» Improved Plan S principles raise hope of more effective policies soon

Yesterday, cOAlition S published their updated principles and implementation guidelines for #PlanS, together with the rationale behind the update. This constitutes a very much welcome effort, as evidence of the increasing awareness among funders as to their potential leverage in infrastructure modernization, at a time when institutions have apparently abandoned their faculty completely.

These policies would have been a much-needed initiative about eight years ago, when there was still a problem of access to the scholarly literature, when Unpaywall didn’t exist and sci-hub had just launched. Today, we have so many ways to access our literature, that these policies seem more like beating a dead horse. From this perspective, Plan S targets the wrong actors (individuals rather than institutions) to achieve a minor goal (Open Access), when our infrastructure rewards unreliable researchcosts ten times too much and lacks crucial functionalities. The three components of the scholarly infrastructure emergency (reliability, affordability and functionality; RAF) remain untouched by Plan S while a (today) minor problem receives more attention than it deserves. In a way, Plan S seems more like a band aid for a small cut on a hand while the large, malignant tumor remains untreated….”