Plan S is an initiative aimed at accelerating the transition to full and immediate open access to scientific publications.
Plan S stipulates that all research results funded by public grants provided by national and European research councils and financial organizations should be published exclusively in open access journals or on appropriate open platforms. The initiative was created on September 4, 2018 by national foundations from 12 European countries and the European Research Council (ERC), which formed a consortium called cOAlitionS.
Plan S provides for the implementation of 10 principles, namely:
- Authors or their institutions retain copyright to their publications. All publications must be published under an open licence, preferably the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY), in order to fulfil the requirements defined by the Berlin Declaration;
- The Funders will develop robust criteria and requirements for the services that high-quality Open Access journals, Open Access platforms, and Open Access repositories must provide;
- In cases where high-quality Open Access journals or platforms do not yet exist, the Funders will, in a coordinated way, provide incentives to establish and support them when appropriate; support will also be provided for Open Access infrastructures where necessary;
- Where applicable, Open Access publication fees are covered by the Funders or research institutions, not by individual researchers; it is acknowledged that all researchers should be able to publish their work Open Access;
- The Funders support the diversity of business models for Open Access journals and platforms. When Open Access publication fees are applied, they must be commensurate with the publication services delivered and the structure of such fees must be transparent to inform the market and funders potential standardisation and capping of payments of fees;
- The Funders encourage governments, universities, research organisations, libraries, academies, and learned societies to align their strategies, policies, and practices, notably to ensure transparency.
- The above principles shall apply to all types of scholarly publications, but it is understood that the timeline to achieve Open Access for monographs and book chapters will be longer and requires a separate and due process;
- The Funders do not support the ‘hybrid’ model of publishing. However, as a transitional pathway towards full Open Access within a clearly defined timeframe, and only as part of transformative arrangements, Funders may contribute to financially supporting such arrangements;
- The Funders will monitor compliance and sanction non-compliant beneficiaries/grantees;
- The Funders commit that when assessing research outputs during funding decisions they will value the intrinsic merit of the work and not consider the publication channel, its impact factor (or other journal metrics), or the publisher.