Opinion: the cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy | Plan S

“For a long time now, researchers have all too easily handed over to academic publishers the rights inherent in their publications. These rights include not only the intellectual ownership of the researcher’s work, but also the permission to freely and immediately disseminate it without embargoes, and thus allow others to quickly build on these results. cOAlition S wants researchers to retain sufficient intellectual ownership rights to their publications. This can be difficult to achieve for individual researchers, since the cOAlition S Open Access requirement may conflict with the demands of the publishers to transfer copyright to them.

cOAlition S, therefore, wants to help researchers to always retain sufficient intellectual ownership of their work after peer review. Ideally, researchers would retain full copyright, but we will allow for copyright transfer if sufficient rights are retained to control a CC BY version of publications. The Rights Retention Strategy is designed to support cOAlition S funded researchers seeking to publish in their journal of choice, including any subscription journal. Researchers only need to fulfil two conditions: First, when they submit their articles to a journal, they have to inform the publisher that their submission is under a CC BY licence. This allows researchers to retain sufficient intellectual ownership rights to their work. Secondly, researchers have to make that work openly available on publication so it is easily accessed and built upon.

The Rights Retention Strategy gives further shape to the Plan S pledge that all scholarly publications resulting from research grants must be immediately available Open Access with a reuse licence upon publication. It makes 100% of cOAlition S funded scholarly publications available Open Access. This policy maps to Route 2 in the implementation guidance and is very close to the Harvard licence model which has been in place since 2008….”