Briefing: SPARC Europe analysis of the revised Plan S

13th June 2019News, Open Access, Open Science

A week-and-a-half ago, cOAlition S released an update of principles along with revised guidance on the implementation of Plan S, an initiative that launched in September 2018 and intends to make publicly and privately funded research publications immediately available Open Access. Today, SPARC Europe is releasing an analysis of these latest revisions.

Since last Autumn, cOAlition S has been working to develop these guidelines for implementation in consultation with the international scholarly community from universities, learned societies, publishers, scholarly associations, and individual scholars from more than 40 countries. Our analysis looks at changes resulting from the open consultation which lasted from Nov 2018 to Feb 2019; this latest community input was reflected in the version of the Principles and Guidance for Implementation and Technical Requirements published on 31 May.

Our analysis of the revisions examines 20 key changes. Among them: a one-year extension of the deadline for Plan S Principles to take effect; expansion of the scope of Plan S to encompass research funded by private – and not only public – grants; the inclusion of the recognition of repositories as comparable to OA journals and other platforms in the main, and other, Principles; the right of authors or their institutions to retain copyright at no extra cost; downgraded requirements for OA platforms, journals and repositories and last but not least, a new principle where cOAlition S funders commit to assessing research outputs based on their intrinsic value, not on journal metrics such as the impact factor, the publication channel or publisher.

For the full list of 20, together with a detailed comparison of what changed – and how – with the latest revision, we invite you to download the full report.

“We are keen to see how much cOALition S has incorporated concerns of the community into positive action into the revised version of the principles; when realised, this will significantly contribute to an acceleration to Open Access to research. There is much to be accomplished between now and 2021 and thereafter, and cOAlition S has a task ahead of it to enable, monitor and demonstrate the change it calls for to realise innovation in the scholarly communications system,” said SPARC Europe director, Vanessa Proudman.

“In part, success depends on our community fully understanding the Plan S Principles and Guidance for Implementation. By taking a deep dive, this is SPARC Europe’s first step in supporting the community in implementing Plan S. Stay tuned for what the implications are for libraries and what you can do to implement Plan S in your OA programmes in the coming months.”

Download the report.