Wide support for cOAlition S’ rights retention strategy would allow negotiators to take a harder line with publishers, says Alice Gibson
This week, cOAlition S endorsed the Subscribe to Open (S2O) business model.
This group of international funders is committed to a complete transition to open-access publishing. To date, critics have claimed that the cOAlition has been too wedded to the (inflationary) Article Processing Charge business model, although Plan S is theoretically neutral on this matter. However, coupled with their recent publication on “Diamond” OA, this endorsement marks a milestone for open access without author-side payments.
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS
“cOAlition S – an international consortium of research funding and performing organisations committed to making full and immediate Open Access a reality – welcomes the decision by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to update their publishing agreements.
As stated in today’s press release by AAAS, researchers working under a Plan S Open Access policy can make their Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAMs) freely available through an OA repository, at the time of publication and under a CC BY (or CC BY-ND) licence….”
AAAS, which publishes the Science family of journals, announced today it will offer its authors a free way to comply with a mandate issued by some funders that publications resulting from research they fund be immediately free to read. Under the new open-access policy, authors may deposit near-final, peer-reviewed versions of papers accepted by paywalled Science titles in publicly accessible online repositories.
New project to review progress on transformative Open Access agreements between library consortia and smaller independent publishers
“Groups representing young researchers have expressed surprise at the decision of the European Research Council’s governing Scientific Council to withdraw its support from the Plan S open-access initiative.
Under Plan S, a group of funders known as Coalition S will require researchers they support to make their work openly available immediately from 2021 in outlets that meet certain criteria. The requirements are being adopted in the EU’s 2021-27 R&D programme Horizon Europe, including the ERC.
The ERC Council, an independent body of researchers that helps to set the strategic direction of the EU funder, had previously expressed its support for Plan S, but on 20 July it announced a U-turn, saying the impact of Plan S on young researchers and countries with limited funds had been underestimated. In particular, the ERC Council expressed concern about Plan S terms for publication in hybrid journals that offer both subscription and open-access options….”
“cOAlition S remains firm in its view that support for hybrid journals has failed to accelerate the transition to full and immediate Open Access over the past two decades. The already scarce funding in the Horizon Europe Framework Programme should not be used for the payment of publication fees in hybrid journals. Indeed, outside of transformative agreements, the hybrid model has no effective means to keep double-dipping by publishers in check. For this reason, many European countries, from Germany to Hungary, have recently put in place transformative agreements with publishers.
Maintaining the current status quo on hybrid journals will exacerbate inequalities among European researchers, since only those that benefit from generous funding will be able to cover expensive publication fees. In contrast, the cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy which provides Open Access in compliance with Plan S via the repository route, will empower all researchers to publish in their journal of choice, including subscription and hybrid journals.
cOAlition S is particularly attentive to the concerns of Early Career Researchers (ECR). We are grateful for the support of many ECR organisations, including the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), the Global Young Academy (GYA), the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) and the Young Academy of Europe (YAE). These organisations are closely collaborating with cOAlition S in order to further shape Plan S, to monitor its implementation, and to evaluate potential effects for the next generation of researchers….”
“The ERC Scientific Council is committed to implementing full and immediate Open Access and continues to support the principles underlying Plan S. Members of the ERC Scientific Council are participating constructively in various activities aimed at making Open Access a reality.
However, during the past six months, the ERC Scientific Council has intensified its internal debate and reached a unanimous decision to follow a path towards Open Access implementation that is independent of cOAlition S activities. Therefore it has decided to withdraw as a supporter of cOAlition S. In doing so, the ERC Scientific Council wishes to pay closer attention to a number of aspects whose importance has been rather underestimated. Most prominent among them are researchers’ needs, especially those of young researchers who represent the future of European science and innovation. Other aspects include the need to preserve equity among research communities and among European countries, with particular emphasis on countries with more limited national financial support for research.
In particular, cOAlition S has declared that the publication of research results in hybrid venues outside of transformative arrangements will be ‘non-compliant’ as of 1 January 2021, leading to the non-eligibility of related publication costs. The Scientific Council considers that this will be detrimental, especially for early career researchers, researchers working in countries with fewer alternative funding opportunities or working in fields in which Open Access policies are more difficult to implement….”
“In 2019, a group of funders known as cOAlition S adopted Plan S, a set of principles and requirements for full and immediate Open Access to peer-reviewed scholarly publications resulting from the research they fund, beginning in 2021. One of the routes for complying with Plan S is for authors to make the final published version (Version of Record, VoR) or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) openly available with an open license in a Plan S compliant repository with immediate OA from the date of publication.
In order to support compliance with Plan S, repository software platforms, repository managers and researchers (who use the repositories) will need to be aware of the requirements and, in some cases, adopt new practices and functionalities. In April/May 2020 the COAR, in consultation with cOAlition S, conducted a survey of repository platforms in order to assess their current ability and intention to support Plan S requirements, and to identify any specific challenges related to their implementation.
The survey found that most repository platforms currently support compliance with Plan S mandatory criteria and, in the few cases where they do not, there are plans to adopt this functionality. In addition, many of the highly recommended criteria are also already supported by the platforms. As a next step, COAR and cOAlition S will continue to work together to ensure that repositories are well represented and to develop more detailed guidance that assist them in supporting the major functionalities envisioned in Plan S….”