“One particular challenge for researchers in the Global South is the potential for a shift from a ‘pay to read’ model of scholarly communication to a ‘pay to publish’ model in which researchers do not have the resources necessary to publish their research.
Plan S has stated that it is not focused on delivering only one business model for scholarly communication. However, Article Processing Charges (APCs) have been the only model clearly identified for financing.
If Plan S is proposing to pursue a global flip to open access, we believe that this will require the recognition and support of diverse business models and a clearer definition of the resources these organisations will need to implement these policies, much in the same way the coalition has provided guidance to commercial publishers to secure funding for APC payments.
For a system that publicly subsidises scholarly communication through academic institutions, as in Latin America, implementing charges to authors heightens the risk of breaking a structure that has been designed to support researchers and keep public money within a publicly managed ecosystem.
As Leslie Chan notes, when opening access is decontextualised from its historical and political roots, it has the potential to become as exploitative and oppressive as the system it is seeking to replace….”