Guide to Plan S compliance in OJS

“For cOAlition S funded research covered by Plan S requirements, all peer-reviewed scholarly articles must be published in venues that fulfil the “Requirements for Publication Venues.” Individual publication venues (such as journals publishing on OJS) are responsible for ensuring that they meet these requirements. Journals that do not meet these requirements will not be suitable for scholarly articles resulting from cOAlition S-funded research.

Many of the Plan S requirements for publication venues represent best practices for quality, discoverability, and interoperability in scholarly publishing. We recommend that journals adopt these practices regardless of whether they intend to publish scholarly articles resulting from Coalition S-funded research….

This guide is intended for journals published on OJS which intend to meet the Requirements for Publication Venues articulated by Plan S under Part III: Technical Guidance and Requirements. This guide is modelled around the Plan S requirements, with sections of this guide mirroring the sections (1.1 and 1.2) of the Plan S requirements. The guide provides specific recommendations for implementing the requirements in OJS. Where suitable we have linked to other PKP documentation and guidance which provides additional details on the implementation of specific features and specifications.

While we will do our best to keep this guide up-to-date, the Plan S documentation should be relied upon for the most current and detailed information….”

Stop paying to be published Open Access –  a French perspective

“I recommend that they publish in a journal with no APC (‘diamond’ OA journal) or a non-OA journal and make the peer reviewed manuscript or accepted author manuscript (AAM) OA through a repository (‘green’ OA). In some cases, a journal with low and affordable APC may also be suitable. I propose this in accordance with the French national open science policy, which clearly asks that scientific articles must be available OA and encourages its research community to turn to free publication models for both authors and readers….

French national policy invites those who publish in paywalled journals to deposit their AAM as soon as it is published. If the journal  does not allow it, the AAM may be deposited in an open archive with a delay (embargo). The Rights Retention Strategy, developed by the cOAlition S, makes it even possible to publish AAM without embargo. I therefore recommend resorting to this strategy….”

Calls for disease-specific open access criticised – Research Professional News

“Amid monkeypox content push, Plan S leaders say all research should be openly available

Open access to research results should not be “dictated by the perceived urgency of a disease”, leaders of the Plan S open-access initiative have stressed, amid a push to make papers on the monkeypox outbreak freely available.

Plan S executive director Johan Rooryck and head of strategy Robert Kiley said in a blog post published on 16 August that—in line with Plan S—funders should instead require open access to any papers reporting work they have supported.

Earlier this month science and technology leaders from across the globe called on scholarly publishers to provide open access to papers reporting research on monkeypox, to aid the public health response to the disease. Science leaders made similar requests during the Zika, Ebola and Covid-19 outbreaks.

Publishers have responded to the call to action, with Springer Nature and Elsevier both announcing they were making monkeypox content free to access.

But Rooryck and Kiley criticised this disease-specific approach, saying that publisher responses are “typically time-limited and may contain restrictions on how the research can be reused”. …”

Journal transparency – the new Journal Comparison Service from PlanS | Maverick Publishing Specialists

“At a recent STM Association webinar, Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research at the Wellcome Trust, presented an informative overview of the new Journal Comparison Service from PlanS. He stated that the goal of this new tool is to meet the needs of the research community who “have called for greater transparency regarding the services publishers provide and the fees they charge. Many publishers are willing to be responsive to this need, but until now there was no standardised or secure way for publishers to share this information with their customers.” Publishers of scholarly journals are invited to upload data on their journals – one data set for each journal. The cOAlition S Publisher’s Guide  points out that the data is all information that publishers already have in some form, and it will need to be uploaded every year for the previous year.

There are two versions of data that can be supplied and I took a look at the version developed by Information Power (see for the details and an FAQ). There are 34 fields, including basic journal identifiers plus additional information in three broad categories: prices (APC data; subscription prices plus discount policies); editorial data (acceptance rates, peer review times, Counter 5 data); and costs (price and service information)….

As a previous publisher of a portfolio of journals, I know that allocating these kinds of costs back to a specific journal is at best a guesstimate and very unlikely to be accurate and comparable.

The webinar included a contribution from Rod Cookson, CEO of International Water Association (IWA) Publishing.  Rod has been an advocate for transparency and helped to create the tool kit for publishers who want to negotiate transformative agreements ( Rod reported that it had taken 6 people 2-3 months to gather the data to complete the 34 fields in the comparison tool.  IWA Publishing publishes 14 journals….”


