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cOAlition S Releases Revised Implementation Guidance on Plan S Following Public Feedback Exercise

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cOAlition S released revised guidance on Plan S implementation a the end of May, 2019.

Since its launch in September 2018, Plan S has reinvigorated the global debate on Open Access to scholarly publications. cOAlition S carried out the largest ever international consultation on an Open Access policy. The 600 plus inputs received allowed the coalition to make changes that take into consideration the views expressed by the diverse communities affected.

Changes include an extension to the formal commencement point for Plan S which will now take effect from 1 January 2021. This new timetable provides more opportunity for researchers, institutions, publishers, and repositories to make changes and for funders’ policies to develop and take effect. The Plan S principles now also reflect a commitment made by the funders to revise methods of research assessment along the lines of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

The revised Plan S maintains the fundamental principles

•No scholarly publication should be locked behind a paywall;

•Open Access should be immediate i.e., without embargoes;

•Full Open Access is implemented by the default use of a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY licence as per the Berlin Declaration;

•Funders commit to support Open Access publication fees at a reasonable level;

•Funders will not support publication in hybrid (or mirror/sister) journals unless they are part of a transformative arrangement with a clearly defined endpoint.

A number of important changes are proposed in the implementation guidance

•In order to provide more time for researchers and publishers to adapt to the changes under Plan S, the timeline has been extended by one year to 2021;

•Transformative agreements will be supported until 2024;

•More options for transitional arrangements (transformative agreements, transformative model agreements, ‘transformative journals’) are supported;

•Greater clarity is provided about the various compliance routes: Plan S is NOT just about a publication fee model of Open Access publishing. cOAlition S supports a diversity of sustainability models for Open Access journals and platforms;

•More emphasis is put on changing the research reward and incentive system: cOAlition S funders explicitly commit to adapt the criteria by which they value researchers and scholarly output;

•The importance of transparency in Open Access publication fees is emphasised in order to inform the market and funders’ potential standardisation and capping of payments of such fees;

•The technical requirements for Open Access repositories have been revised.

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