to retain the necessary IP rights to comply with their OA Policy. There are three publishing routes you can follow in order to comply with the policy:
Follow these steps to ensure compliance
Where an author submits an original research article for review, the AAM must include the following statement:
This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.
Wellcome recommends this statement is included in
If a funded author permits others to own copyright (e.g. an unfunded co-author), it is the grantholder’s responsibility to ensure that a CC BY licence is applied to an AAM.
Although 1 and 3 are the preferred routes to compliance, route 2 will allow funded authors to continue to publish in any journal they wish, as long as the journal accepts that the AAM is made available in Europe PMC under a CC BY licence and without an embargo.
If a subscription journal refuses to accept a submission that makes clear that the AAM will be licensed under a CC BY licence, Wellcome advises grantholders to reconsider where they publish their research. Wellcome asks authors to contact them with the journal details, which will allow the Journal Checker Tool to be updated.
Exception to the CC BY licence requirement
Wellcome funded authors can request an exception to the route 2 requirement of a CC BY licence and ask for individual articles to be published under a Creative Commons No-Derivatives licence (CC BY-ND).
To apply this exception, funded authors must submit a CC BY-ND exception form. The request must be approved by Wellcome in advance of submission. If agreed, the submitted manuscript must include the following statement, which should also be included in any accompanying cover letter.
This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY-ND public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.
The San Francisco's Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) recognizes the need to improve the ways in which researchers and the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.
The University of Dundee is committed to DORA and has signed the declaration.