Announced in September 2018, Plan S is a statement of intentions from an international consortium of research funders (cOAlition S) looking to accelerate the transition to full and immediate open access for research publications. It puts forward a number of fundamental principles for developing Open Access to publications more fully.
Key points to note:
In addition to the core statement of Plan S intentions, the Plan comprises 10 agreed principles:
cOAlition S have set out their reasoning for the approach they have taken, which revolves around four key issues:
Key issues of concern for funders have been:
Whilst the Ten Principles published focus on publishing in fully open access journals, the implementation guidance published on November 27th 2018 identified three routes by which authors and journals could comply with the requirements:
UKRI has signed up to Plan S, and is the UK body which brings together the seven UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England, the body which has responsibility for the UK's Research Excellence Framework (REF).
However, it has been confirmed that the current REF OA requirements will not change for REF2021:
For those responsible for writing the REF5 Environment Statement for their Unit of Assessment, it may be worth considering the principles outlined in Plan S and what preparations are being made within the Unit of Assessment to support this as part of transitioning to an open research environment, as included in the REF guidance on submissions.
In July 2020, cOAlition-S members published a Rights Retention Strategy aimed at providing researchers funded by a cOAlition-S funder the freedom to publish in their journal of choice, including subscription journals, whilst remaining fully compliant with Plan S.
Under this Rights Retention Strategy, cOAlition-S will give notice to publishers about these new grant conditions. Once a funder has adopted the Rights Retention Strategy, authors acknowledging funding will be required as part of their grant conditions, to ensure that upon submission of their manuscript, they have informed the publisher that they were funded by a member of cOAlition-S. cOAlition-S funders will provide templated language which can be used to provide this notification, for example:
“This research was funded in whole or in part by the [Funder name] [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”
The UK-SCL is a UK-wide initiative, based upon the Harvard model licence which has been in place at over 50 institutions worldwide, some since 2008. The UK-SCL Steering Group has representatives from many UK Univeristies, including Imperial College London, UCL, Cambridge, Manchester and Bristol, as well as representation from the British Library and The Royal Society.
Further information about the UK-SCL can be found at the official UK-SCL website.
In October 2017, the UK-SCL was discussed at University Research Management Committee. The committee expressed positive support for the aspirations for the initiative, but expressed concerns over how this might be implemented within the Durham University context. An implementation group was tasked with consulting departments and identifying issues and concerns, and to recommend options for any possible implementation.
Members of the implementation group have been meeting with academic departments across the University through 2018 to present information about the UK-SCL and collect views from the Durham academic community.
In light of the announcement of Plan S, this work has paused until it becomes clearer as to the full impact of Plan S and if and where the UK-SCL has a place in supporting compliance with funder mandates.
On May 31st 2019, cOAlition S published its revised principles and implementation guidance for Plan S, following consultation in February 2019. They also provided a rationale for the amendments made.
The Durham University Plan S Working Group will consider the new guidance and provide further details following due consideration, but key changes to highlight include:
UKRI held an open consultation between 13th February 2020 and 29th May 2020. Responses were invited from inside and outside the UK, from any organisation, group or individual with an interest in research and innovation.
Durham University submitted a response to the consultation, following a series of open consultation sessions with academic staff and PGRs, which can be found below.
In late 2019, Wellcome published draft 'Guidance for research organisations on how to implement responsible and fair approaches for research assessment', and opened this up to an open consultation.
Durham University was one of more than 50 research organisations which submitted a response in February 2020. Our response can be found below.
27th November 2018: cOAlition S released its intitial Implementation Guidance on Plan S, and invited feedback from all stakeholders.
February 2019: Durham University submitted a response to the consultation, following a series of open consultation sessions with academic staff and PGRs, which can be found below.
You can also find all responses submitted to the consultation (over 600 statements from universities, learned societies, publishers, scholarly associations, and individual scholars from more than 40 countries) here.
The Wellcome Trust revised their Open Access Policy in November 2018, after announcing their support of Plan S. This followed a wide consultation with their grant holders and other stakeholders.
The consultation analysis and submissions can be found here.