Signatories publish statement on Rights Retention Strategy

“The undersigned share with cOAlition S the goal to expand Open Research and are committed to supporting cOAlition S-funded researchers through the various paths provided for Open Access. However, we are unable to support one route to compliance offered by Plan S, the “Rights Retention Strategy”, in its current form. The Rights Retention Strategy provides a challenge to the vital income that is necessary to fund the resources, time, and effort to provide not only the many checks, corrections, and editorial inputs required but also the management and support of a rigorous peer review process, a process that is of fundamental value and is essential to the verification of results.  

The Rights Retention Strategy ignores long-standing academic freedoms and will work against the shared objective of a more open and equitable scholarly ecosystem. It provides an immediate free substitute that eliminates the ability to charge for the services that publishers provide, whether via subscriptions or Article Publishing Charges. As such, the Rights Retention Strategy is not financially sustainable and undermines potential support for open access journals. Additionally, it will undermine the integrity of the Version of Record, which is the foundation of the scientific record, and its associated codified mechanisms for corrections, retractions and data disclosure. 

While many publishers, including some of the undersigned, are able to provide options that allow authors to post versions of articles to repositories with broad reuse license, to be sustainable this is a decision that needs to be applied at the level of individual journals, not through blanket policies. The signatory publishers therefore oppose the approach of the Rights Retention Strategy in its current form and urge authors to consult with their journals of choice as to what is allowed. …”