Analysing Open Access publishing beyond Plan S: Motivations for publishing in Hybrid and Bronze OA formats | Zenodo

Abstract:  Recently, the discussion of OA publishing has been dominated by the consideration of potential effects of Plan-S on scholarly publishing. Part of the debate centred on the academic freedom and autonomy of researchers to self-select in which journals they publish their findings, as journals labelled as Hybrid under Plan-S are no longer eligible for publishing (except in cases where publishers agree to transformative agreements on their portfolios). The publisher’s own choices on opening publications, through Bronze OA, is also in need of further debate. With that in mind, this study made a first attempt to understand motivations behind Hybrid and Bronze choices, especially in face of Plan-S restrictions….

Files are currently under embargo but will be publicly accessible after September 7, 2022.


Is there a special, Year 1, exception for TJ titles which do not meet their 2021 (Year 1) Open Access target? | Plan S

“The Transformative Journal programme is a new initiative, designed to provide another route by which publishers can provide a Plan S-aligned publishing option to cOAlition S funded-researchers. Given that this model is still in its infancy, cOAlition S has agreed that if a Transformative Journal does not meet its Year 1 (2021) OA target, then the Transformative Journal title can remain in the programme, provided that the journal agrees that the Year 2 target is calculated as if the Year 1 target had been achieved. Figure 1, below, provides an illustration….”

82% of European physics researchers are unaware of Plan S – AIP Publishing LLC

“A new global study from AIP Publishing, the American Physical Society (APS), IOP Publishing (IOPP) and Optica Publishing Group (formerly OSA) has found that 82% of physics researchers based in Europe are unaware of Plan S.

Plan S aims for all publications reporting the results of publicly funded research to be published on an open access (OA) basis.  Plan S was created by cOAlition S, an international consortium of 28 research funding and performing organisations that support Plan S.

Over 3,000 physical science researchers from across the globe participated in the OA in physics: researcher perspectives study, which was carried out by the physics society publishers to better understand and meet the needs of the physical science community as it relates to OA.

Of the small number of physicists who were aware of Plan S (18%), the key concerns focus on how Plan S will limit their publication choices, restrict the type of research that Plan S-compliant funders will support, and  increase the financial burden on researchers who want to publish OA research….”

Exclusive licence to publish – now here’s a thing | Plan S

by Sally Rumsey, Jisc’s cOAlition S OA Expert Imagine this scenario. You’ve written an article and want to make it Open Access (OA). To do this, you submit it to a journal that enables gold OA, i.e. the publisher makes the article immediately OA on publication. You decide to apply a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND licence to your manuscript. This licence does not allow users, by default, to make commercial use (NC=non-commercial) nor derivatives (ND=no derivatives) unless they receive a corresponding authorisation. On acceptance, the publisher of the journal presents you with a Licence to Publish (LTP). This is where the problems surrounding the assignment of the CC-BY-NC-ND licence start. The LTP comprises the grant of a licence to the publisher by you, the original copyright holder and licensor, required for the publisher to publish your article. It also includes a long list of Terms & Conditions created by the publisher. For now, I’ll skate over the fact that you, as the author, are the original copyright holder, and as such, it is you who grants the LTP. Nevertheless, the LTP and its terms and conditions are written by the publisher using their terms – I have written about this unacceptable cock-eyed situation previously (see Licence to publish – the boot is on the wrong foot). […]  

The Future of Scholarly Communication | Unlocking Research – Open Research at Cambridge

Authors: Emma Gilby, Matthias Ammon, Rachel Leow and Sam Moore

This is the second of a series of blog posts, presenting the reflections of the Working Group on Open Research in the Humanities.  Read the opening post here. The working group aimed to reframe open research in a way that was more meaningful to humanities disciplines, and their work will inform the University of Cambridge approach to open research.  This post considers the future of scholarly communication from a humanities perspective.


Open Access Monographs: Making Mandates Reality | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

Eve, M. P., & Grady, T. (2022). Open Access Monographs: Making Mandates Reality. Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM).

This half-day workshop galvanised a much-needed sector-wide conversation on OA monographs in the context of the UK’s policy landscape. Expert panels of speakers from the library, publishing and policy worlds outlined the current state-of-play and discussed how we can move to meet the imminent OA mandates from cOAlition S/Plan S in Europe and UKRI in the UK, and potential implications of the REF.

Featuring expert speakers from UKRI (Rachel Bruce) and Jisc (Caren Milloy), the event opened with a discussion of monograph policies and mandates before moving to an academic viewpoint from Professor Martin Eve (Birkbeck, University of London) who talked about various international OA funding models and the need to move quickly from pilot phases to business as usual.

