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Publishing

Open access Plan S allows publishing in subscription journals

by Andrea Widener
July 25, 2020 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 98, ISSUE 29

 

Plan S, a European initiative designed to push open access publishing, has released details of how scientists could publish in subscription-based journals. Starting in 2021, scientists who receive grants from signatories to Plan S will be allowed to publish their research only in a way that is immediately and freely available to the public. This is controversial among many scientists and journal publishers, who think scientists should have a choice about where they publish their work, including in a subscription-based journal. Under details released July 15, scientists subject to Plan S would agree to release their work under a liberal copyright as part of accepting a research grant. That agreement would override the copyright of any journal that later publishes the work. Journals usually get the copyrights of the papers they publish. Grantees can also publish in fully open access journals or those that have agreed to transition from a subscription model to fully open access. On July 20, the European Research Council announced that it is withdrawing from the coalition that runs Plan S, mostly because of researcher concerns. Twenty-three organizations are signatories to Plan S, including research funders in several European countries; the European Commission; and several nonprofits, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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