Revisions to Plan S

Revisions to Plan S


The idea of Plan S is to advance a shift from subscription-based journal models and embargo green open access to gold open access. Plan S has been published in September 2018 by a group of public and private research funders from 12 European countries who refer to themselves as cOAlition S.

At the beginning of 2019, cOAlition S has asked for public feedback on their plan. 600 feedback statements were submitted by universities, learned societies, publishers, scholarly associations, and individual scholars from more than 40 countries. Taking this feedback into account, cOAlition S has now revised their original Plan S. The following fundamental principles stayed unchanged:

  • “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 license 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.”


And the following changes have been made:

  • “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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