The second half of the session touched briefly on the challenges of getting OA metadata into supply chains and systems often designed for closed books, and then discussed in more depth the concomitant challenges posed by metrics and reporting on OA books (Tasha Mellins-Cohen, Project Director at COUNTER). The afternoon closed with a view from the library perspective and expert speakers from the libraries at the Universities of York (Sarah Thompson), Aberdeen (Simon Bains) and Imperial College (Chris Banks) who spoke on how they are foregrounding OA at their institutions.



Transformative Journals: analysis of Year 1 (2021) | Plan S

“The Transformative Journal (TJ) model is one of the strategies cOAlition S endorses to help subscription publishers transition to full and immediate Open Access (OA). To be awarded TJ status, a title must publicly commit to transitioning to fully Open Access, and agree to: 

work to increase the share of Open Access content, year on year, in line with publicly agreed targets; and 
offset subscription income from payments for publishing services (to avoid double payments). 

As of June 2022, some 16 publishers – large and small, for-profit, not-for-profit, society publishers and university presses – totalling some 2304 journals, have enrolled in this programme. Figure 1, shows the breakdown of TJs by publisher….

This blog post provides a summary of the first full year of the TJ programme, using data supplied by all participating publishers….”

Transformative? | Clarke & Esposito

“cOAlition S has released a report analyzing the first year of the Transformative Journal (TJ) program. As a reminder, TJs (not to be confused with TAs, or Transformative Agreements) are individual hybrid journals that have agreed to (try to) show an “annual increase in the proportion of open access (OA) research content of at least 5% points in absolute terms, and at least 15% in relative terms, year-on-year.” The journal must also publicly agree to flip to OA when 75% of its research content is published OA. These promises allow the hybrid journal to be considered compliant with Plan S and eligible for article processing charge (APC) funds.

The report shows that more than half (56%) of the 2,304 journals in the program did not meet their first-year OA targets. The coalition has extended its requirements another year, keeping all TJs in the program (although they must meet year 2 targets calculated as if the journal had met its year 1 numbers). 
Removing 56% of the journals would result in 1,290 fewer publication venues for Plan S-funded researchers, which is perhaps part of the reason for the extension. 

Notably, many of the TJs have failed to meet another cOAlition S requirement: a public statement showing how the presence of OA articles has reduced the subscription price of the journal. Elsevier and Springer Nature (182 and 1,714 TJs, respectively) instead have offered “a more generic, anti-double dipping statement,” which apparently has been accepted for 2021, but will not fly for 2022. This raises the question of how a publisher would practically be able to show such a metric. …”


It is not transformation if nothing changes – Science & research news | Frontiers

“The substantial benefits of open access (OA) publishing are within our reach, but legacy publishers are employing commercial tactics to delay the necessary transition.

This paper exposes several of the negative, often unintended, consequences of “transformative agreements” (TAs).  It argues that these agreements, sold as a pathway to open science, in fact reinforce the status quo.  TAs maintain paywalled access as the standard financial model in publishing.  They are negotiated in the absence of basic competition and procurement rules.  And by concentrating resources into silos for a few incumbents only, they pose a threat to the diversity of the publishing ecosystem, locking out innovators, including the very players who demonstrate the benefits of OA publishing.  Deployed as a commercial tactic, these agreements will stall the establishment of a transparent and competitive marketplace for professional editorial services….:”

An open letter on open access: call for greater clarity and transparency of open access terms and conditions – The Publication Plan for everyone interested in medical writing, the development of medical publications, and publication planning

“On 1 March 2022, cOAlition S wrote to publishers as part of the Plan S initiative to drive open access publishing. Acknowledging recent progress made by publishers to increase open access to scientific publications, cOAlition S urged publishers to take further steps by making details of their open access policies and contracts more obvious for authors. The letter signed by Professor Johan Rooryck, Executive Director of cOAlition S, calls on journals to make the following information plainly available for authors at the point of submission:

the copyright licence that authors would need to sign before their manuscript’s publication
all costs associated with publishing the manuscript
whether the journal will re-direct the manuscript to another journal based on reasons other than editorial rejection.

While details on these policies can often be found on a journal’s own web site or via the publisher’s web site, cOAlition S states that it would be helpful for authors if this information were displayed:

prominently on the journal’s web site
as a part of the ‘Information for Authors’ section
at the start of the journal’s submission process….”