“Academics have been eagerly assigning copyright to their most precious research findings to private companies for years, in exchange for the opportunity to be published in well-known journals. This has resulted in most research being locked away behind paywalls.
Many research funders now require the work that they support to be published open access, with one group of funders pushing harder than most under an agreement called Plan S. But policing the open access requirements of grant funding has been technically challenging; and individual researchers remain under pressure to publish in high-prestige journals. As a result, progress has been patchy and copyright in research articles continues to be signed over to paywalled journals.
This month, Plan S funders announced that they will require that authors retain the copyright in publications that result from Plan S funded research. This means that authors no longer have the right to sign over copyright in their research outputs to a journal when they publish. It removes one of the last barriers for funders to require that the research they fund must be made open access immediately upon publication….”